ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Gov. Ralph Northam made a stop in Roanoke as part of his Thank You, Virginia Tour.
During his tour, the governor stopped off at Westside Elementary School in which he announced his proposal for a two-year state budget that will include a $2.4 billion increase for pre-K through 12 education. Northam also talked about increasing teacher salaries by 10 percent — making it the largest increase in 15 years.
“Paying teachers is the right thing to do and a wise investment,” said 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.”
The governor says that the increase will be over the course of two years with increased compensation of five percent each year. This would make a total compensation increase of 10.25 percent.
As for the funds, more than $1.3 billion will come from the federal CARES Act dollars that the Commonwealth allocated to localities in 2020, and nearly $3 billion will come from the federal American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funds.
“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.”
The governor also made this announcement while touring at Alexandria City High School and Glen Allen High School.