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Governor Kaine Signs Legislation Setting Teacher Salary Goal, Accountability Benchmarks

Location: Richmond, VA

Governor Kaine Signs Legislation Setting Teacher Salary Goal, Accountability Benchmarks
- Bill requires regular teacher performance evaluations -

RICHMOND - Governor Timothy M. Kaine today ceremonially signed legislation that establishes a framework to increase Virginia teacher salaries to the national average, and setting higher accountability and professional development standards for educators.

Senate Bill 324, introduced by Senator Mary Margaret Whipple, requires the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) to review the compensation levels of Virginia teachers, comparing Virginia teacher salaries to those in the region and across the nation. In addition, the bill establishes a review process for teachers with continuing contract status to be evaluated at least once every three years, with those receiving unsatisfactory reviews being evaluated every year for a set period.

"Virginia's teachers do an incredible job educating our young people, and that effort is reflected in substantial increases in student achievement," Governor Kaine said. "However, we still have more to do to boost salaries at least to the national average, and to ensure accountability and encourage professional development through meaningful evaluations. This legislation, championed by Senator Whipple, takes much needed, common-sense steps towards reaching those goals."

SB 324 also directs DHRM to examine teacher compensation relative to other states in the Southern Regional Educational Board area, which includes 15 states. The General Assembly adopted Governor Kaine's recommendations for a 4% raise in teacher and instructional staff salaries, and has included a budget "placeholder" for a 1.5% raise in the second year of the biennium.

Governor Kaine was joined at the ceremonial bill signing by Senator Whipple, Virginia Education Association President Princess Moss, and local public school teachers and instructional staff.

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