RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Bob McDonnell wants 2 percent pay raises for public school teachers, provided lawmakers make it easier for officials to fire incompetent teachers.
The Republican governor is asking for nearly $59 million as the state's share for the raises for the fiscal year starting July 1.
Raises are contingent on passing the Education Fairness Act, extending probationary periods for rookie teachers. Localities would match the state share based on a sliding scale.
McDonnell says the money is assured regardless of whether Congress avoids a year-end "fiscal cliff" that could cripple Virginia's revenues.
He said he'll reduce the official revenue forecast on which budgeted state spending is based when he presents his budget to legislative budget writers Monday. He calls the reduction substantial, but won't say how much.