Campbell Co., VA - Governor McDonnell unveiled his priorities when it comes to education for the coming year, and pay raises for teachers top the list. The last raise from the state was in 2008.
The governor laid out a handful of other goals too, like putting more money into the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, and professional development programs for teachers. But that 2% pay bump's getting a lot of attention.
David Adams became a French teacher with the Campbell County School District three years ago - a tight time for the public school system. For him, a pay bump is exciting.
"It helps with appreciation and just feeling like you're actually important, especially coming all the way down from the governor's office, it's looks like everyone's looking out for you," said Adams.
Before becoming the personnel director at Lynchburg City Schools, Marie Gee taught kindergarten for 17 years.
"I know the workload that's on them, the expectation to raise student achievement. It's hard to do when you're not getting the bonuses, and you're not getting the payback yourself," said Gee.
Governor McDonnell's All Students Initiative is more than a pay raise. It puts more than $800,000 into recruiting top-notch teachers for STEM and creates the Virginia Teacher Cabinet - a group of educators, including Virginia's Teacher of the Year, to advise the governor. It even calls for a brand new program for teachers to go back to school, network and learn.
"It's great to have those other people that you can talk to, or to have someone whose been doing it forever say, 'Hey, everyone who teaches French, here is our idea," said Adams.
The governor's education proposal won over the Virginia business community. The Virginia Chamber of Commerce backs the initiative as important for building a 21st century workforce.
Of course, this is just the governor's proposal. Nothing's definite yet. These ideas have to survive the 2013 General Assembly session.
Read the governor's complete proposal.