VEA President Meg Gruber today made the following statement regarding Governor McAuliffe’s new budget proposal:
Governor McAuliffe’s budget plan would make needed investments in the learning and health needs of Virginia students.
Ensuring that Virginia students have access to a highly qualified and stable teaching force is one of the best investments Virginia can make. So VEA is pleased to see that the Governor included funding to raise the salaries of teachers and other SOQ support positions.
According to new figures released just this month, the Commonwealth now ranks 37th in the nation in teacher pay, and Virginia teachers earn $7,456 below the national average. We need to do far better if Virginia is to attract and retain the best teachers for Virginia’s students. The Governor’s proposed pay increase is an important step in the right direction.
The Governor’s proposal to jump-start the expansion of Medicaid to include 400,000 more Virginians also is welcome news for Virginia’s educators, who see every day the negative impact of poor health care on students and their families.
VEA also applauds the inclusion in the Governor’s budget of a provision to allow local school divisions to participate in the state health plan, which promises to offer additional flexibility and savings.
We congratulate the Governor for recognizing the needs of children and families as a priority, and we call on members of the General Assembly to follow his lead.
Stay tuned for a VEA Daily Report and a Cyberlobby request later today!
Things are happening!