Northam proposes $268 million investment for Va.’s K-12 education system

Virginia News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Governor Ralph Northam shared a glimpse of his budget plan on Tuesday by announcing intentions to invest $268.7 million in new money for Virginia’s K-12 education system.   

If passed, Northam’s proposal will use $88 million to give teachers an additional 2 percent raise, according to a release from the governor’s office, with expectations of “a total 5 percent raise effective July 1, 2019.” 

Governor Northam signed a budget plan in May that already proposed a 3 percent raise for teachers.

An increase in teachers’ pay, the governor’s office states, is being proposed in part to increase Virginia’s ability to entice educators to come or stay in the Commonwealth to work. 

“Every child in the Commonwealth should have access to a world-class education—that can’t happen if Virginia is unable to compete with other states on attracting and retaining the best teaching talent,” said Governor Northam.

“Raising teacher pay is one step to securing the quality of our K-12 education system for years to come.”

The governor proposal also includes a one-time $80 million deposit in the Literary Fund to provide low-interest loans for school construction in the Commonwealth. 

Mayor Levar Stoney released a statement praising Northam’s proposal: 

“I’m glad to see Governor Northam is listening to the concerns of students, families and localities across Virginia demanding more state funding for education. This is a significant step toward getting our students and teachers the support they need and deserve, but we still have more work to do. We need to make our voices heard in January to protect these investments and continue fighting for our students. More money means better schools and stronger students.”

Northam’s office said Tuesday the multi-million investment proposal reflects “the governor’s commitment to ensuring that every Virginia student, no matter who they are or where they live, has the same access to a quality education.” 

Governor Northam plans to share his full budget plan on Dec. 18 to the Joint Money Committees. 

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