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Public Backs Better School Funding, Higher Teacher Salaries

Two out of every three Virginians believe the state’s public schools are underfunded, and the same percentage also say teachers are underpaid, according to newly-released Virginia Education Association poll findings.

“You see, the public gets it,” VEA President Meg Gruber told a State Capitol news conference this morning. “They understand that educators will do everything they can to offer a quality education, even when our Commonwealth faces a financial crisis, such as we had during the Great Recession.”

Gruber also pointed to a recent editorial in the (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot, which took the state to task because for the last eight years it has “shortchanged its support for the state’s educational standards, to the tune of roughly $800 million a year.”

VEA interviewed 600 adults in Virginia for the poll, which was conducted in January. Seventy-four percent said they believe the amount of funding schools receive affect the quality of the education students get “a great deal” or “quite a lot.” In addition, support for higher teacher salaries was consistent across all groups interviewed, even families that have never had children in Virginia’s public schools.

Take such sentiment to heart during budget deliberations, Gruber urged legislators. “You’ll be demonstrating how much of a commitment you’re prepared to make toward the future of our children,” she said, adding that Virginia currently ranks 41st in the nation in state funding of public schools.

Virginia’s teachers are also now earning more than $6700 less than the national average salary for teachers.

To help spread the word on the financial needs of our students, schools and educators, VEA will be launching a campaign of radio, television and online advertisements. To learn more, visit the Association’s website,

Read more. Read President Gruber's statement.



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