CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Teachers will receive a $837 pay raise next year if the House of Delegates approves the version of the teacher pay raise bill the Senate signed off on, with a 30-2 vote, on Wednesday at the State Capitol.

The bill, SB 391, was changed on the Senate floor to replace the two percent across-the-board pay raise Governor Earl Ray Tomblin had originally proposed for both teachers and school service personnel.

Supporters said the $837 amount would help new teachers more than a percentage increase.

“I am satisfied that in a very, very tough fiscal year, that education is important to both the governor and the Senate and now we’ll take it over to the House,” said Dale Lee, president of the West Virginia Education Association, of the Senate pay raise package.

As proposed, school service workers will still see the two percent across-the-board increase, while raises for other state employees will total around $500.

The Senate Education Committee had originally amended a $1,000 across-the-board pay raise for teachers into the bill, but the Senate Finance Committee later removed that amendment because of the cost.

“I agree totally with what has been done on this bill to get it revenue neutral,” said Sen. Robert Plymale (D-Wayne, 5), chairman of the Senate Education Committee, on Wednesday.

“I think that is exactly the way to do it from a responsible standpoint, but I also believe that this bill, in doing an across-the-board raise for teachers, does what we’re trying to do long term, (which) is raise the starting salaries for teachers up to the highest levels we can reach.”

The Senate bill includes a goal of increasing starting teacher salaries in West Virginia to $43,000 by 2019.  If this latest pay raise is approved, those salaries for first year teachers would be at $32,512 beginning on July 1.

The two “nay” votes in the Senate came from Sen. Mitch Carmichael (R-Jackson, 4) and Sen. Brooks McCabe (D-Kanawha, 17).

“As an old basketball coach, this is the second quarter,” said Lee of the WVEA’s continuing work on teacher pay.  “Now we go into the House and see if we can get it back up to the $1,000 and go from there.”

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  • Gary

    A raise for what. WV will still have the 45th ranked schools in the country. We have a big deficit and your lucky to have a job. In a couple of years all the extra money in the rainy day funds will be gone. These politicans won't make the hard decisions that need to be made. Tomlin and the state congress wait till the last minute about the budget. Whats wrong with a big tax on cigarettes and alcohol?

    • Steve

      A raise for taking care of many people's children. I think that if people took more responsiblilty for raising their children WV would rise in the school rankings. I do agree that an increased tax on cigarettes and alcohol would be good though.

  • hilljack

    Spot on Brian. If teachers can't read they don't deserve a raise.

  • ole sasquatch

    That's alright, but if I were to walk the halls of the Middle & High Schools and look in at the classes, what would be the % of on tasks students over a given period of time and do the teachers have any reasonable way of improving it?
    Answer - in 90% of the classrooms I seriously doubt it. Earning your money first requires you control your classroom. If the administration doesn't help you, take it to the board. Otherwise, you continue to fail us.

  • ryan

    Yay! 18 million for a whopping $15 a pay

  • Brian

    Many boots on the ground state workers deserve raises. Yet again, the teachers' union flexes its political muscle in an election year. Most teachers deserve it but they're not as important as clean water enforcement folks that work for the state. Another legislature whose perspective is questionable at best.

  • Joe

    Undertaking believable. The entire monies allocated should have gone only to non-teacher state workers and school facility support staff.

    • Bob

      Let me guess. Several of you were the ones that sat in back of the class making fun of those up front that answered questions, read the books, and took part in class. Now you listen to what the talkers on conservative radio and tv have to say.(Let me remind you that several of those talkers did not graduate from college!) Now you parrot back what you heard but lack the education to truly understand the complexity of issues facing us today. Please keep your kids home and teach them yourself. We would have easier days and the smart ones will always be in a position to tell you to go clean the toilet or get fired.

  • Hillbilly

    I have no problem with a teacher pay raise, but if this is an unfunded mandate, then its a big issue for me. Legislature needs to get the money from somewhere first.

    • Aaron

      I'm sorry, unfunded.

    • Aaron

      It is an unfounded mandate.

  • Aaron

    While I am not saying teachers do not deserve this raise, at $837 per teacher, the Senate as voted to add $18,665,000.00 additional dollars to our obligations. Given we have a $4 billion budget, that's only about half of 1% of our budget, which I agree is an insignificant amount for the most part.

    The problem is, that's added to the already $180 to $200 million dollar shortfall we are already talking about raiding our rainy day fund to cover, that insignificant amount suddenly becomes significant.

    Honestly, can they not grasp the financial situation tax payers suddenly face?

    • Big Bob-E much time as you spend on this web site I seriously doubt that you have a job. If so...your out-put production must be very low considering the amount of articles that you post to each day. Me thinks that you're an know...draw a check each month!!!!

      • Aaron

        Thanks for the concern Big Bob but I'm doing fine. Other than the personal comment, I'm curious, did you find fault with my numbers?

        • Big Bob-E

's what burns my butt. The State is sitting on nearly a billion dollars of tax payer money. Not their money...our money...and someday soon it will disappear in some black hole. Why not give some of it back to the people...even if in the form of a raise? Or as George W used to say..."it's the people's money...why not give it back to them and let them decide how to spend it?" Sorry for the personal attack...had a bad day!! Not a teacher...but many good friends are and they don't deserve the venom served up here on a daily basis.

          • Aaron

            No Bob, I agree with what you said regarding George W and the peoples money. Once the needed amount for a rainy day fund is met to ensure bond ratings, I agree the money should be spent wisely or returned to the tax payer.

            That's why I fought for use of the rainy day fund when State Route 35 was $45 million short of completing that project but instead of tapping that fund to complete the project, our leaders instead chose the disastrous toll road route that would have bogged down economic development in the area for years.

            At any rate, your statement was relevant. The other regarding GWB was not.

          • Big Bob-E

            "Stupid is as stupid does" I guess I'm the guilty party for bringing George W. into the conversation. You have a nice day Aaron!!!

          • Aaron

            For the record Big Bob, if any of my post contain venom, the above would be one of them as I truly despise ignorance.

            And to try to interject George W Bush into a conversation regarding teacher salary is about as ignorant as you can get.

          • Aaron

            George W. Bush Presidential Library
            2943 SMU Blvd, Dallas, TX 75205

            I couldn't find his home address and to be honest, didn't really want to look but if you send your inquiry to his Presidential library, I'm sure you will get a response.

            I'm curious though, are you also going to query Jay Rockefeller, Joe Biden, John Kerry, John Edwards, Hillary Clinton and the other 29 Senators who concurred with President Bush and sent troops into two wars?

            Or are you the typical Democratic apologists’ who falsely claims Democrats were lied to by Bush? I state falsely because Joe Biden among others has confirmed many times that the Legislative Branch had access to the EXACT same intelligence information the Executive Branch did and still voted to send in troops.

            I do wonder though, how in the name of Jimmy Carter’s little liver pills is former President George W. Bush now responsible for low teacher salaries in West Virginia?

            You people.

          • Jason412

            Was George W saying that in between wasting trillions of dollars on 2 wars or giving his billions in tax cuts to the wealthy?

          • Aaron

            My comments contained no venom Bob. I'm simply stating facts. I don't begrudge anyone a deserved raise but our state Is facing budget shortfall of $180-$200 billion dollars and this adds to it.

            I'm sorry but we cannot afford it this year. Teachers will have to settle for their years of service raise that's built into their contracts. That's my position based on our current fiscal conditions but we know that's not going to happen.

        • Joe

          Aaron....sorry for my rant above directed at Bob.

          He was the one doing the personal attacks.

          Oh well....need to go find my mirror.

          • Aaron

            I appreciate the kind words.

          • Big Bob-E

            Read the post...notice all nice things being said about the teaching profession. And you did take my came to Aaron's defense with your claws out. I picked Aaron because he does post a lot. Nice talking to you Joe.

      • Joe

        Hey Bob....Aaron is a long time regular on this site, along with Cap Q, GregG, HopsHip, Brian, Hillbilly, Bookman and quite a number of others. While we all embrace debate and disagree on as many points as we agree on, we sure as hell respect everyone's right to make their argument. Here, not only are contrasting points of view expected, they are welcome

        • Big Bob-E

          Thanks for taking my bait what your saying is that it's perfectly alright for those who post on here to insult and bash an entire profession...but if somebody happens to not be so nice to an individual long time poster...then it's not so right??? And you guys debate daily as to what's wrong with this world...let me give you some advice...look in a mirror!!!

          • Joe

            I fell for your bait?! got me....what can I say?!

            You are too sly and cunning for me.

            I fall on the mercy of your justice.

          • Aaron

            How did I bash an entire profession? Or were you referring to legislatures? Because I'll concede to bashing them.

  • JTF

    Maybe the two who voted against it want a better/higher pay raise for teachers and were upset because this bill wasa cut to the $1000 pay raise?

  • CollegeEducated

    This is for J. You are a classic example why teachers in West Virginia do not deserve a raise. Can you read? The article above mentioned who voted against the bill.

  • J

    Who were the 2 who voted against it? We as teachers should know so they can never be voted for again!

    • Brian

      As a teacher you should know to read the entire article rather than only read the summaries or cliff notes. And we're giving you a raise why?

    • Charleston

      Maybe if you read a little further down you might have found your answer.

  • Myron

    This is wonderful governance by our senate. They recognize the respect and compensation teachers deserve as WV's hardest working employees.

    I now fully expect and, frankly, demand that the house actually increase the teacher raise amount to the 1-3 thousand dollar range.

    • Big Bob-E

      Myron the "Troll" strikes again!!!

    • joeyjojo

      "WV's hardest working employees."


  • janice

    35 degrees and sunny out. Where are the teachers today?


    • Bob

      Actually, I was still required to show for a full day of work while the students stayed home. Try and get your fact straight please!!!

      • Beth

        In my WV county, staff has reported on snow days too!

    • Moosemom

      With the new school calendar bill passed last year, EVERY missed day will be made up next year!

  • wvu86

    Whenever I receive a raise, I do so based on recent accomplishments and the expectation that I will continue to raise my level of output. What is the language in this bill that says teachers' expectations and benchmarks are being raised as well? Surely the legislators are just not handing over money for nothing.

    • the truth

      Do you know that Tomblin has specifically forbidden regular state employees any raises based on merit? Tomblin and Manchin have run state agencies in the ground by treating staff like serfs. You are now getting what you pay, staff that only stays long enough to get experience and leave.

      • desperate

        the truth speaks the truth!

      • Bob

        Right on truth!

    • Bob

      You have absolutely no idea what a difficult job teaching is. I work my ass off and unfortunately have little progress from my students. I teach Special Education, and want nothing more than to produce adults that can provide for themselves. I work weekends and evenings producing lessons, and spend my own money on supplies. I worked for 5 years in a low income urban district. I saw parents smoking crack on the road. Teachers will never change what happens when those babies go home. The only meals some of them received were from school. I fight politics constantly with the ignorance of people like you saying we should teach to the test. I am evaluated 6 times a year. It is so unfortunate to read so many posts against 21.00 a week for a college educated person.

      • WVU86

        I admire any and all who work with the less fortunate in our society, so thank you for being a Special Ed teacher. That aside, I can't help but note that the state is mandated by its constitution to have a balanced budget, and at present, the state is facing a huge deficit. Rather than buckle down, teacher union heads continue their gnashing of teeth and cries of "more money!" without a single concession on how it can be part of the budget solution, not a part of the budget problem. And Amen! to the truth. All the while teachers continue to get concessions in forms of modest pay raises, state workers are going on about 8-10 years worth of no merit pay raises. Why should teachers continue to get raises on top of their built-in annual raises while state employees continue to get zilch? Any state employee pay raise from the legislature in the last 8 years has only been enough to cover increase in insurance premiums. How many teachers are on public assistance? If any, I guarantee it is a whole lot less than the number of state employees who are eligible - and on - public assistance. This is my beef with teacher pay raises. The unions continue to be combatitive and unwilling to accept hard budget truths that state employees and private sector taxpayers are accepting.

        • Bob

          I would never disagree to any hard working individual getting a raise. In eleven years of teaching I have gone from making $32,000 to $36,000. I also went from paying $100.00 a month to $800.00 in insurance. I will never be allowed the opportunity to work over-time, and struggle every month to pay my bills. I also pay a good amount to my student loans every month. Yes, it was my choice to go to college. I honestly believed I would not have to struggle with an education. Why is it necessary to punish teachers because of our deficit. We are in this position because people refuse to work or there is limited opportunity for work.

          • WVU86

            Bob - this debate is not about who is most deserving. It is about fiscal responsibility. You and every other teacher union mouthpiece refuse to answer the question, "where is the money to come from to pay for the raises?" The money is not there, this is common knowledge and a given. Thus, teachers must accept the fact they should not expect another raise on top of the built-in ones they already have. I am not criticizing your profession, I am criticizing the plea from teachers that they deserve a raise even though the state is facing a huge deficit and they talks as if they deserve it before any other public employee.

          • WVU86

            A rather interesting question you ask Bob, "Why is it necessary to punish teachers because of our deficit?" So, are you saying, "punish" all other state workers - and taxpayers - except teachers? If so, I cannot accept that. I must bluntly say again: teachers must suck it up like all other public employees. If and when money is available for pay raises, then the discussions should be wide open. One could argue State Police have an even better arguement than teachers for pay raises. But until then .... tighten your belt like the rest of us.

  • hilljack

    I hope the house says no.

    • AJ

      dream on teanut.