NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- Norfolk teachers and the Superintendent are pushing for additional funding as city officials are taking a look at the proposed budget.
The city is allocating $119 million towards schools, but that falls short $10 million of what the district is asking for.
"You just finished building a multimillion dollar hotel, The Main, while it is beautiful, why did it come first? You're building an outlet mall, while people will shop there, why did it come first?," said Cheryl Lacey, teacher.
The district says funds will go towards items like restoration of in-school suspension, gifted teachers and employee pay.
Teachers say colleagues are being forced to leave because they aren't getting paid enough. According to the district they have 2,266 classroom teachers.
"Norfolk is not an easy district to work in, the teachers who stay in this district do so because they want to make a difference in children's lives," said Nancy Estepa, math specialist.
"73 percent of our teachers are getting paid less than expected based on their years of service," she added.
Teachers in neighboring Chesapeake and Virginia Beach are slated to get a boost.
Mayor Kenny Alexander says the city could possibly allocate around $2.5 million in additional funds without making harsh cuts or increasing taxes.
The final budget is expected to be adopted May 23.