New School Budget: Teacher Salaries Increase



Virginia Beach School Board holds special meeting on March 7th

Kaden Ellison

On March 14, 2023, The Virginia Beach School Board passed the Superintendent Estimation of Needs for the 2023-2024 school year. After three meetings of passing changes, superintendent Aaron Spence’s estimation of needs allotted $926.66 million for the upcoming school year, which includes increasing teacher pay.

There were two main options that the school board was considering: The first would increase teacher pay to meet VBCPS goals, while the second would increase their pay, but not enough to meet their project goals. The school board chose to do option one.

“Our goal was to raise teacher pay so that VBCPS would be ranked first in the region,” said Beverly Anderson, at-large representative for the Virginia Beach School Board. Going into the 2023-2024 school year, Virginia Beach will be the second highest paying district in the state, only behind Prince William in northern Virginia.

However, this was not what was originally planned for the next school year budget. Superintendent Spence originally had gone with option two that would only slightly increase teacher salaries and pointed to Governor Youngkin for why he made that decision.

“It is worth noting here that Governor Youngkin has addressed the General Assembly and asked them to rectify an accounting error by the state Department of Education that reduced projected state revenues to VBCPS by just over $8 million for the next fiscal year.” wrote Superintendent Spence in his opening letter of the budget.

Current teachers are glad about the potential increase of pay, but doubt its effectiveness to attract new teachers to the district.

“It is a pleasant surprise to know that the school board is going to increase our pay, but I don’t know if it’s going to get new people to come here and start teaching,” said David Holland, a teacher at Tallwood High School. Despite increasing returning teacher’s salaries, this new pay scale doesn’t change how much a beginning teacher would make.

The budget still needs to be approved by the Virginia Beach City Council in order for it to be enacted for the next school year. The vote will be taken in may and will discuss potential changes, including changing back to option 2 of pay increases.