Teacher Pay Raise May Be Too Little, Too Late

Feb 10, 2016

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According to a new poll from the Virginia Education Association, almost three quarters of Virginians say teachers in the state don’t make enough money. It looks like teachers will be getting a raise in this year’s budget...but the question is how much.

Virginia’s teachers make almost $7,000 below the the national average. And that’s making it hard for the state to attract, and keep, teachers in the classroom -- says Meg Gruber with the Education Association.

“Depending on where you teach, maybe you’ll make 40 in your first year? That’s tough for teachers to look at to stay in the job,” said Gruber at a press conference Tuesday.

The governor has requested a two-percent raise for teachers, but not for another year. Many say that’s too little, too late, including some Republicans in the House and the Senate.

“If we want to continue to retrain and attract highly qualified teachers, we need to treat them like the professionals that they are,” said Senator Glen Sturtevant.

Sturtevant is a freshman senator from Richmond City who was most recently a school board member. He wants a 4-percent raise immediately, with another next year.

“The thing that is going to keep our schools strong and make them stronger is really at the end of the day, our teachers in the classroom,” said Sturtevant.

Virginia funding for public schools overall has dropped more than 11-percent since the recession.