Virginia State Leaders Focus on Pensions and Teacher Compensations in Hunt Institute Convening

Richmond, Va. – Conversations around teacher compensation have dominated national headlines in recent years and many states have responded by making this issue a top legislative priority.

In Virginia, state leaders will bring this issue to the forefront during an education policy dinner and discussion hosted by The Hunt Institute on June 17 in Richmond, Va. Policymakers and education leaders will hear from Anthony Randazzo, executive director at the Equable Institute, and Trish S. Bishop, director at the Virginia Retirement System (VRS).

“To prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s challenges, we must focus on having strong teachers in the classroom, and an important part of keeping those teachers is to provide strong pay and benefits,” said Delegate Lamont Bagby. “Teacher compensation is an issue that has and will continue to be a top priority.” 

Both speakers will discuss the impact that increasing pension costs have on teacher compensation and how Virginia can ensure that their teachers are adequately paid and receive well-funded pension plans.

“Strong teacher compensation packages are critical to attracting and retaining teachers in Virginia,” said The Hunt Institute President & CEO Dr. Javaid Siddiqi. “By providing a thorough overview of this issue, I’m confident our experts will spark meaningful conversation for our legislators and education leaders.”

Randazzo will discuss the status of educator protests across the country and the challenges that states are facing as they seek to increase teacher salaries while also balancing obligations to costly teacher retirement plans. Following, Bishop will focus on the Virginia Retirement System’s efforts in administering retirement plans for the state’s teachers.

The VRS is among the largest pension funds in the United States, serving over 700,000 state employees, including Virginia’s teachers.

“One of the General Assembly’s important victories this year was including teacher pay raises in the budget as this is something we worked hard to do to ensure fair compensation for our teachers,” said Delegate Steve Landes. “This convening will provide legislators and stakeholders the opportunity to continue this important discussion.”