As school parking lots across the state sit empty for the forth day in a row, one class has still been in session.
The class has been full of future teachers studying at Fairmont State University.
Normally, they would be in classrooms shadowing and assisting other teachers at local schools, but the work stoppage has, for the moment, halted the hands-on segment of their education.
And although this group of students are not teachers yet, they said the issues that led to the work stoppage are still weighing on their minds.
“Whenever it’s asked who wants to stay in West Virginia, it’s common that most of us would like to stay in West Virginia if given the chance,” said Garrett Mccurdy, FSU School of Education student.
“I would say that yes it does weigh into the factor thinking about our future with pay and especially with benefits like with PEIA. It’s definitely a consideration but the majority of us would love to stay in West Virginia because it’s home,” McCurdy continued.
A home that is not a stranger to teacher walk-outs.
FSU Professor Sharon Smith said what’s happening now is different from the teacher protests she remembers from the 90s.
“It’s a little different, the context is different from now until then,” Smith said. “This has been building for some time with the teachers. PEIA is been a problem and I don’t think it’s going to get solved in a day but definitely I understand their position.”
For many teachers, that position is one that demands better benefits and more competitive pay.