Governor Northam on Tuesday released a portion of his proposed budget for 2020. The budget will dedicate $268.7 million in new money for public schools including a 5% raise for teachers. This increase, however, will not get Virginia teachers up to the national average and is not on par with other states’ investments.
Virginia’s average teacher salary of $56,861 is less than the national average of $58,353. The average teacher salary in the Richmond region is $51,064, according to state data, meaning a typical teacher around Richmond would see their pay go up $2,553.
If approved, the 5 percent increase would be the largest single-year raise for teachers in more than 15 years, Northam said.
Even with the 5 percent increase, though, the Richmond region would still lag behind the national average.
The Northam budget would need the approval of the General Assembly, members of which are back in session next month. Supporters of education plan to keep the pressure on lawmakers with a rally and march on January 28th.
Those supporters will gather at Monroe Park (620 W. Main St) on January 28th at 11 AM and will begin their march at 11:30 AM heading to the Bell Tower on Capitol Square.
From the organizers:
The #RedforEd movement and Virginia Educators United are about uniting Virginians to demand fully funded K-12 public education. Join educators from across the state and march to the State Capitol to demand more funding!
After a decade of budget cuts, Virginia’s schools have reached their breaking point. Our General Assembly has abandoned their constitutional duty to fund our education system for too long, and as supporters of public education, we are not taking it anymore. We refuse to permit our kids to go to schools where the buildings are collapsing, where teachers are overworked and under compensated, and where there are fewer and fewer resources every year.
On January 28th, Virginia Educators United and other statewide advocacy groups will march on the Capitol in Richmond and demand that our legislators stop short-changing our students. This day of solidarity is our opportunity to send a clear message to every member of the General Assembly that voters in Virginia demand that public schools become the number one priority of our legislature.
In order for us to achieve that goal, we need every county, city, and town to wear red and walk with us. We need every PTA, community organization and religious institution to join us. We need every student, parent, community member, and stakeholder to stand together and demand better for our students, our communities, and our educators.
RPS teacher Juliane Toce is the force behind this effort, obviously with a ton of support, and she might look familiar. Last year she had the hit All I Want for Christmas is Glue.