2017 VEA Legislative Agenda
VEA WILL INITIATE LEGISLATION TO
Modify the requirements regarding hearing officers in school employee dismissal proceedings
To ensure fairness in dismissal proceedings, requirements for hearing officers should more closely mirror requirements for state employees.
Pursue as a state policy the provision of a salary for teachers at least equal to the national average
The average pay of teachers in the Commonwealth is now $7,230 under the national average, ranking us 30th in the nation. In eight of the past nine budgets of the Commonwealth, the state offered no designated funding to boost the pay of teachers and other SOQ-funded positions. To recruit and retain the best possible candidates, Virginia must be able to offer competitive salaries. A strategic long-term approach is needed to begin the process of closing the gap.
Repairing the Standards of Quality (SOQ) funding formula to accurately reflect prevailing costs of educating students across the Commonwealth
Damage to the SOQ funding formula that resulted from the Great Recession must be reversed. The formula should be repaired to reflect actual costs of educating Virginia students.
Implementing legislation supporting findings of the Joint Legislative Audit Review Commission (JLARC)
JLARC has made numerous recommendations for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of our public schools. For example, it recommends providing more literacy coaches and factoring in inflation when rebenchmarking the SOQs. Such recommendations should be followed with legislation to put them in place.
Increased funds to support the education of students at risk
The average state provides a 29 percent boost in funding for at-risk students—pupils who have physical, emotional, intellectual, and economic risk factors. Virginia’s boost is 19 percent. We must increase the At-Risk Add-On so that all students have a chance for success.
Provision of sufficient health and retirement benefits to attract and retain high-quality school professionals
Reform of the Standards of Learning (SOL) testing program
VEA supports using multiple measures of student progress, limiting the number of standardized tests that students take, choosing tests that are developmentally appropriate, and ensuring that consequences attached to test results are appropriate to what is being measured.
Efforts to decrease child and adolescent incarceration rates
Providing public dollars to private schools
Transferring the authority for granting charter schools away from the local school board
Any legislation which would undermine the culture of safety, support, and civil rights for all students and school employees