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Is proposed pay raise for W.Va. teachers feasible?

Updated: Tuesday, March 4 2014, 01:24 PM EST

WTOV9.com, wire report

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The House Education Committee has voted to increase pay for teachers and service personnel. The amended bill increases teacher salaries $6,000 across-the-board over three years. As it stands, service personnel would see a $3,000 raise. Several members in opposition say the bill is fiscally irresponsible, and thus, a debate is on.

“It’s pretty sad when you look where we’re from,” said Ralph Smith, Brooke County AFT President. “We’re from the Great Lakes Region. Every state around us gets paid more than West Virginia.”

West Virginia ranks 48th in teach salaries in the nation.

The proposed increase is $6,000 -- $1,000 the first year; $2,000 the second year; and $3,000 the third year.

That’s a significantly higher raise than the $834 raise the Senate voted on last week.

While his hopes are high, Smith anticipates something more in the middle.

“I’d like to see $1,000 across the board more than the 2 percent because the 2 percent widens the differential between the highest paid and the lowest paid (teacher),” he said.

Smith says West Virginia teachers won’t give up until they’re at the national average.

Meanwhile, the bill heads to the Finance Committee, where it could undergo some major changes.

 

Is proposed pay raise for W.Va. teachers feasible?


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