RICHMOND (WSLS 10) - As lawmakers discuss the state budget for K-12 education in Richmond, the Virginia Education Association wants to make sure results of a new poll are shared. The VEA says the poll shows people in the Commonwealth overwhelmingly believe public schools are not receiving enough funding to meet the needs of students.
VEA President Meg Gruber says Virginia is 41st in the country on the state's funding of public schools and teacher pay is more than $6700 under the national average. Gruber says when Virginia has made progress on teacher salaries, the state played a major role and at one point the Commonwealth was just a few hundred dollars under the national average.
"What we ask is that when those tough decisions are made, the budget that they adopt puts our students and our public schools first," said Gruber. "The students in Virginia public schools are - quite literally- the future of this great Commonwealth. This budget should send a clear signal that we are moving away from the cuts in school programs and jobs following the Great Recession and we are ready to make an investment in our schools and in our teachers reflecting this belief."
A survey done in January of 600 Virginia adults showed:
- 66% of people believe teachers are not paid enough
- 66% believe there is not enough funding for public schools to meet their needs
The VEA is also launching a public awareness campaign about the funding issues.