Thursday, January 9, 2014

We Thank Two Champions of School Employee Salaries!

Two members of the General Assembly, Delegate Ben Chafin and Senator Phillip Puckett, are submitting budget amendments to provide the state share of a 6% salary increase for Virginia educators.
The Commonwealth must take action to attract and retain high-quality school personnel.  Virginia is the 9th wealthiest state, yet our teacher salary ranks 31st.  Our average teacher salary is $6,514 below the national average.  We must do better if tomorrow’s students are to have highly qualified teachers.  State funding is critical to the ability of localities to make salaries of school employees more competitive.

Virginia ranks low in a nation that ranks low in teacher compensation.  “Most of the high-achieving countries have policies that align teacher compensation rates with other professions that are traditionally deemed as attractive.  The United States has the lowest ratio of teacher salary to the GDP per capita, with an average of 0.97, on the other hand, the ratio is 2.0 in South Korea.” - James H. Stronge, Ph.D., William and Mary

The  state share of a 6.0 percent across-the-board increase in teacher (and other SOQ) salaries is roughly $234.6 million for next year.

Please join me in thanking Delegate Chafin and Senator Puckett!