They are in charge of molding the minds of your children, but West Virginia teachers are in a fight over salary.
Officials in West Virginia say a teacher shortage in the state is causing the salary issue to be back in the spotlight. This will be one of the critical issues facing state lawmakers when the 2018 legislative session begins Wednesday at noon.
Right now West Virginia has 725 vacant teaching positions that need to be filled. Educators say one reason there are so many openings, is because West Virginia has the lowest starting salaries compared to it’s five bordering states, “We aren’t bringing in new teachers. We have people graduating from higher ed institutions, with an education degree but they are not staying here,” said W.Va. American Federation of Teachers, Christine Campbell.
Delegate Robert Thompson, Democrat from Wayne County, said, “You know we are not only seeing stagnant wages for a teacher, we are also seeing a decrease in benefits through insurance and other things as well.”
Last year Governor Justice proposed a two percent pay raise for teachers, but it was not approved by the legislature and the last time West Virginia teachers and other school employees had an across-the-board pay hike was 2012.