Teachers and parents rallied on the grounds of the State Capitol Monday (1/23/12) to urge the General Assembly to restore funds to public education. The Virginia Education Association sponsored the event, which was held after members spent the morning lobbying state lawmakers about their concerns.
VEA President Kitty Boitnott told the crowd that some people who talk today about creating jobs are also cutting school funding—but educators are the best job creators since they prepare students for tomorrow’s workforce. She said the budget introduced by Governor McDonnell underfunds the Standards of Quality by more than $300-million … and that teachers are now paid 12% below the national average. Boitnott then directly addressed legislative leaders who will have a great deal of influence over the state spending plan:
The President of the Virginia PTA, Anne Carson, also spoke—and told participants that more than 300,000 PTA members are standing behind the teachers. The Governor has said that his introduced budget and amendments include additional education funding, but a major focus of that is shoring up the underfunded Virginia Retirement System for state employees and teachers.
–Anne Marie Morgan