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McDonnell Says He Will Push New Incentives for VA Teachers - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

McDonnell Says He Will Push New Incentives for VA Teachers

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For the first time in five years, teachers in Virginia may see some extra cash coming their way, but it won't happen just yet.

Thursday, Governor Bob McDonnell announced that he is taking measures to recruit and retain teachers. Those measures include a push for a 2 percent salary increase in 2014, along with other incentives.

"This is going to be a top priority, making sure teachers get paid well," McDonnell said.

For Charlottesville school teacher Bonnie Yoder, it's a step in the right direction.

"I think it's a very exciting announcement. I think it holds promise," Yoder said.

While extra money is always good, there is much more to learn before any celebrating begins.

"A raise is always appreciated, realistically, but its tie to the Educator Fairness Act is something that needs to be expanded upon," Yoder said.

That tie means that in order for the pay raise to go into effect in 2014, the general assembly must pass the Educator Fairness Act, which would reward good teachers and work to fire educators doing a poor job.

"A 2 percent raise is nice, but job security is also nice," Yoder said.

While a decision won't be made until next year, it is clear that money is one way to reward teachers.

"Teacher retention is also critical. You have to have good teachers in the classroom and be able to attract them and compensation is a very important, critical piece of that," said Lorna Gerome, director of human resources for Albemarle County Public Schools.

McDonnell has proposed nearly $59 million for the state's part. In order to receive the money, each locality would need to match those funds and put up their half.

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