Potential showdown on teacher pay looming in Va.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe urged Virginia legislators on Friday to include in the state budget funding to conduct mental health screenings in jails and hire investigators to examine suspicious jail deaths. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia state employees could be getting their biggest overall raise in nine years, but a showdown could be looming between Gov. Terry McAuliffe and some Republicans over teacher pay.

Republican budget leaders in the GOP-controlled General Assembly released their proposed budgets Sunday. Both the House and Senate versions include a 3 percent raise for state workers and an even greater pay increase for law enforcement officers and front-line mental health workers.

Both budgets would increase state spending on public education that could be used for raises, but they don’t mandate it. House Republicans said they want to give local governments as much flexibility as possible to spend school money, while also giving rural and low-income school systems a boost.

McAuliffe has said he’s concerned about teachers being treated unfairly.

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