Teacher Pay & the Educator Fairness Act

classroomAs part of a series of efforts to empower educators and reform schools in Virginia, Governor McDonnell is proposing that teachers and support staff receive a two percent pay increase—for the first time in five years. The Governor also would like to revise state policies to help recruit, retain, and reward excellent teachers.

The pay raises would become effective July 1 of next year—contingent on General Assembly approval of changes in the teacher contract and evaluation process.  McDonnell also proposed strategic compensation grants for teachers, incentives for teachers in STEM-H subjects, and a potential revision in medical benefits.

“I’ve directed the Department of Human Resource Management to also evaluate the efficacy and the actuarial soundness of putting teachers into the state health plan,” said Governor McDonnell.

The Governor also introduced what he calls the “Educator Fairness Act,” which extends teacher probation from three to five years.  It would define “incompetence” to include one or more unsatisfactory performance evaluations, and define the relationship between the evaluation and the contract.  It also streamlines educator grievance procedures.  In addition, the initiative includes creation of a Virginia Teacher Cabinet comprised of teachers who would provide input to the Governor, Secretary of Education, and State Board of Education.

–Tommie McNeil

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