A 12.5 percent boost in teacher salaries tops the list of funding requests in the budget that the Northern Virginia Community College has asked the state legislature to approve for the next two years.
"Salary increases are very definitely our highest priority," said NVCC spokesman James Bradley. The proposed increase would make salaries at the college more competitive with those at other colleges, he said.
The legislature, however, would have to overrule the State Council of Higher Education, which operates under the authority of the governor's office, in order to grant the 12.5 percent pay increase for NVCC teachers. The council directed all community colleges in the state to request no more from the state's general fund than monies to finance a 4.5 percent salary increase for teachers and staff, Bradley said.
Because of this guideline, the proposed pay raise is contained in two parts of the budget: 4.5 percent in the main budget and an additional 8 percent in an addendum.
As another incentive item for NVCC teachers, the college has asked for $2 million to fund a 10 percent salary differential for faculty members because of the higher cost of living in this part of the state. The state board for community colleges endorses such differentials, Bradley said, but the General Assembly has never funded them for community college faculties.
NVCC teachers currently receive a 10 percent differential, he said, but money for that has had to come from other parts of the budget.
Also requested in NVCC's $89.7 million budget proposal are:
* $1.3 million to purchase the John Tyler Elementary School from Alexandria and renovate it for adult education programs. The college now uses the facility, which it plans to buy on a five-year lease-purchase agreement, for classrooms and laboratories.
* $2.3 million to construct a College Services Building on the Annandale campus. Administrative services for the five-campus system are now run out of temporary buildings and borrowed space.
* $8.1 million to construct and renovate buildings on the Woodbridge campus to relieve overcrowded classrooms and laboratories.
Richard J. Ernst, NVCC president, said the college's proposed budget includes nearly $60.5 million from state funds and another $29.2 million from such revenue sources as tuition and fees. The legislature, however, must approve how all monies--even non-state funds--are spent by community colleges, Bradley said.