CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is proposing pay  for state workers in a tight budget year. The governor unveiled the plan during his State of the State Address Wednesday night.

Tomblin wants to increase teacher and school service personnel pay by 2 percent and give all other state workers a $504 increase. It will be the first pay raise for the workers in two years.

While encouraged a proposed raise made it into what’s expected to be a difficult budget year, West Virginia Education Association President Dale Lee doesn’t want the discussion to stop at 2 percent.

“We have to come up with a long-term solution,” said Lee, who contends the state can attract qualified teachers with a multi-year pay raise proposal. “That will ensure that teachers want to come into the profession in West Virginia and stay in West Virginia, and it all revolves around the salaries.”

West Virginia American Federation of Teachers President Christine Campbell said it was good to hear the governor recognize the need.

“Given the fact that we have a really tight budget this year, it’s great that commitment is there,” Campbell said.

The teachers federation also supports including job-embedded professional development for teachers.

 

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Comments

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  • Teacher of Minds

    Some of the comments coming from people about teacher's salaries are incorrect. Salaries vary by counties because some counties supplement their teachers pay. In my county I make the state minimum, which is what will be increased. I make 40k a year, but I have two degrees and am working on a third and have six years of experience. Experience plays into pay as well. Im not saying I am not happy with the pay, but when I look at surrounding states, several of which the cost of living is about equal to WV, and see that teachers with the same qualifications as I have make 20k more a year than I do, I start to wonder why I am not worth that much? And for those of you like to bash teachers, all I can say is until you have walked in someone else's shoes, you should keep your mouths shut. The engineer guy, what ever his name, is a prime example. I'm not an engineer, but I have worked with them on many different jobs while I was obtaining my degrees, and they, from my experience, are just as un-professional as you claim teacher's to be. I will agree with one statement, I did know the pay scale going into my profession, but that does not mean I do not have the right to want to make it better? Or am I, since becoming a teacher, just expected to sit back, be happy with the load of work that I am required to do and not expect to get paid for it? Nothing is free in this world, and that goes for education as well!

  • Teacher

    I am a young teacher in WV. I am a teacher because I want to be a teacher, not because I couldn't do anything else as some of you have commented. As a matter of fact I teach chemistry and am fully certified to do so. I took the same college classes as pre-med or comprehensive chemistry majors PLUS all of the education classes. Also, I am currently working on my Master's degree in public school administration. Therefore, I would consider myself a professional regardless of what some of you may think. I don't complain about my pay because I knew what teachers made before I chose this profession. I didn't go into teaching for the money, I do it because it is my passion. Contrary to what many of you think, I didn't go into teaching for the summer break- FOR WHICH WE DO NOT GET PAID. However, that being said, unless you are in this profession you really don't understand the time that must be devoted to this job. While other "proffessionals" enjoy evenings and weekends with their families or participating in hobbies, teachers are home or in their classrooms working on lesson plans, grading papers, setting up labs, contacting parents, writing letters of recommendation, spending time on line looking for new ways to engage students, or taking extra classes to make them better teachers. Yes, the school day may only last 7 hours, but most of my work days are at least 10. It also doesn't help that we NO support from 80% of parents or the public in general. Oh, I forgot about all of the after school hours we spend working ball games, field trips, dances, prom, award ceremonies, and graduations for most of which we are not compensated. I do agree that there are some bad teachers who are in this job for the wrong reasons. But for every bad one there are many good ones that are making a difference in the lives of your children. So, until you have spent time in my shoes don't try to judge teachers or call them whinee or unproffessional. You really have no clue what your talking about. Thanks
    BTW - please don't make any cracks about my spelling or grammar. I was typing this on my cell phone - and remember I teach chemistry not English :)

  • Steve

    I am a teacher. I love all the wonderful coments from the Engineers, Doctors, and other professionals out there. All teachers have their reasons for doing what they do. You so called professionals choose your careers as I have chose mine. If you got your "degree", I guess somewhere along the way you were taught by a so called " WV Teacher " . I also bet that if you live in WV, your children are being taught by a WV teacher. I also bet that you don't have to worry about dealing with 50 percent of your students being from split parents or living with one parent, you don't deal with the chance of being sued because you offended the wrong person. We deal with the kids that are absent 3 out of 5 days a week because Doctors give excuses for no good reasons. Your job security depends on what you do, not what a class of 25 students from all sides of life do

    If you are an engineer, congratulations, and do your job, but don' t tell me as a teacher what I deserve until you walk in my shoes. Don't tell me that I don't put my time in. Come home with me when I work hours getting ready for school. Deal with parents that send kids to school that don't eat or sleep all weekend. Deal with families and kids who lose siblings, friends, or parents. Watch kids on drugs and you can't do anything about it. Watch parents who don't care about their kids.
    I am sure that you got trained in all these areas in your schooling. Don't judge me and tell me what I'm worth. You have no clue. As Jack Nicklson said "You can't handle the truth". Sure, some teachers may have went into education for one reason but I bet there are many times they wonder if that was the right choice. I think it is hilarious to listen to my friends who are not in education talk about how hard they have it.
    Money is not the answer but I bet you none of you would take a pay cut. I would also bet a lot of you chose your career because of the money. I guess you guys are so above teachers that you are ready to walk on water. Most teachers know what they are getting into as you did but don't judge until you do what we do.

  • ron "from morgantown"

    I have a Masters in Secondary Education and won't teach because if I can't have total control of my classroom I can't be effective . I want the ability to remove a disruptive student who poisons the classroom and denies well behaved students the opportunity to a quality education. I'm the dictator in my classroom and if you don't like that - too bad. We have too many unsympathetic principals who barricade themselves in their office until the bell rings to end the day and the "all clear" signal is given . Apathetic parents is another problem . They are in total denial that their "little bundle of joy " is nothing more than a malcontent . America has become fat and lazy and most can't distinguish between needs and wants . I'm not here to raise your children , thats your job. But if you have my back I can motivate and educate your "million dollar baby" to be a successful and responsible civic minded citizen . Because I am a well educated and highly qualified American teacher .

  • jlk40

    I am reading all the negative comments about teachers and all I can say is WOW! So many uneducated, misinformed, and just ridiculious statements made against teachers. One of those statements being that most people become teachers because they can't handle any other major. Talk about teaching your children a negative attitude towards teachers, again WOW! I fully support WV teachers and the hard work they do everyday. My children have been raised to respect their teachers (and all adults). Education has a high value in our household. Because my children have been taught these values they have had wonderful teachers and a great education. Judging from many of the comments, most people seem to forget that education starts at home. Teach your children to have respect and in turn your
    children will have caring teachers that will go above and beyond to help your children succeed. Unfortunately, as neighboring states offer better pay, WV will continue to lose wonderful teachers for better pay.

    • Leo

      Thank you, we need more parents like you.

  • Misty

    I just moved to this area in August. This is the most anti-education community/ state I've ever lived.

    Most parents here are not supportive of schools and teachers. It shows in the schools and test scores!
    Start to value your child's education!!!

  • peg

    I am sick of teachers crying about their pay. You know what the salary range before you go into the field. So, if you don't like the salary go into another profession. At 40,000.00 annual pay is almost 20.00 per hour. Teachers are day shift-Mon/Fri MINUS holidays, snow days, & the SUMMER OFF WORK. So if you take that 40K annual divide it by the 180 instructional days sounds like good pay to me. They would really cry if they only made 10$ or 12$ per hour. If you want higher pay go ahead move out of WV. We don't need your whining

    • Alice

      "If you want higher pay go ahead move out of WV."

      Teachers aren't staying in West Virginia, especially recent graduates. Schools in WV have a lot of difficulty filling vacant teaching positions. There's a lot of positions being filled by long term subs who aren't certified in the subjects they are teaching.

    • stophating

      You kind of do need every teacher---take a look at the number of vacant positions statewide....

    • Barry Bledsoe

      Peg, you hit the nail on the head. And, they don't have to wear bullet proof vests to school. What do troopers get paid nowadays?

  • G Biser

    Teachers, you call yourselves "professionals" because you have a degree or degrees. Yet you belong to a union and talk of strikes and being unappreciated and under paid. Well, I am sorry but you decided to be a teacher instead of an engineer or some other technical profession. Perhaps you had wonderful reasons for becoming a teacher. Perhaps you thought you improve the future by educating the children and setting a good example for them. So , go right ahead and do those things, but understand you are not a technical professional and you will never be paid as one. You knew what the pay was when you entered teaching, so live with it. I struggled and worked my tail off for 5 years to become an engineer. I spent decades in jobs that ruin your health due to stress and dangerous job environments. I have worked as much as 52 hours straight without going home to solve a particular problem that needed fixed to get my company back up and running. And yes, I made a HUGE SALARY for doing these things and I made the decision to put myself in those difficult jobs. You want more money, go do something else, or move somewhere else. Just stop asking to be treated like technical professionals because you are not. Just teach the kids the basics they need to know, that is all I asked of you as a parent. Enjoy your summers off, your two week Christmas break, your spring break and your Thanksgiving break, and oh yea, then you can retire on a full state pension at 55. I am 57 and will be working for at least another 10 years. I do not have a pension and have to invest for my own retirement. So stop the whining and do your job. You want to strike, please do. Then we can bring in private teaching corporations that actually know how to teach.

    • Michael

      G Biser you are cancer dude. When was the last time someone walked into your office and opened fire on you and a classroom full of kids. Why don't you take all of your self made intelligence and get the hell out of this state yourself.

      It's funny. I never see 100+ posts from teachers complaining how engineers or "technical" positions make way too much money. Oh, I know why, because they have no time to sit online and post stupind comments like you did. They are working on tomorrows schedule and geting ready or grading papers. Get out please!!

    • stophating

      Where do these mythical for profit teaching corporations exist at?

    • Leo

      Wow, G Biser, who is doing all the whining? You are, so if it is too much for you, why don't you get another job. Saying teachers are not professionals just proves you are an idiot, we have more degrees than you ever will. That is like saying a doctor isn't a professional either. Those teachers at Sandy Hook and Columbine for example can make the same claims you just did, spending decades in jobs that ruin your health through stress and a dangerous work environment. Except that they can claim that they also protect children and some give their lives to save them, can you say that? I think you need to quit tooting your own horn and thank the "teachers" who taught you so you could get that degree which made you able to be called professional, because you wouldn't have it without them!

      • griff

        you want to talk about danger & stress. Go to work in a doctor's office. I expect one day & you would be crying to get back to a school job

        • Leo

          Danger and stress? How many doctor's office shootings have there been? Perhaps you should think before you speak. I guess it is stressful making all those appointments!

  • Sam

    I have been sitting here reading some of the comments. It would appear to me according to what has been said the solution to all the problems in education would to get rid of the teachers and start with what? This is a complex problem. It may be partially due to poorly prepared teachers. Whose fault is that? It may because of poor funding for teacher salaries, supplies, infrastructure, etc...
    Whose fault is that? It may be due to poor discipline in the class room. Whose fault is that? We can go on and on at the variety of problems in education. Teachers are not where the finger needs to be pointed.

    Teachers are not excempt from blame. They have become apathetic due to all the finger pointing and being at the bottom of the food chain. Every problem that exist is controlled by someone higher up on the evolutionary chain. Fix that problem and teachers will once again do what is necessary.

    We have a state legislature and government that thinks they can micromanage education. We have a federal government that does the same. You can't manage something without knowing what the problems are to start with. There are no test scores or studies that go into the classroom and see what a teacher is expected to face on a daily basis.

    Next we have a bloated state board of education that makes policies and rules based on their personal jobs. Most of theses policies are to propagate their own existance rather than raising educational standards.

    Then there are the students, the not so inocent part of the equation. They have been told they do not have to excel or attend school to get a quality education. In our state attendance laws are virtually non existant. The teacher can issue grades based on students performance but can be and often is over riden by administrators and parents. This tells student we can do what we want with out consequenses.

    This is just the tip of the ice berg. Education is not a one size fits all industry. Counties, schools, and teachers in their individual classrooms has to have the flexibilty to do what is going to work best to make the improvements we all want. Good teachers are made mediocre by policy.

    Do teachers deserve higher wages? Certainly, that is not the question. The answer is they will get what they deserve when they take back their profession and show growth in education. Until that happens nothing will change.

  • State Employee

    First of all I agree teachers are not paid enough. But, a 2% raise is much better than a $504 bonus. The teacher raise is permanent, the DOH bonus sounds like a one time shot. Take your 2% and be happy!

    • wvangler

      The DOH is only a small portion of the number of state workers. There are other agencies out there than the DOH you know.

      • State Employee

        I'm aware of that, I'm only saying that because I am one.

  • Joe

    Good point angler

  • wvangler

    There are state workers who supervise people with pH.D.'s who are on WIC. The way professional public workers with vastly more education than education majors are set below teachers is shocking.

  • James

    "Tomblin wants to increase teacher and school service personnel pay by 2 percent and give all other state workers a $504 increase. It will be the first pay raise for the workers in two years."

    Why are the service personnel getting the 2%?. Unkown to most West Virginias, WV shcool serivice personnle have the highest average salary in the Southeast Region. See 2012 K-12 Comparative Education Report, Southern Legislative Conference p 30.

    WV has the highest averae salary for bus drivers os states reporting data.

    They have riden the union coat tails in obscuirty and have become one of the highest paid sectors in the school system regionally if not nationally.

    WV has one of the highest per student costs, highest percentage paid for teacher benefits, only state to give sick leave for full year not just for contracted months.

    Wv has 2nd lowest student teacher ration in region, i.e studens per teacher.

    Salary disparity is not as wide as we are lead to believe. See again page 30 of the above report.

    When cost of living is taken into account the disparity is less.

    Reviewing the report will shed a new light on the plight of the teaches and their demands.

    • wvu999

      Some school service personnel start at $18,000 a year.

      • Aaron

        Does that market bear a higher salary for the work that position provides?

  • frustrated

    Education in WV has become a big problem.
    There r some good teachers out there..but he bad out weighs the good. I have a child in school who is a senior this year..so far she has had 4 math teachers..not certified to teach math.. and don' even know where to start.... a not certified Spanish teacher and and English teacher who has been in and out most of the year for personal reasons..Now somebody tell me how u r supposed to be prepared for college in a situation like this. The students r learning nothing in our public schools..It is still the good ole boy policy!!