Teachers in Virginia are expected to get decent salaries over the next two school years, but how healthy they will be remains to be seen.
Former Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam suggested a 5% increase for teachers in each Virginia the two budget years, beginning July 1, in his final biennial budget before leaving office in January.
Northam’s plan was supported by the Democrat-controlled Senate, which went one step further by adding a 1% teacher incentive for the 2022-23 school year.
The House of Representatives did not go as far. It approved a state budget that includes a 4% rise for teachers and a 1% bonus for each of the following two school years.
The rise is one of several discrepancies between the House and Senate budget negotiators this spring. Their primary point of contention is tax reduction. The House has generally backed Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin’s request for massive tax cuts. Smaller tax cuts and increased investment on education, public safety, and mental health are among the Senate’s priorities.
Several politicians believe that once the tax problem is resolved, expenditure concerns, like as the teacher rise, would fall into place.
According to the Virginia Department of Education, the average wage for classroom instructors in Virginia in the 2020-21 school year was $61,684.
According to the National Education Association, the average income for public school teachers in Virginia was $59,267 in 2020-21, placing 24th among states. $65,090 was the national average.
Democrats regularly use data from the National Center for Education Statistics and the United States Census Bureau showing that Virginia teachers are paid the least in the country compared to the state’s average full-time wage.