Northam proposes teacher pay raise during visit to Roanoke

Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 8:07 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Governor Ralph Northam didn’t have to persuade the students at Roanoke’s Westside Elementary School.

During a visit to the school Monday, they nodded their heads in agreement when he asked if their teachers deserve a raise.

Northam is proposing a 10% teacher pay raise over the next two years. The increase will require a local match.

The Governor said it’s well-deserved.

Northam commended Virginia’s teachers for their work during the pandemic: first in virtual learning, then with a hybrid system and now back in the classroom.

“And to do all of this during a pandemic, I just commend all of our educators,” Northam said. “And so I’m proud as the 73rd Governor to be able to really respond to what we promised four years ago that education and our educators would be a top priority.”

Virginia teachers have received two raises since 2018. The latest proposal would bring the increase to 20% since Northam took office, and the Governor says, raise teacher pay above the national average.

While it remains to be seen what lawmakers will approve, Roanoke City Public Schools Superintendent Verletta White said additional funding for a pay raise will help school systems attract and retain highly qualified educators and staff.

“We need to adequately compensate our teachers and our employees, our staff members who work so very hard for our students,” White said, “especially in a time when there are more needs to serve and where they have had to be more flexible than ever. "

Northam will present his final budget before he leaves office in January, but it will be up to the General Assembly and the incoming Governor, Glenn Youngkin, to approve the two-year spending plan.

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