(The Center Square) — Lawmakers in the Virginia Senate and House agreed on a budget that includes a pay raise for teachers and other government employees.
The budget will allocate its portion of funding for a 4 percent teacher pay raise over the next two fiscal years. Local school districts also would need to allocate funding for teachers to get the full raise.
Republicans and Democrats have voiced support for a pay raise for Virginia teachers, whose salaries are below the national average.
Many other government employees would receive a 3 percent pay raise in the next fiscal year under the budget proposal. This includes state workers, locally elected constitutional officers and their full-time employees, local school board members and Community Service Board workers.
State troopers would receive a 2 percent pay increase.
The total budget would cost the state $135 billion. It also includes more funding for public K-12 education, higher education, health care and workplace equity. The budget funds a tuition freeze for in-state public college and university students.
“This budget is the most progressive in Virginia’s history,” House Appropriations Committee Chairman Luke Torian, D-Woodbridge, said in a news release. “It will guard Virginia’s AAA bond rating and shore up our reserves while advancing equity of opportunity across the Commonwealth and helping rather than hindering every Virginian’s ability to thrive.”
Both chambers will reconvene Thursday in the General Assembly's extended session and are expected to approve the budget agreement.