Governor Northam Launches ‘Thank You, Virginia’ Tour, Celebrates Record K-12 Funding, Proposes Major Raise for Teachers
Next two-year budget will include $2.4 billion increase for pre-K through 12 education ~ Includes 10% pay raise for teachers, further expanding largest teacher raises in 15 years
ALEXANDRIA—Governor Ralph Northam today launched his ‘Thank You, Virginia’ Tour, announcing that he will propose a two-year state budget next week that includes record funding for public education, including a 10 percent pay raise for teachers.
Virginia has already increased teacher salaries more than 10 percent under Governor Northam—the largest increase in 15 years. This latest raise will push Virginia’s teacher pay above the national average.
“Paying teachers is the right thing to do, and a wise investment,” said Governor Northam. “Virginia has invested in teachers in a big way over these past four years, and now it’s time to do much more. Our country has asked teachers to carry a heavy load, especially during the pandemic. They have delivered, and they deserve to be rewarded. This raise is possible because of strong, steady fiscal stewardship. Virginia’s strong economy has delivered booming revenues. What we’ve been doing these four years is working, and Virginia should continue it.”
Governor Northam’s proposal will increase compensation 5 percent a year in each of the next two budget years, for a cumulative increase of 10.25 percent. When matched by local funds, the increase will push compensation for the typical Virginia teacher above the national average.
Governor Northam noted that local budgets have been significantly augmented by federal and state pandemic relief dollars. These funds include more than $1.3 billion of federal CARES Act dollars that Virginia allocated to localities in 2020, and another nearly $3 billion in federal ARPA funds (American Rescue Plan) for counties and cities in Virginia earlier this year.
“Teachers deserve to be paid more, and Governor Northam has delivered,” said Secretary of Education Fran Bradford. “That’s an important tool in recruiting and retaining talented teachers. It matters in normal times, and it’s critical today.”
“Virginia has taken dramatic steps to fund public education over the past two years, especially to raise teacher salaries and hire more counselors,” said Speaker of the House Eileen Filler-Corn. “Virginia’s public schools are delivering for parents and students, and we all appreciate Governor Northam taking this latest step to build an even stronger future.”
“There is no greater value for the taxpayer than investing in public education, which has far-reaching effects for all Virginians,” said Majority Leader Dick Saslaw. “The education pipeline begins in Pre-K, continues through K-12 and into the handoff to post-secondary education or a workforce credential. But every investment costs money, and Governor Northam has delivered over these past four years.”
The Governor made the announcement at Alexandria City High School, Westside Elementary School in Roanoke, and Glen Allen High School.
Virginia Offers a World-Class Education:
- Under Governor Northam, early childhood education is now available to more Virginia families than ever before:
- Since 2018 Virginia has more than doubled public Pre-K funding to serve a record total of more than 25,000 three and four year olds.
- Virginia has expanded access to affordable child care to more families than ever before, serving over 27,000 children and exceeding pre-pandemic participation.
- The Commonwealth has received national attention for investing in an early childhood teacher incentive grant program that has cut turnover in half in participating classrooms.
- Virginia’s tuition-free community college now helps working people who choose career paths in high-demand fields.
- You may be eligible, if you pursue a career in Healthcare, Information Technology, Manufacturing and Skilled Trades, Early Childhood Education, or Public Safety.
- The message is simple: Get skilled, get a job, give back.
- Virginia’s K-12 public schools benefit from record funding:
- Virginia has increased teacher salaries more than 10% under Governor Northam--the largest increase in 15 years.
- Virginia is helping students by hiring more counselors. School counselors are now responsible for 325 students on average, down from as many as 500.
- Virginia is making it easier to go to college.
- Virginia has made the largest-ever investment in Historically Black Colleges and Universities—$328 million over three years. This includes $297 million for capital projects and nearly $32 million in operating support.
- Students attending Virginia high schools are now eligible for financial aid and in-state tuition, regardless of their citizenship status.
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