Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) declared 2013 to be “The Year of the Teacher” in Virginia, calling for programs and special recognition of teachers in the state.
“Virginia’s teachers demonstrate selfless leadership day after day in classrooms across the Commonwealth,” said Governor McDonnell in a press release. “Everyone knows a teacher who’s stayed after school to support students; who’s buying their own supplies; who’s grading homework until 10, 11, or 12 at night then getting up early to put together the next day’s lesson plan. This is amazing dedication. We must do more to recognize and appreciate these professionals.”
As part of the initiative, McDonnell has invited citizens to share stories about an excellent teacher who inspired them.
The move comes less than a month after McDonnell unveiled an ambitious legislative agenda for education in 2013.
The agenda includes a 2 percent salary rise for all teachers funded as part of the Virginia Standards of Quality. The raise would cost the state about $58.7 million.
McDonnell is also asking the Virginia General Assembly to the pass the Educator Fairness Act, which would extend the probationary window for newly hired teachers from three to five years and redefine incompetence to include one or more unsatisfactory performance reviews.
The governor is also asking for $15 million to be distributed to school systems in the form of competitive grants.
The grants would go to teachers in each system who help meet the system’s strategic goals. The grants could be awarded to teachers who help students make significant progress, teachers who mentor other teachers, or teachers who transfer to low-performing schools.
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