Governor Northam today announced his proposed budget will feature $268.7 million in new money for investments in Virginia’s K-12 education system. As part of the governor’s commitment to ensuring that the Commonwealth is able to attract and retain educators, the governor is announcing the inclusion of an additional 2 percent raise in teacher salaries, totaling $88 million, that will result in a total 5 percent raise effective July 1, 2019.
“Every child in the Commonwealth should have access to a world-class education—that can’t happen if Virginia is unable to compete with other states on attracting and retaining the best teaching talent,” said Governor Northam. “Raising teacher pay is one step to securing the quality of our K-12 education system for years to come.”
In addition to a raise in teacher pay, Governor Northam today announced his proposed budget will adjust funding to reflect an estimated increase of Virginia Lottery proceeds, allocating nearly $70 million to boost the At-Risk Add-On and Supplemental Lottery Per Pupil Allocation. Over the biennium, the one-time influx will add about $35 million to Virginia’s At-Risk Add-On program, which targets state support to schools with the highest concentrations of students eligible for free lunch to provide dropout prevention, after school programs, and specialized instruction. The remaining $35 million will go to boosting the state’s per pupil allocation, a flexible funding pool available to local school divisions to supplement general aid.
Lastly, the governor shared today that the proposed budget will include an $80 million one-time deposit in the Literary Fund, freeing up resources to be used for low-interest loans for school construction. The Literary Fund is the long-standing method for providing aid to local school divisions for school construction.
Altogether, the budget proposals reflect the governor’s commitment to ensuring that every Virginia student, no matter who they are or where they live, has the same access to a quality education.
Governor Northam will address the Joint Money Committees on December 18 to share the full details of his structurally balanced budget plan. The proposal features additional investments, as well as a plan to put Virginia on a path to committing 8 percent of its total budget in reserves by the end of the Northam administration.