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When and how much do I get paid?

I just moved to Virginia for my first teaching job. I'm very excited and looking forward to starting class. As I try to plan my lessons, I'm also working on my personal budget. I need to know when I get paid, how much, and how often.

Short answer: It depends largely on your local school division policy. So you should ask your human resources office to find out more, and contact your local VEA-NEA UniServ Director for clarification.

Your questions are good ones, and all teachers--as well as Student VEA members--should know where they stand. Some Virginia teachers paid monthly do not receive their first paycheck until October 1-even when they begin their teaching assignment in mid-August. That's too long a stretch, especially for teachers just starting out.

Here's the background: Teachers and educational support professionals are employed by the school board of the City or County, and many important conditions of your employment are decided by the local school board. Virginia state law (Section 22.1-296) allows local school boards to determine whether teachers are paid monthly, semi-monthly or biweekly. The school board also decides whether to pay school employees over the school year, extend payment over the calendar year, or let employees choose.

Most Virginia students start school after Labor Day, in keeping with state law (Section 22.1-79.1). The State Board of Education may grant exceptions to school divisions with a history of numerous snow days or because they employ an experimental or innovative program, such as year-round instruction. Most teachers report to work in late August and get their first paycheck in September, depending on whether the district issues paychecks once or twice a month.

Thanks to VEAs efforts, school divisions where students attend class before August 15 are now required to pay teachers within the first month of employment. Most of these situations arise in Southwest Virginia, where school divisions must plan for more instructional days lost to the winter weather.

I'd encourage you to work with your Association colleagues to influence the public officials who drive education decisions. Making sure all public education employees don't have to wait too long for their first paycheck is a good place to start!


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