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.


Sen. Bob Plymale

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.


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  • Gary

    The educational system in this state is a mess. Their 11th in spending and the states rank 45th. Because of the weather the students won't get in the full year. I bet the teachers get their whole salary. Next year a lot these same students will be behind because of this. Fifty years ago I went to school in Virginia . They had 5 days built in for snow days. If we didn't use them we got out early and if we had any more we had to make them up. We were required to have 180 days. I remember one year going to school on Saturdays and not getting out till the middle of June .I don't believe that teachers in the 45th rated schools in the country deserve a raise. I think they get enough for 9 months work. I also believe that improvement starts at the top and that Mrs Manchin and the rest of board should resign or replaced . Spending 11th and being 45 is a disgrace to the students and the taxpayers of this state. Bring in new blood with new ideas to head the state educational system. Being near the bottom doesn't deserve a raise.

    • Mac

      So, fifty years ago you went to school in Virginia where you were guaranteed 180 days of school-even if you didn't get out until the middle of June. Wow! And with that type of education - how in God's name did you end up working in WV, you know, the state that "is a mess!" I'm sure in your mind you think that teachers "get enough for 9 months work" - - but I will remind you that most teachers only get paid 12 months thru the years, because their salary is pro-rated at a lesser level each month so that they have income during the off-teaching summer months. And I'm sure some of them even find summer jobs to help supplement their income. THE REAL REASON this state ranks "45th" - as you say - is because too many of these children come from disadvantaged homes, where education is not a priority. And that's where those parents say: "I'm paying taxes for my kids to be educated. That' s why I'm not helping them by reading to them or working simple math with them at an early age." That irresponsible thinking lends toward comments like: "that's why I pay taxes." With that type of closed-minded thinking, very few children, if any, can learn in that environment. The figure YOU should learn about is this: Every day in the U.S.A., 7,000 - yes, seven thousand - teenaged students drop out of school. Every day! They quit! They have no desire to learn anything so as to be part of a working society. Until we as a country can turn that around, we are most assuredly going to lose in the long run. Quit blaming the teachers and the system, let's start looking at ourselves as adults and parents and ask: What can I do to help? So Gary, I say to you: be part of the solution, please, not part of the problem! Thank You!

      • Leo

        Amen! Thank you Mac! Finally someone who can see the real problem.

  • Teacher

    With the annual discussion of salaries, I now understand the frustration many posters clearly feel when they arrive at the conclusion that they failed to take advantage of the education offered to them years ago. Targeting teachers for their salaries is like blaming doctors for your own poor health habits. I always feel I am too busy trying to do my own job to be concerned with the salary anyone is drawing.

    Regretfully, we are the sum total of our choices--good or bad. I hope the frustration, hopelessness, and poor choices made by a few posters is not passed on to their children.

    • Wowbagger


      If teachers were considered state employees as that is where their salaries are determined and therefore not allowed to run for office and furthermire didn't have union representatives working the legislature during the session they would get the same treatment as state workers,

      BTW The last time I checked Mr Plymale is a higher educato

    • Joolio

      Ummm maybe for some posters. I'm a college educated state worker as well as my wife and the beef most of us have is that teachers get much more offered to them than other state workers. Annual salary increases, a better retirement pension that is the most indebted of all state retirement pensions, fewer hours worked in the course of the year, snow days out the whazoo that they do not have to make up, and pay less for health insurance than the rest of us. Teachers resist any change to the education system might improve outcomes. Let me tell my boss that I'm not going to do something to improve the outcomes of my work and I'll be sent home, you on the other hand are coddled by the legislature and get a raise. State workers have not had a raise in 3 years. Live with that then tell me I don't have a beef when your crowd makes out like like a bandit with the special treatment you get every legislative session. When you don't get what you demand, you threaten to go on strike, all the while claiming it's for the children. Bull... it's to line your own pockets.

      • Teacher

        With all due respect I will not comment on your job performance duties because I do not have the knowledge, experience, or expertise you possess. Please extend the same courtesy to other fields.

        If you feel you have something to offer the children and young adults of this state, by all means, avail yourself to a local board of education. Effective classroom teachers are difficult to place and, moreover, to retain.

        As is common on this site many statements are made by "armchair educators" who have nothing to offer but innuendo or baseless rhetoric. They target educators who offered opportunities for learning years ago and now lash out at those same educators because they have discovered as adults, to their own chagrin, they should have bought into what was being offered. Their frustration is clear and understandable but outside the scope of my sympathies.

        Respectfully, sir, you are wrong.

        • WV Worker

          Teacher, come sit in a DHHR office, DMV, Hospital, Workforce and watch the youth of today filled out a application. MOST OF THE CAN'T BECAUSE THEY CAN'T READ OR WRITE. Why don't you come and work a week with us and see your handy work.

  • Gary

    Education in this state is really messed up. The state is 11th in spending but the schools are rated 45th. One thing that should of been done was if you miss school days you make them up. I grew up in Virginia and they built 5 days into the calendar . If you didn't use them you got out early, If you went over the 5 days you had to make them up. I remember one year going on Saturdays and into the middle of June. We had to have 180 days. The kids are going to be really messed up because as I understand it they aren't going to have to make up most of these days. The kids won't have the skills they need to go to the next grade. I bet the teachers will get their whole check even though they didn't teach the whole year. The ones that lose out as usual are the kids. There is something very wrong here and it starts at the top. Mrs Manchin and maybe the rest of the board need to replaced with some people with new ideas . Spending 11th and being 45th is a waste of the taxpayers money and is a disgrace. I'm not sure they deserved a raise.

  • Luke

    I do not know how things are in other counties. But in Pocahontas County our teachers hand out the work for students and send them home with no text books. Then want the parents to teach their kids at home. To me I do not see where it is beneficial to be giving them a big raise of $11,000 over 5 years. They need to come around and see what goes on in the school systems. Teachers here like to bully the kids and threaten to send kids off to a juvenile center instead of teaching our children. The staff in the school systems are very rude and disrespectful. Now do they deserve to get a raise like this. Next why is teachers so much better than other state employees. The only time other employees get a raise is when insurance premiums go up. So the state is talking about giving other state employees $500. Let me guess the insurance will increase $500 and up on state employees. Just letting people know how it works.

  • Jason412

    When teachers on here are always saying "We do this, that, and the third, who else does that? We deserve a raise" They should include "but we get a $1,000+ raise every year, who else gets that?"

    According to Teacher the starting salary, currently, for a WV teacher is 32k. This proposes it be raised to 43k in the next 5 years. When that happens will teachers who started at 32k and haven't put in the 11 years to make it to 43k automatically be bumped up to 43k? Or more?

    Seems like an excellent way to reward failure.

    • Aaron

      What teachers also fail to mention is the number of hours worked. The standard work year is 2080 (52 weeks X 40 hours).

      Teachers work 200 days a year, which is the maximum allowable under their calendar. They will tell you that they work 12 or more hours a day but independent, unbiased studies pegs the hours worked by the average teacher as 8.15 meaning teachers work about 1630.

      That makes the beginning average hourly rate 19.63 per hour. That is comparable for entry level pay for professionals with a 4 year BA degree.

      • Jason412

        Under Mr. Plymale's bill that $19.63 quickly turns into $26.38, in a mere 5 years. That 43k would also put WV in the top 5 in the nation of starting teacher salaries.

        Let's hope we find a bunch of magical rainbows with pots of gold at the end to support that kind of drastic increase.

        As I previously mentioned, what's more concerning to me is how much will we the teacher who started at 32k and has put in 6 years to make it to 38k? I can't imagine that they would leave the teacher with 6 years of experience at 38k while new hires are being paid 43k.

        • Jason412

          Just heard Dale Lee on Talkline answer my question. Every teacher will be getting a massive raise putting them over 43k by 2019.

          Absurd. What a reward for being consistently at the bottom in academic performance.

  • Aaron

    If there must be a pay raise then I would rather see a one time across the board raise than a percentage raise as it is fairer to younger teachers. As such, neither union will support it.

  • Joe

    Here is the core problem with WV public education....

    Attempt to construct an organizational chart for a public teacher that specifically shows the lines of accountability, reporting and staff. Hint - it does not exist, as in 15 years of asking I have never been provided one or have ever had it explained by either teachers or administrators.


    • WVU MA82

      Hey Joe and JulianJet:

      Sorry this is so long, but, you did ask.

      You have proposed several ideas which may or may not produce the same result. First, the organizational chart for which you have been asking 15 years is: State Citizens, State Electorate, Governor, State BOE, County Population, County Electorate, County BOE, Superintendent, Assistant/Associate Superintendents, Curriculum Specialists/Supervisors of Instruction, Principals, Assistant Principals/Academic Dean, Classroom Teachers, Special Education Para Professionals, Students, PTSA, Parents/Guardians, Union, Professional Organization, or both, and Students. As in most organization charts, the lower levels are accountable to the higher levels. While accountability cannot be explained in Education Industry the same as in Nuts and Bolts Industry, the principle remains basic--for example, when a new bumper comes off of the assembly line, and it is not according to proper and correct specifications, something has happened to render the bumper below standard. There are many explanations and many personnel to ask the question, "why is this bumper in the shape it is in"? With education, when a student cannot pass basic tests or perform grade level functions, the question remains the same, "why is this student in the shape he/she is in"? Just as in the case of the bumper, where would you like to begin to track down the level or levels using the organization chart? As you can see, the chart does very little to help explain accountability. Regarding reporting and staff, those are traditional--students receive many report cards, parents receive those report cards, and the higher levels must constantly check the report cards. Point of Interest--As in the case of the bumper, if no one checks the report of the bumper, then, we may end up with a substandard bumper.

      Second, nowhere is a teacher requesting a pay raise to produce substandard students. The teacher is a trained professional who should always know how to produce, and, when the teacher cannot produce, the principal is the person who is directly responsible for helping the teacher become better or become a member of another profession. They simply do not know how or they do not want to do their jobs.

      Third, to imply that a "precedent is set" seems so shortsighted on Julian's part. With the many options available to the Legislature, why would you assume and report the solution chosen by one legislator would first, be accepted by the whole, and second, become the precedent for the next time a pay raise is needed? However, your suggestion to cut areas is a good suggestion, but, it is so superficial and ear bending. Why don't you offer suggestions that would amount to the dollar figure of: the number of people who receive an annual state increase times the amount they receive? Do you know those two pieces of basic information?

      Lastly, as a teacher of 38 years, there are always solutions to problems--we must all begin to think more and talk less. I have much much more to say, but, will allow time for reply.

      I appreciate the conversation.

  • JulianJet

    The state cannot balance its budget without dipping into rainy day fund . Yet, the gov and legislature propose a discretionary spending increase in form of teacher pay raises. I have no problem with the raise as long as other things are cut in order to balance budget without dipping into the rainy day fund. Once precedent is set by using the fund, it will not be long before fund is depleted. Then what?

  • Whatamoroon

    I have a way to give the teachers a big raise while also doing what is best for the students. Get rid of the 55 county Boards of Education and move to 25 or 30 school districts. That leaves more funding to spend on teachers and makes consolidation easier when two small schools are close but in separate counties. This makes nothing but good sense so it probably will not happen.

    • Aaron

      I like that idea but I say cut more. I think the school districts should be based on the RESA model, which has 8 districts spread throughout the state.

      • Joe

        Agreed, Aaron.

  • Bull

    Why should uneducated school service personnel get a bigger increase than educated state workers? I would love to strike and let these legislators provide our citizens some of our essential services. Could you imagine the welfare office closed for a month? A state of emergency would need be called.

    • TJ

      Not all service personnel are UNEDUCATED, if it was not for the service personnel trying to keep the heat, electrical, plumbing and everything else going in schools, they would be in worse shape then now. Also this includes your cooks and bus drivers trying to feed the kids and get them to school. Service Personnel keeps getting jobs taking away but more work on them. Also your maintenance dept are required to get out and work even when no school to keep the bldgs up and going. While on this lets look at your State employees, everyone is needing now the DOT Truck Drivers, if you all realized what they made you would for sure give them a raise. State jobs need to be looked at in a new way and not worry so much about the teachers all of the time.

    • James

      Considering the school service personnel are the highest paid in the southeast region according to the education report by the council of southern legislatures, why are they getting pay raise at all when other workers are not.

  • steve

    This is one of the reasons we need to get these Democrats out of leadership....they have killed the State........................

  • wvroads

    The complete turnover in many state positions is exactly what the administration wants. They are just carrying out something started by Manchin & Joe Smith. If you leave, you are not vested in the pension plan, or you are minimally invested. This will create a "bubble" in the out years where they do not have to pay much out in pensions. They are doing this very intentionally. They are saving hundreds of millions of dollars in future years by having far fewer pensions to fund. Public workers you are paying for the sins of the past legislators and administrations! As long as you keep taking it.... they will keep giving it. Standup!

    • Jerry Williams

      Why are teachers getting this kind of pay raise and all other state workers getting a 500 dollar pay raise. The teachers are already being paid more than they should when you consider the hours they work. They do no have to work on snow days and get every holiday off and the summer off to. If they were paid by the hour they would be eligible for welfare because they don't have to work that much. I think they are paid enough start paying the state workers who do not get all of this time off and have to come to work no mater how bad the weather is and do not get the summer off.

    • The truth

      So true.

  • The truth

    A 24 cent on the hour raise for you college educated state employees and a dollar an hour raise for your high school drop out McDonalds workers. That is why you have complete turnover in many state positions every three years.

  • WV Worker

    Mr. Plymale, why just give 2% to Service Personnel. They are the ones who clean the schools, drive the kids to school, cook meals, are they not just an important as teachers. The $500.for state workers come to about $20.00 dollars a half. PEIA is going to be more than that. That is $500.00 divide by 12 divide by 2. $500.00 by 12 =$41.67 by 2=$20.84 GREAT RAISE ISN'T IT. The increment pay for state workers is $60.00 x years worked. So if you work 10 years you get a big amount of $600.00 compared to $6,000.00 for teachers. Does anyone see why the state workers SCREAM every time Teachers get a raise. My Plymale how much will this help you or your family member or your next election? If you can find that kind of money for teachers find it for the service personnel and state workers. I sure could use that $1,000.00

    • The truth

      Earl Ray, has shown no interest but beating on regular state employees to garner votes.

  • Independent View

    Sure, let's throw more money at a failing system and while we're at it, let's continue to not build in any accountability.
    I trust that teachers and their unions will remember Sen Plymale tomorrow on Valentine's Day, because he's sure concocting a sweatheart deal for them!
    But with this $1,000 teachers' raise, Johnny will now be able to read!

    • Leo

      Let's hold little Johnny accountable and tell him he won't be joining his friends next year and see what happens. Perhaps his so called parents will check on him through the night to see how late he stays up to play those ever so Important video games online, which would explain why he falls asleep during class.