Gov. Ralph Northam launched his “Thank You, Virginia” tour at Alexandria City High School (ACHS) Monday, announcing that he will propose a two-year state budget with record funding for public education, including a 10 percent pay raise for teachers. Virginia has already increased teacher salaries by more than 10 percent over the past three years—the largest increase in 15 years. If approved, this latest raise would push Virginia’s teacher pay above the national average.
“Paying teachers is the right thing to do and a wise investment,” said Gov. 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.”
Gov. Northam’s proposal will increase compensation by five percent a year in each of the next two budget years, for a cumulative increase of 10.25 percent.
“Our teachers have remained committed to their mission of putting students first. They do so much to help our students thrive, in and out of the classroom. I’m thrilled to hear this initiative will help show them the appreciation they deserve. All of our employees are dedicated, work hard and deserve an increase in pay,” said Superintendent Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr.
The state is also helping students by hiring more counselors. School counselors are now responsible for 325 students on average, down from as many as 500.
“Teachers deserve to be paid more, and Gov. Northam has delivered,” said Virginia 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.”