New budget plan has raises for teachers, state employees

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia lawmakers have approved raises and bonuses for state employees and public school teachers in their final budget proposal.
Lawmakers unveiled their latest $135-billion two-year state budget proposal Monday and are expected to give it final approval on Thursday.
The proposal includes the state’s share of 2% raises for public school teachers for the next two fiscal years, while many state employees would receive a 3% bonus this year and a 3% raise next year.
Teacher pay is a hot button issue in Virginia this year, as teachers have been pressing lawmakers for significant new increases. The state has funded teacher pay increases the past two years, but average pay is still far below the national average. Teacher salaries in Virginia are split between the state and local governments.
Lawmakers also funded a one-year tuition freeze at public colleges.
Disagreements between state employee and teacher compensation, as well as higher education funding, helped delay passage of a state budget during this year’s legislative session.