HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT)- Governor Beshear outlined his “Education First” budget plan on Wednesday, which included an 11% pay raise for teachers and all school personnel, the largest single pay raise for public school educators in 40 years, and fully funds universal pre-K.

Reports from the national Education Association ranks Kentucky 44th in teacher starting salary. The governor said his plan will change that by investing $1.1 billion over two years to support a pay raise to increase Kentucky’s average teacher starting pay to $42,191, which would bring Kentucky up to the 24th in the country for teacher starting salary in NEA’s rankings.

The governor’s announcement comes a day after Republican candidate for Kentucky governor Daniel Cameron announced details of his “Cameron Catch-up Plan“, which included asking the General Assembly to approve a statewide base salary for starting teachers at $41,500.

The governor also said his plan would fully fund teacher pensions and student transportation, ensure no health insurance premium increase for educators, provide teachers student loan forgiveness, support professional development, fund textbooks, boost mental health services and help build new career and technical education centers.