CHARLESTON, W.Va. ā€” 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.

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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 Iā€™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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Comments

  • Gary

    A raise for the 45th ranked school system in the US. Until improvement is seen I don't think a raise is needed. In fact the way the economy is they are lucky to have a job. Giving them a raise isn't going to improve the schools. We need to get rid of some of the employees in the state headquarters. According to a 2011 report WV has 1 employee for every 416 students in their state headquarters while NY which has 10 times the students has 1 employee for every 5000 students. Anyone see something wrong here? Do the teachers get to keep their whole salary for this year even though most of the county's won't have near the required days because of the weather?

  • Gary

    A raise for teachers of the 45th ranked state in education. They are lucky to have a job. How about all the extra money they're getting for this year because of all missed school days that won't be made up. We need to get rid of a lot of people in the state education headquarters. According to a 2011 report WV has 1 employee in their headquarters for every 416 students while NY has 10times the students and they have 1 employee for every 5000 students. Teachers getting raises doesn't improve the schools.

    • Gina

      I agree with you on the 1 per 416 students, but your facts did not state those did not include teachers. Those were people who rank "above" teachers and that is ridiculous. That needs to be corrected immediately! They need to get rid of the "dead weight" at the top. PERIOD. Your statement also was misleading stating "extra" money for missed school days? My paycheck will not include any "extra" money for missed school days. Yes there were days missed. I would have rather been in school. I'm sorry I have NO Control over the weather and I doubt you do either. The important thing is that our children are safe and I'm sure you will agree with that. Next year with the 180 calendar that will not be an issue and you should be happy. But either way, this year or next we teachers do not get "extra" money for snow days.

  • Busman

    I don't even see it as a pay raise if we do get it. I see it as a partial pay makeup for the high prices of everything going up up up. Every time the price of gasoline, food, insurance, car repairs and everything else goes up our pay goes down. The dollars they are proposing as a raise should be considered as valuable as the dollars we currently get in our checks and that's not very valuable. It seems in today's world average Joe or Janes money is not worth much but as you look up the ladder...well the people at the top, they must be careful not to spend their money even though they get more everyday themselves. I guess my point is, don't pretend these pay raise proposals are an almighty gift because they just are not much money at all. Although I will take it, I will sleep just fine wondering where the state will get this extra money from. Better they worry than me worry...besides they have the power to raise additional funds much easier than us.

  • wvu999

    The rainy day fund only has nearly a BILLION dollars in it. I think it should have 3 or 4 billion before we dip into it. We all know government in a for profit business.

    This is absurd. Dip into the fund. It's raining on WVians now.

  • TruthTeller

    Teachers should not get raises for dumbing down our kids. They need to get back to teaching kids the skills they need to prepare them for their future goals not teach them the same subjects over and over and over and over.

  • Pete

    So we now know that the members of the legislature not only lack courage, but they also lack vision and self-discipline.

  • Question

    Is this an idea to get teachers no raise at all, just get it stuck in committee?? Food for thought?

  • Hillbilly

    Actually, I think Susan is deserving of a pat on the back for taking a stand.. PAT PAT..

  • WiseMountaineer

    A schister move by Walker to impress gullible people in Clay County. He knows there are no funds to pay for an increase like the one he proposed. He's wasting the legislature's time and taxpayer money.

  • REAL TEACHER

    The funding source for a teacher pay raise could easily be covered from reductions in the State Board of Education and the State Dept of ED! They have done NOTHING to assure qualified REAL teachers. They instead are allowing the lowering of standards placing NON teachers with no training in classroom management or how to teach to fill the vast and growing teacher shotages. This not only weakens the education of WV children it is UNSAFE. Can anyone say it is better to have to accept whoever shows up for a teaching position due to NO ONE qualified? Has ANYONE seen a solution to the growing teacher shortages even discussed other than lowering standards, and using NON teachers to fill positions? I AM a teacher and I tell you I see first hand EACH day how non teachers have made classrooms unsafe. I also say unless you find a way to attract CERTIFIED teachers you are wasting tax dollars. A one time raise will not attract quality teachers nor keep anyone from leaving. The taxpayers of WV have given enough to expect... NO DEMAND an education for the children of WV second to none....sadly the money is spent from the top down and little is left for the classrooms or to attract QUALIFIED TEACHERS. WHO WATCHES OUT FOR THE CHILDREN? So the next time you hear teacher pay raises KEEP IT unless you are willing to take from the top and make it enough to attract ONLY THE BEST TEACHERS YOU ARE WASTING TAX DOLLARS!!!

    • Aaron

      I'm curious about three things.

      How do you feel about eliminating many of the County Board of Education's into a smaller number of regional Board of Educations thus eliminating redundant administrative positions. For instance, do we really need a County Superintendent of schools and an assistant in counties with only 1 high school. Would be not be better off in restructuring our Board of Educations to govern equally the states roughly 775 schools?

      You claim certified teachers are making classrooms unsafe. That's a harsh accusation. Can you be specific?

      You mention several times a potential problem and that is non-certified teachers? How do you feel about alternative certification programs for individuals holding bachelor, masters or PhD degrees but who currently do not meet WV Education requirements? How is it that an individual with an advanced degree is a field can be allowed to work in one of the states 2 or 4 year institution of higher learning as a class room instructor but they are not qualified to teach high school students?

  • Aaron

    "...a modest raise took a significant turn Monday when the House Education Committee proposed a far steeper pay hike."

    Who proposed it?

    And teachers say they have no control.

  • Teufel

    Buying votes with tax payers money...IMO

  • Debra

    I am from a family full of teachers. But one of them is absolutely not teaching because of the low pay. She became a photographer and makes more money. That's with two masters degrees.

    • Teufel

      Happy that she moved to a career field that better suited her needs.

  • 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!