CHARLESTON, W.Va. — There’s a different teacher pay raise bill moving through the state legislature.
The state Senate Education Committee passed a bill Thursday that would provide a $1,000 across-the-board raise for teachers along with a 2 percent pay increase for service personnel. The new-look bill was inserted into Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s bill that he announced during the State of the State Address. It would raise salaries for education employees by 2 percent while all others state workers would get $500 more.
Education Committee Chairman Bob Plymale said the replacement proposal would help young, generally lower paid, teachers more than the governor’s plan.
“Across the board reaches the new teacher faster than a percentage,” Plymale said. “If you do a percentage it only widens the gap. What I thought we should be focusing on is getting the starting salaries of our teachers up.”
The bill is supported by the West Virginia Education Association.
Plymale said his plan would cost more than the governor’s plan.
The bill would put the $1,000 raise in the annual increment pay increases that teachers receive. Each teacher currently gets a pay increase for each year they teach up to 35 years.
The bill also includes a statement of intent calling for the starting salaries of teachers to be at $43,000 by 2019.
Plymale said border counties currently cannot keep pace with starting salaries for teachers in neighboring states.
“The only area that showed anything close to our average salary is Wood County,” he said.
The Senate Finance Committee will be the next stop for the legislation.