CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Senate bill aimed at giving teachers a modest raise took a significant turn Monday when the House Education Committee proposed a far steeper pay hike.

The Senate bill included only an $837 across-the-board raise for teachers, but the House committee changed that to a three-year package totaling $6,000. The first year would see teachers earning an additional $1,000, the second year $2,000 and the third year $3,000.

The committee also increased service personnel salaries by $100 a month for three years. That would total $1,000 annually for 10-month employees and $1,200 a year for 12-month workers.


Del. David Walker, (D-Clay), introduced a steep teacher pay raise amendment that was passed by the House Education Committee Monday.

The amendment was introduced by Del. David Walker (D-Clay).

Education Committee Chair Mary Poling (D-Barbour), who voted against the changes to the Senate bill, urged committee members to consider the state’s current financial condition.

“Consider whether it is truly fiscally responsible to look at our budget projections for next year and the following year and support this motion, when in two years we won’t have the money to pay for it without tax increases,” Poling said.

Yet the committee went against the chairwoman and approved the significant increases, which a preliminary review found could cost $260 million.

West Virginia Education Association President Dale Lee said he appreciated the support for teachers but was concerned about not having a funding source for such a raise. The move left him concerned about the prospects of the bill passing in the last week of the legislative session.

“It’s too important in this year to let the pay raise die completely,” Lee said.

The bill now heads to the House Finance Committee, which could change the bill back to the Senate version.

Lee said more discussion is needed, “where you have all parties involved (coming) up with something that has a chance not only to pass the House but be accepted in the Senate. And I’m not sure what that is right now.

“If (House members) are willing to provide a revenue source, I think this is a great thing. But to be fiscally responsible you have to have a revenue source to go with that.”

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  • The bookman

    Develop a funding source and then propose your raise. I can't get over all the spending in an environment where there exists a deficit. Throw in the Future Fund proposal moving forward, taking revenue from a growth industry off the table, and I just don't understand the lack of fiscal responsibility running wild in Charleston this session.

  • jm

    I would like to believe that this was a completely calculated way to keep from giving the raises in a politically charged election year. There is enough of a voice out there that opposes raises that are not equal for all state employees. After all, teachers have had yearly pay increases while other state employees have been left at the side of the road.

    • Jason4wvu

      Do you realized teachers only receive an increase of only $500/year? That not even enough to keep up with cost of living increases. WV currently ranked 49th in pay. I think we can do much better.

      • Joe

        Jason, do you realize that most if not all of the remainder of state employees DO NOT receive a yearly raise?

    • ViennaGuy

      It makes you wonder, doesn't it!

  • Guardian

    Due to the dire financial outlook and budget forecasts for the next two fiscal years, I think any raise for any state employee is ill advised and nothing but election year politics.

    We did not send our delegates and senators to Charleston to get re-elected - we sent them there to look out for our interests and spend our money like they would their own money. We all know that if you don't have the money in the bank, there are lots of things we don't go out and purchase.

    I will say this - if I were to give any group of state employees a raise this year, then it would be the DOH employees driving trucks and doing pothole maintenance. The new gas drilling industry has hired away most of our operators to the point that the state now has equipment sitting idle due to not having operators. The only way to keep operators and have any chance at all of maintaining our roads is to pay these folks at a level that we cut down on attrition.

  • Low Rider

    Even the president of the WVEA believes this is an irresponsible proposal!

    Why is it every time a reckless fiscal bill is proposed you see a smiling Democrat as the author? To raise wages to that level you will have to raise taxes to pay for it. Where else do you propose the $260 million to fund the bill will come from?

    The Democrats in the WV legislature are circling the each election gets them a little closer to being the minority party. Their days of spending the people's money is almost over.

    • Lightning


  • The Answer

    This amendment my have caused the teachers to lose the meager 800 bucks they were getting.
    Sorry about your luck. As the old saying goes "be careful what u wish for".

    • Wirerowe

      When the chair and Dale Lee have their reservations it is very revealing. Bad move and might screw up what is already on the table. We are in essence having to go into the rainy day fund for the meager raise and the committe voted for more. Won't happen .Everybody is doing crazy things thinking this might be the last democratic house for about two years.

  • Unreal

    Maybe we could afford this if the state would quit wasting money. Do we need a superintendent and assistant superintendent in every county? How much does that cost us? They make way more than teachers and the teachers do the work. The state also pays way to much for supply's because they only buy from approved vendors. When the wastefulness stops , then maybe things will get better. The vendors set whatever price they want and the state pays. You can agree or disagree with this, but I know it to be true.

  • Hope


  • grey4449

    I thank the 837.00 raise is right only because of the state's financial state. Teachers deserve whatever they get. The teachers that take their time to chaperon at the mult. dances the kids have. They do it without any pay. The teachers also take their time for no pay to run ticket booths for football, basketball games etc. How about the teachers who help the studenst during lunch or after school. Their are several teachers who purchase clothes for needy kids and no one even knows who they are. The list goes on and on. Parents want better grades than start helping your kids with homework. Then take the time to come to parent teacher meetings.

    • Hold it

      Teachers are already underworked and overpaid. Union greed just cost them their raise, and I'm happy about it.

      • TEACH

        Ok Mr. or Mrs. Hold It. I have tried to be quite but that does it. If you think teachers have it made roll up your smart pants and give it a try. I guarantee your eyes will be opened. Overworked and under paid is more like it. Do you want to fill a teachers shoe? If you do I have some for you. Working with kids is not easy but rewarding. When you have kids that come to school hungry, dirt and cry because of their home life is terrible and you take that home with you everyday. Let's talk about pay. Most of the time your hands are tied and you can't do anything to change the situation. You have to make the time you have special. I could go on but want to quit and work on my school work for next week so I will be prepared for their arrival. God bless the state of WV and the USA.

      • labrat

        Why don't you sub one day, you will feel differently!!

        • Lightning

          Why don't I enjoy some frequent snow days, sick days, summer vacation, Spring break, Chistmas break, Thanksgiving break, WV Day off, Etc, etc, etc.

          • Teufel

            you must work in the private sector as do I .

        • Hold it

          Teachers know what they are going to make before going into the field, then complain because it doesn't pay enough. Stop choosing education as a field...of course it's easy, but that's why it pays next to nothing!!!

          • Sandra

            Teachers do know what they will be paid before they go into the teaching field so why are they complaining now. A teaching degree is easier than a degree in science or business that is why teachers get paid less. I know people who are getting a bachelors in education and their exams are open book! Really? While I have to study my brains out for a BS in Chemistry.

          • Hold it

            Well Susan aren't you just deserving of a pay on the back for taking a stand! Haha

          • susanf1218

            It's easy?? Are you delusional? And just who would educate the next generation if no one decided to be a teacher?? But maybe you don't think education is important. And no, I am not a teacher - not married to one either. But I do appreciate the work that teachers do and I know that it is not easy. I also happen to value education.

  • TR

    Yet the lowest paid correctional officers in the country's first raise in about five years is going to be 500 dollars a year. That's 41 dollars a pay check before taxes. Don't get me wrong I am not anti teacher but c'mon let's split it. 14 years same facility two promotions and I take home 906 dollars twice a month.

    • Gina

      Everyone needs a raise! I have been teaching 27 years in WV. I'm 2 classes away from my Masters and I bring home $1245 a month. I could go 15 minutes from my house and teach and make $14,000 more a year. But I am committed to the students of WV and my family is here (maybe I should be committed to an institution for such a decision). My fiance' is a CO in MD. He makes about $25,000 more a year than I do. It's all in choices. My daughter will graduate from college next year with a degree in Secondary math Education. What do you think her choice will be? I can tell you. Her choice is to NOT teach in WV. That is the same choice I find in our schools. If they do teach here, it's for a year maybe two until something "better" comes along and it's not long until it does. The only ones who stay are the ones who have ties to this area and are committed to our students or those who cannot for one reason or another get a job elsewhere. (hint hint). So what is the answer? The money is there. Cut the top heaviness in the WV Government and I think they will find a surplus of money. Cut the people milking the system and I think they will find enough money to give everyone a well deserved raise.

      • TR

        Was that hint for me

        • Gina

          Oh no darling. That was my way nice teacher way of saying the bad teachers stay if they have nothing else tying them to this area. I'm teaching at the same school I went to. I've moved schools in the same county in my 27 years by my choice (different positions) and both are schools that I attended. I love these schools. I'm invested in these schools I just wish others were. And that is definitely not the case. I'm obviously not here for the money, but the money would come in handy with a daughter in college. :)

          • Aaron

            I understand what you are saying but as a state, we have to look at the cost of such a raise. With ~20,300 teachers, this proposal when fully implemented would had $120 million to our educational budget.

            Given that we as a state spend 46.6 cents out of every tax dollar on post and secondary education and another 10.8 cents on higher education for a total of 57.4 cents of every tax dollar on education, can taxpayers be ask to spend more?

            While I agree teachers deserve more money, I think doing so without massive changes to either reallocate cost or find funding to cover the cost is irresponsible at best. For some reason that doesn’t seem to be an option as we get comments like “of course we can afford it, just do it” with no explanation of how we can afford it.

            The recent audit recommends changes, most notably, elimination of our top heave administrative system but it has not been acted on. I’ve ask numerous times in various forums why we need 55 County BOE's but no one has even attempted to explain it. If we eliminated those boards and reduced the governing bodies to 8 in charge somewhere between 95-100 schools each, we could save millions.

            Yet our legislatures continue fiddling while Rome is burning all around us.

          • Gina

            Aaron I have taught summer school when it was offered in our county. I have taught at a day care during the summer. I didn't say the classes were mandatory. I said they may or may not be optional. We may get a stipend if they are paid. This ends up being a "taxable $50" for the day or it counts as staff development. Considering we only need 18 hours on staff development a year and some things in county we just absolutely cannot miss due to missing out on something important most of those hours are just hours put in. I'm not complaining. When I worked during the summer, I worked for the schools and worked it around my schedule. I'm too old now to do that. It's just not worth the bother. Most people don't want to mess with the hassle to hiring a teacher for a month and 1/2 only for them to have to take off two weeks for training in that time period. And the options are not available in the schools anymore with the GSYEP. There is Energy Express in our county but those jobs have been taken and are not going to be given up anytime soon. And even they don't like giving time off for training. Tutoring would be very limited in this area. I do tutor some during the school year but not many parents are willing to pay for it because not many students are willing to do math during their summer. :) I appreciate what you are saying as well. I'm ok. I made choices. What concerns me is WV especially here in the Eastern Panhandle (or the Potomac Highlands is where they put our county), with the low low salaries. We cannot keep quality math teachers. And our test scores show it. Our students think no one cares, and it breaks my heart. We are hiring 3-4 new math teachers a year at our high school. This year I think we may have hired 7. We are like a revolving door. No consistency. And why should the good ones stay? It breaks my heart for our students. They think they are not important enough.

      • Aaron

        "I have been teaching 27 years in WV. I'm 2 classes away from my Masters and I bring home $1245 a month."

        I don't see how that can be true given that a teacher with 27 years experience with an AB +15 degree has a state salary of 44,321.00 for 200 days of work. That does not count any supplemental pay from the county you work in.

        Perhaps you meant you bring home 1245 a pay period.

        • Gina

          Yes you are correct that should have been twice a month. And it is very hard to pick up a second job in the summer for basically a month and 1/2 that will work around the trainings that we must attend. These trainings may or may not be optional but they are usually unpaid or they are considered "staff development" which is just hours in name. Nothing more. But they are for the betterment of our students. Or they are for a new program that the WVDE has decided that MUST be started.

          • Aaron

            Anything mandatory, particularly if it goes beyond the 200 day contract, must be paid.

            As a 27 year veteran, you have options. From opening your own summer tutoring business, to teaching summer school to working with government entities in community education resources, the opportunities are out there. You just have to go find them.

            Also, I do want to say thank you for your service. While I comment a great deal about teacher pay, I am not one who thinks teachers have an easy job or do no work. I understand what you do and appreciate it very much.

          • Gina

            And you are correct my county is one of the few that does not supplement. :)

      • Lightning

        And your fiancé works all year!!!

        • well actually

          Teachers are contracted for a certain number of days each year regardless how many months they work. It's usually a 200 day contract. Teachers do not get paid for days we don't work! Unemployment or low earnings like most contracted employees??? Not for teachers!!!

          • Aaron

            Nor should it be. You can easily supplement your salary in the summer time if you so choose.

  • Michael

    It shows how much teachers and teacher's organizations care about our state to care about the fiscal aspect of their raises.

    Kudos to Mr. Lee and the teacher's commenting on this article and thank you. Thank you for all you do.

  • Myron

    Of course it can be afforded. This is why we have stated the arguments we have. Not to come this far then back off.

    It is a matter of what the priorities of the state are, and teacher raises are by far at the top of the list.

    • Aaron

      As a state, we will spend $2.5 billion on Education, requiring almost .58 cents of every our appropriations. As a state, we are running a budget shortfall of at least $120 million.

      Please, teach us all how we can afford it?

      • Gina

        Aaron, I can no longer reply on our previous thread. YES YES YES. I agree we need to cut cut cut the top heaviness. One of the snow days, I spent emailing legislators and newspapers in WV asking what has been done to rectify this problem. I could not agree with you more. This money needs to get to the children in our schools. What I do see that has been done is they have built up the RESAs that is not a plus that doesn't solve the problem at all. That adds to it. You and I agree on a lot of these issues. I don't care about this pay raise one way or another. I just want quality teachers in our classrooms. And I want them NOW. The students of WV deserve better!

        • Aaron

          About the only good I see of RESA is that it would be a good model for 8 regional Board's of Education. Other than that, as I know more than the propaganda from a lady who was high up on one of whom I shared dinner a time or two, I will defer to teachers, none of whom have said a great deal good of RESA.

    • Aaron

      "Of course it can be afforded. "


    • I'm honest at least

      I was for the modest pay raise first. Now I don't agree if the state can afford this then a lot of other state employees deserve a raise first.......And I don't care about a degree

      • Wowbagger

        Some of the $504 state employees have more than one degree and can double their salary by just leaving. I heard about one today who doubled his salary by taking a job working for Maryland!

    • Jason412


      Make sure you post again when this either goes back to how it was or dies completely in the Finance Committee.

      I agree with Michael and Jay on commending the teacher's who've posted in this article and know the state can't afford this. If approved, where does this $260 million come from? I would be more supportive if something in our school system was increasing besides salaries.

      • Myron

        Why should anyone post again? This raise does not solve the discrepancy of average teacher pay in WV compared against the 5 state region?

        It is the minimum that should be done.

        • Jason412

          It would make starting salaries second only to PA in the 5 state region, I believe.

          Will we see a corresponding increase in academic performance or more of the same after those 3 years?

  • Woodchuck0

    More giving and no results.

    What be wrong with the highest paid teachers and the lowest academic scores! Only in WV.

  • Teacher

    WVEA President does not support the raise? Does this make sense? Obviously, his salary is no problem. I'm glad I send my union dollars to AFT.

    • TiredInTucker

      Mr. Lee is not opposed to any raise for education employees. He just commented that there has to be money in the budget to pay for whatever the raise is. He has been working hard trying to bring awareness to the state's leaders on this issue. While the 6,000 raise would be awesome for teachers this was most likely a "publicity" stunt organized by others who know it won't happen but can then claim that "they" tried to get a better raise. Thanks Dale Lee and WVEA for your efforts on behalf of education employees.

    • Cory Boothe

      Especially since the AFT is not currently fighting for teacher pay raises.

  • Brian

    Wow!! What about the state employees?

  • a concerned educator

    I don't believe that anyone would turn down a pay raise, but given the financial situation in WV, this is unrealistic. I am married to a teacher, and my spouse feels the same way. This move, although appreciated, is just not fiscally responsible. In today's economic hardship, sound economics needs to win out.

    Teacher pay raises will not be the cure for what ails education. Raises may help, but there are too many other factors involved. Successful student performance is based on many factors, most importantly, support for education at home. Unfortunately, there is no way to control this factor. One thing though that could be done is to stop requiring teachers to focus almost solely on a test that truly is not an indicator of success in life. Why doesn't the state go back to a realistic focus on true life skills because not everyone is going to college. Once the Department of Education really focuses on career and technical education, as well as realistic requirements in math and science, then, and only then, will our education system return to its days of success.

    • Aaron

      We agree. When my last two were in school, I offered them the opportunity to stay home during testing week. Both declined. During a discussion at the high school with school officials and parents, one parent ask what would happen if a kid missed and while the Principal tried to imply that testing was mandatory, which it is, he finally had to admit that if a child didn't take it, it did not affect their grade.

      I believe that compulsory education should end by the 7th grade and from that point kids should have to make the grade to continue their education. If they truly want to be there, they will work to keep their grade up. If they don’t, and their parents care, get them out of the school system and let the parents worry about them.

      Our problem is we as a society have come to believe education is a right and that is simply not true. We educate our youth because it benefits all of society. If one doesn’t want to take advantage of the benefit, why should we as a society waste tax payer dollars on those individuals?

      • Gina

        :) Now I love this. But I worry about the burden these children would be to society later on. Most would choose to drop out. And you never know. There are a few who may get that spark in a year or two. I know I'm a hopeless optimistic. But I never lose hope. But I like your thinking. :) I have the idea that we can fix them all contrary to the outside forces. I know that is not the case, but I never give up. I never give up hope. Call me crazy.

        • Aaron

          I wouldn't call it crazy and I would like to think that all can be saved but sadly, that is not the case.

          As to dealing with them in society later, aren't we already doing that?

          Perhaps if we went from a society of coddling our youth and blaming someone else for every problem and instead required them to face the simple truth, things might change.

          At any rate, we can't keep doing what we're doing and expect different results. Seems to me someone smarter than me called that crazy.

    • Jay

      I commend the teachers responding to this article for their sensibility. I am in support of teacher pay raises, but this seems an irresponsible path.

      As for teaching to a test, I wish you didn't have to do so. I am a college professor. I get students out of high school who cannot construct an effective paragraph. It's incredibly sad, and I find myself doing the job of a middle or high school English teacher in addition to my job as a post-secondary educator. Teaching to a test misfires on multiple fronts. It's ultimately the students who suffer.

      • Leo

        Accountability for students and parents, that is what needs to start happening at the middle and high school level. Until that happens, your job will continue to be catch-up and our jobs will continue to be judged on the abilities of kids who don't care. Unfortunately welfare is taught at many homes as the ultimate goal, not an education.

      • Mason County Contrarian

        But if we didn't teach to the test, then innumerable coordinators and administrators at the state DoEd offices would no longer be needed and have no choice but to (egad) return to those.....students!

    • Redball

      I am a teacher also and I agree. We as a state cannot afford this type of a raise.