Governor McDonnell presented his budget today. Governor-elect McAuliffe will later present amendments, as will members of the General Assembly. As the late Senator Andrews often said, "The Governor proposes, but the General Assembly disposes."
VEA is disappointed that Governor McDonnell did not include funding for salaries for teachers and support personnel. The Governor's proposal did address salary increases or bonuses for state employees, assistant commonwealth's attorneys, sheriff's deputies, and circuit court clerks.
In addition, although the administration claims to be fully funding the Standards of Quality, there are "savings amendments" which reduce allocations to SOQ accounts. They are as follows:
- $76,425,633 Elimination of the non-personnel services inflation factor
- $20,686,252 Elimination of the Cost of Competing Adjustment (COCA) for support positions in NOVA
The Board of Education fulfilled its constitutional role of prescribing the Standards of Quality, yet the McDonnell administration chose to underfund the SOQ by $97 million.
In addition, the Governor chose to reduce Virginia Preschool Initiative funding by $48,500,335 capturing savings from nonparticipation in VPI. Pre-School advocates say these funds could be used to incentivize increased participation.
VEA is very pleased the Governor chose to adhere to the General Assembly’s commitment to phase-in contribution rates for the teacher and state plans to the VRS board-certified rates.