Wednesday, March 9, 2016

We Won! Teacher Salary Funding Provided for Next Year

Our efforts to gain state support for a teacher salary increase next year paid off.  This funding should help your local school board give an increase for next year.  In addition, the conference committee report includes $73 million more for public education than what we saw in the introduced budge.

When the Governor included no salary funds in year one of his budget proposal, we knew we had a battle on our hands but, as this overview of the public education section of the budget provided by Senator Norment reveals, we won:

The budget proposal makes significant investments in K-12 education, increases flexibility for local school divisions, and makes targeted investments in early childhood education.
Invests over $900 million in new funding for K-12 education compared to previous biennium, $73 million more than originally proposed by Governor McAuliffe.

Includes a 2% teacher pay raise in the first year of the budget.

Re-establishes the lottery proceeds distribution in the second year of the budget, sending 29% of lottery proceeds back to local schools by FY18. The House goal is to fully restore the 40% distribution, which was the policy prior to 2010.

Funds the pilot program for mixed-use delivery models in early childhood education and includes $3.2 million to increase Virginia Preschool Initiative slots.

Includes $36 million for Cost to Compete in Northern Virginia.

Includes $35 million for the at-risk add on to direct funding to schools with disproportionate free and reduced lunch populations.

We will attend budget briefings tomorrow, and will be providing a detailed analysis of the budget once the Department of Education releases the numbers.

In the years ahead, we need to continue to seek parity with other employee group, as higher education faculty and state employees will receive 3%.

Other than the completion of the behind the scenes work of the budget conferees, this was a day of recesses and wasted time.  Certainly, Cuccinelli's withdrawal from consideration for the Supreme Court is the headline.  It appears that Judge Stephen McCoullough will be appointed tomorrow.