HD27 - Public School Teacher Compensation
Beginning Teacher Salaries
In the 2000-2001 school year, the average entry-level salary for Virginia public school teachers was $28,139. Comparable entry-level salaries in the private sector were 8.26% higher during that same time. However, when adjusted to reflect the actual number of days worked annually (200 for teachers and 234 for private sector employees), the entry-level salary for Virginia public school teachers is 5.77% above that of private industry.
Entry-level salaries for teachers are 7.80% higher than salaries for comparable state positions. When adjusted to reflect the actual number of days worked annually (200 for teachers, 234 for state employees), the entry-level salary for Virginia public school teachers is 23.43% above that of comparable state employees.
Virginia ranks twenty-second out of the fifty states and the District of Columbia in average salaries for beginning teachers. The Virginia average is 95.7% of the national average.
Average Teacher Salaries
Virginia's average salary for public school teachers was $38,690 in 1999/2000, and this ranked Virginia as 25th among 50 states and the District of Columbia for that year. The average public school teacher salary in Virginia ranks third among 12 states in the southeastern United States. The Virginia average is 7.49% higher than the southeastern states' average and 93.2 % of the national average.
Final decisions on increases to teacher salaries are made by localities. Average salaries for the 2000-2001 school year ranged from a high of $53,399 in Arlington County to a low of $29,201 in Highland County.
Actions Taken to Improve Teacher Salaries
Local school boards engaged in a variety of initiatives aimed at increasing teacher pay. In 2000-2001, all jurisdictions reported increases for their teachers' salaries. The highest overall percentage increase reported was 14% in Stafford County.
In the 2000 Appropriation Act, Chapter 1073 of the 2000 Virginia Acts of Assembly (Reconvened Session), the General Assembly proposed and the Governor approved a budget appropriating state tax funds sufficient to provide each classroom teacher with a 2.4% pay raise. It should be noted that each school division could choose to implement all or part of the 2.4% salary increase.
In 1998 the Governor proposed and the 1999 General Assembly passed a plan to return lottery proceeds to localities for education. The General Assembly inserted a requirement that half of the funding be expended on projects related to school construction and renovation. The other half is designated for educational priorities chosen by each locality, which may include teacher salary raises or supplements.