CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The House Finance Committee Wednesday tried to straighten out a pay raise plan for school teachers and service workers that was botched in the House Education Committee two days earlier.

Finance Committee members switched the raise package back to a one-year $1,000 across the board increase for teachers, from a three-year $6,000 raise approved by the Education Committee.

The $6,000 raise plan surprised key lawmakers, the teacher unions and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, who proposed a more modest increase at the start of the session of two percent.  It also put teacher organizations in the awkward position of supporting a scaled back raise to ensure passage.

Tomblin and lawmakers have been working on finding the money in the budget for a raise of two percent, $1,000 or $837–the plan has shifted several times during the session–without raising taxes.  A larger raise would be impossible to fund without a tax increase.

The legislation provides for a two percent across the board raise for school service workers.

The bill now goes to the House floor.  Earlier in the session the Senate voted to increase teacher pay by $837.

 

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Comments

  • thornton

    Great news......I was worried that some teachers might run short at the beach this summer.

    • Big Bob-E

      Well Thornton...you have quite the paradox. You don't like the idea that teachers have the summer off(not paid by the way) and can lay on the beach. But in order to have them work during the summer you would have to extend their contracts beyond the present 200 days...which would mean you would have to pay them more money...which from the tone of you post I assume you are against. Now that's "some beach." there ain't it!!!!

      • thornton

        Well BBE, I dislike the protection the unions give to the bad teachers but the summers off do not bother me at all. That first truth does color my opinion a tad. Probably a bit unfairly to be honest but...I also recall a few bad teachers back when my daughter was in school....those ones deserved less than the generalized high-fives that teachers appear to receive...just because.

        I guess I would be approving of a raise for some teachers were I to see the bad teachers jettisoned and a bit better results in the classroom. And yes, I understand that parents are often the teachers largest stumbling block. I also would like to see locality pay introduced, if lucre is to be doled out.....doubt the union folks would care for that route though as the dues payers trump the kids.

        • Big Bob-E

          Well Thornton...I would love to find fault will your post...but...honestly I agree with much of what you have to say. I assume you made the best of your educational opportunities...very well spoken.

      • Brian

        Teachers get paid in the summer. It's simply a matter of how many payments a year they choose. Those that are paid over the summer simply get checks that are in lower amounts than those who choose to only get paid during the school year. That's what the BOE accountant I know for one county said. Teachers have the option to choose depending on the county. The math eludes those teachers who chose fewer big checks than more lesser pay checks. It's still the same amount of money duh!

        • Aaron

          By that reasoning Big Bob, couldn't professional athletes who are employed in a profession that only operates part of the year draw unemployment as well?

          • Big Bob-E

            Perhaps you could make that argument...but without knowing the entire structure of their contracts I wouldn't even want to venture a guess. Good point though!!

        • Big Bob-E

          They don't get paid for being off in the summer. Read what you just posted Brian...they choose to spread their pay over 24 pay periods rather than 20 pay periods...but...they are not paid beyond their 200 day contract. They are essentially laid-off during the summer months. I would argue that they should be eligible for unemployment benefits like any other employee whose is laid-off from their jobs. Wouldn't that fire-up the teacher haters. Reading comprehension goes a long way!!!

          • Big Bob-E

            Brian...what teacher's get paid was not part of my post...only when they get paid. You got a beef with the system...form an association of fellow professionals...pay some dues...and hire some lobbyist to work the legislature to increase your pay. By your own account it appears to work for the teachers.

          • Brian

            You need to re-read what I posted. "Teachers get paid in the summer." TRUE that they must choose the 24 pay instead of 20 pay as you mentioned for a 200 day contract. The remaining 165 days in a year they don't get paid time off including days in summer. Correct? That equates to 45% of the 365 day year teachers aren't working. How can a raise be justified for any employee, such as a teacher, who works barely more than half a 365 day year by any employer (including the State of WV) when the employer has other equally and higher qualified employees working more days of the year? More money for less time on same or less qualifications? It's ridiculous! It's an insult to LEOs, engineers, inspectors, biologists, et al working for the State year round. But political lobbyists and teachers are like peas and carrots.

          • ViennaGuy

            - they are not paid beyond their 200 day contract. -

            Exactly right.

  • Dream world

    Teachers are protected.
    When teachers/adminsitrators evaluate fellow teachers on their performance in the classroom and in the school environment it can not be good. Outside educated and professional people with expanded knowledge could offer surprising results to education and the betterment of it. Every year weak teachers are retained in our system when they should be let go. Improvement plans are a joke, no need to get even started on that. We have good educators, but it seems the bad or unmotivated ones reap the benefits. Just like in the typical business world if you dont perform you are terminated, the same should apply in the education system. You can not fire a coach because of bad won-loss records, however isnt that an extension of the classroom, some way there needs to be an alternative to the current way coaches are evaluated and allowed to continue coaching without progress being done on the field or court of play. Our children deserve the best, not the longest tenured employee, but the best one. The entire education system needs a major over haul, but small steps must be taken.

  • Herman

    You get out of things what you put into them. Problem is a lot of wv is deadbeat parents and welfare cases so they don't understand this premise.

  • Random

    Do you folks not take into consideration that the reason some people choose to become an educator at a very young age is because of the work schedule. You could have became a teacher and had the extra benefit of summer and snow days as well. Why didn't you? Most teachers across the board have degrees at Masters level or above. We pay our teachers 48th nationally, but pay welfare 28th?

    • WhgFeeling

      Most teachers have a master's degree? Really?? Show the actual statistic please. Why did I not choose to be a teacher? Maybe the same reason a teacher did not choose to become a fireman or a deputy sheriff.

      • BR

        According to the WV Dept. of Education web site, 63% of WV public school teachers hold a MA (plus)!
        I suppose it comes down to your defination of "most'.

        I'll tell ya what though........ I bet more teachers have a Master's degree than the non-teacher idiots that post on this forum.
        And yes, I teach, but I also served 6 years in the USMC on active duty before I got my Masters and Teaching degree. Is that "fireman" or "cop" enough for ya tough guy?

  • The Real Deal

    Ok Folks, pay attention because I am only going to say this once. Teachers do deserve a raise...but we need to also consider the following:
    1. We are in a tight fiscal crunch in terms of state budgets, so let's not lose our minds in terms of what we can give them.

    2. There are other state employees who work equally as hard and have comparable education that aren't getting the same treatment.

    3. The teachers pay big money to have lobbyists in the state house to constantly poke and prod the legislature...this keeps their gripes about low pay fresh and in the face of the legislature. If you are another state employee and you want more money...ORGANIZE!

    4. Better pay DOES NOT translate into better academic results for students. I can pay a sanitation worker 1.5 million a year and the stuff coming out of my sewer pipes is still sewage. Better academic results in WV will come from a commitment by the WVBoE, parents, and communities. A student's performance starts in the home.

    Just because the teachers are better organized, and more prepared than the body of state workers doesn't translate into them "deserving" more money, but unfortunately for you (DHHR, WVDOC, WVDOT, WVRJA) you do nothing to organize your efforts and come to the legislature together. FORM a state employees UNION, stop in-fighting for scraps and work for the betterment of all state workers as a group of state workers. Just and FYI, I AM NOT A TEACHER, but the reason you can read this is because at some point in your life a teacher taught you how to.

    • Retired Teacher

      I'll respond on behalf of teachers from all over.

      1. When the economy was booming, neither teachers or state employees got raises.

      2. The squeaky wheel gets greased.

      3. What is your point?

      4. A competitive salary would help fill many vacant jobs statewide.

    • Iron Mike

      Btw I have two masters degrees that the state did not pay for, nor do I get an automatic pay increase since I have them. Teachers and other WVDE professionals are paid to pursue advanced degrees. That is unique in all of state government, just like the ability to serve in the legislature. No conflict there having a foot in two branches of government. Maybe I could push through legislation for my benefit as well.

    • Iron Mike

      Do your homework Teacher. The rest of state government is not permitted collective bargaining by state law. Only the teachers who argue they are county employees have that option. Funny how you become state employees come legislative session. Do you seriously think that the same arguement about quality outcomes cannot be applied to state police, public health officials, child welfare caseworkers, DOH engineers, information technology professionals?

      • The Real Deal

        I assume you mean the state law enacted by your elected officials right? Maybe therein lies the problem. Maybe you should get an "association" to push the legislature to remove the prohibition against collective bargaining...but hey what do I know...I only have one Master's Degree. But wait we can't do that...then we would have to live up to the expectations of the agreement and we all know that your average state worker is sub-par at best...bottom line, you earn what you're worth. You want more money...be worth more, or learn to organize and get some things changed in YOUR favor, quit bashing the teachers for figuring out how to loop hole the system.

      • Big Bob-E

        Teachers do NOT have collective bargaining rights...Good grief get your facts right!!! WVEA and AFT are quasi-unions...they are associations...nothing more than a lobbying group.

        • WhgFeeling

          Quasi unions? I beg to differ. Have you ever seen a teacher actually get terminated?

          • Big Bob-E

            Unions have collective bargaining rights...thus they are not unions. Teachers are not fired because of judges and jury's...plain and simple. County BOE's do not have the funds to litigate every teacher they fired on shaky grounds...you know Billy can't read and it's Mr. Joe Doak's fault...better fire him. Now admittedly the WVEA and AFT does provide legal representation for their members. And, to answer your question yes I have seen teachers fired.

  • Hadley

    I was talking to my 87 year old father about how messed up the WV education system was and how many teachers wish for snow days rather that an opportunity to teach - yet they want to be considered professionals. He said in the old days a teacher got paid after 20 days of teaching was completed. If there was 180 taught they got the full years salary. If snow delayed school for some period or a holiday happened, they got paid AFTER the 20 days of instruction was completed. It was not based on every two weeks or twice per month or anything else. It was simply 20 days work 20 days pay.
    I be the teachers union would jump straight up in the air if suddenly they had to work a full 180 days per year to get paid.
    Kind of like being paid like the rest of the world. Wow - that would be novel wouldn't it.

    • Retired Teacher

      So you want to make it to where a teacher never knows when or if they are going to get paid again?

      That will really solve the problems of rooms without qualified teachers......

  • Ann

    Do they still get paid for snow days and other cancellations...if so, they shouldn't get a raise.

    • WellWell

      Teachers are on a 200 day contract. Due to all the snow days and water issues, they won't come anywhere close to working those 200 days.

      So, yes, they are getting paid to stay home on snow days. While you, me and everyone else is going to work to pay taxes so those teachers can stay home.

      • Aaron

        That's not uncommon in salaried positions.

  • Well Well

    State employees are going to have to band together and go on strike. It's the only way our voices will ever be heard.

    And, they will be heard loudly.

    Can't get to work because no one is out to clear the roads? Can't get your license or registration renewed? Can't get your childl's birth certificate? A water storage tank is leaking and can't get the DEP to investigate?

    Sorry about your luck.

    • Aaron

      Please do. Hopefully while you're gone, the governor will farm out what you do to private industry "scabs" and we'll call you when we need you back.

    • susanf1218

      Amen!! I have said the same thing for years! But sadly, state employees continue to be good little servants, toiling away for their pittances. It is BEYOND time for a walkout!!

  • Bob

    What about state employees? Why do they get the shaft each year? It's been too long for a raise. Cost of living increases each year would be good.

    • Barry Bledsoe

      State employees get the shaft because you don't have the power of the WVEA or the AFT on your side. It is all about the unions and the lobby.

      • BONDO

        Now theres the BS.

    • Myron

      Because teachers are more valuable and the priority. Most have masters degrees and take work home with them.

      • griff

        ok I have read enough. cant keep my mouth shut any longer. teachers are not more valuable than anybody else that works. the ones i know dress like prostitutes. i hope a dress code is put into law. then hopefully the boobs & bellies will be covered & skirts/dresses wont be up the the butt crack. Again I say IF THEY WANT THE PAY OF A NEIGHBORING STATE-GO THERE & LIVE

      • James

        There are many other public employees that have masters, doctorial degrees, cpa's, jds, and engineering, RNs, MDs, etc... Most of which many teachers could not obtain if they tried. That masters in PE or history really taxed their brain. Teachers take their work home with them all summer while basking on a beach, don't they. Unfortunately other workers neiher public or private get that provilege.

        Teachers are prioirty because they can sit on the Legislture and stack committees that give themselves benefits.

        Why don't you see how the state's gears turn if the above listed professionals took snow days or sick days at one time. We could see how unimportant they are then.

        Tell me why the school cook, janitor, secretary and other sevice personnel deserve a raise over all public employess? Considering they are the highest paid service personnel in the Southeast region to start with.

      • Hadley

        Double BS - most can tell you exactly how many sick days they have and when they will use them for vacation. there used to be teachers taking home work, but today's teachers don't even care that West Virginia education is bottom 10% for the entire country and worst in most categories.

      • Well Well

        Myron, I am a state employee and I will bet your raise that I have more education than you and 99.999999% of all teachers and administrators.

        I also work with people with Masters, J.D's, and several CPA's. According to your own logic, they all deserve hefty raises.

      • Aaron

        You are regurgitating the same tired tripe Myron and you add nothing to the conversation. You claimed on another story regarding funding that of course the state can afford this raise but when questioned for particulars, you have nothing. Instead you post comments meant to pit one group against another with no regard to the truth or mutual respect. The noble profession deserves better than the representation you have given it.

        • The bookman

          Aaron,

          The best way to handle Myron is to not give him the dignity of a response. Your retort gets a +1. But it also gives him the satisfaction he seeks. I say banish him to the Isle of Invisibility, and see his posts no more!

          • Aaron

            I somewhat agree but believe that those who post lies need to be called out from time to time.

          • Big Bob-E

            I have said all along that Myron is NOT a teacher...he just posts this garbage to get a rise out of you guys...and of course you never fail to deliver!!!

      • Aaron

        BS

  • zero tolerance

    Most problems with teachers is rooted in the BoE they work for and the unions that represent them.

    What do expect when you work for a bureaucracy?

    They lost their way years ago.

  • Independent View

    "a concerned educator"
    Thank you for you post. It was most refreshing to see a reply that, although somewhat disagreed with my premise, it was presented in an intelligent and insightful manner. That is what is needed--a civil dialogue between concerned taxpayers/parents and teachers. Somewhere along the line teachers copped the attitude that professionals in the private sector do not, nor cannot understand the educational system.
    Nothing could be further from the facts. We do understand because those of us most concerned are well-educated folks too.
    However, I still reject the idea that the key to improvement of our educational system is higher pay.
    As a professional manager of many years, it had been my policy that when someone approached me and asked for a raise and their justification was "I'll work harder if you give me a raise." My response was, work harder and you will get a raise.
    Again, "a concerned educator" thank you for an informative and interesting response.

    • a concerned educator

      Independent View

      I could not agree with you more on the premise higher pay will bring results because I do not believe it either. Many teachers are hard working individuals who spend extra hours on weekends or nights or in the summer trying to stay current in their field, as well as trying to make their classrooms as exciting and as great a learning environment as possible. However, there are some teachers who abuse the system. Over time, I believe that this minority of teachers has skewed the public's view of educators, and education, as a whole.

      Teachers, just like any worker, should maintain a solid work ethic. They should arrive to work on time and put in a true work day while at school. I'm sure that as a manager, you saw workers who exhibited these characteristics and some who didn't. For the teachers who are unwilling to maintain classroom management, who do not have well developed lessons, and who do not comply with realistic mandated requirements, I believe firing them would be a valid response. Education is not a business (And I know that I will probably get some flack from some posters for saying this), but personal responsibility should be policy for all workers. If any worker is not willing to give their job their best effort, they need to move on or be fired.

  • Hold It

    I say yet again...teachers are underworked and overpaid as it is.

    • ryan

      Yeah bud, tell that to my wife and kid

    • William

      +1

  • Independent View

    Obviously, a teacher's post by JS "another blah, blah, blah comment"
    Here's my response regarding a majority of teachers:" wah, wah, wah!
    Although I am not against teahers getting a $1k raise and would support it, with the following conditions: accountability, i.e., teachers' pay raises tied to an OBJECTIVE evaluation method, not teachers evaluating teachers.
    Before the teachers post snarky comments, know this since you have only lived in the secure womb of academia. In the real work world, vice-presidents, managers and HR people of the administrative-type evaluate professionals completely outside their educational, professional or training backgrounds-- every day--and, the system works.
    The old adage, "don't throw good money after bad" may be applicable here. We, as taxpayers and parents answered the call, opened our checkbooks and have thrown hundreds of millions, if not a billion dollars at the education system in WV, which included annual pay raises, increased benefits, additional support staff, more time off, new schools, many, many levies and excess levies, part of which are committed to enhanced compensation for teachers.
    So, tell me again how it is somehow unfair that as taxpayers and parents to expect improvement in WV's education system and nobody is ever held accountable?
    Heed the grass roots movement afoot teachers and your unions, at some point, possibly in the near future there is going to be a massive backlash by taxpayers. Why, because we dislike teachers? No, because there is no accountability in the system and we will stand firm and say with conviction, enough is enough.
    Please teachers, stop your whining and work with your system for improvements and when improvements are made and measurable, the taxpayers will again open their checkbooks and gladly support teacher pay raises.

    • Leo

      Bravo, you finally see the problem, no accountability...for students and parents! Teachers have been the only ones held accountable. Also, I am not sure what school you are talking about but I have never been evaluated by another teacher, only my boss.

      • Kelly

        What title/position is your boss?

        School principal or department head?!

        • Leo

          Kelly, my direct boss is my principal. They are the only ones who evaluate us in our county, not other teachers.

        • a concerned educator

          Kelly

          Typically, teachers report to the principal, as they are responsible for teachers in the chain of command. Again, this is established through state policy.

        • a concerned educator

          Kelly

          I have spent almost thirty years working directly or indirectly with the educational system, and I have yet to see anyone BUT a principal or vice principal evaluate a teacher, at least in WV. I believe that you will find in state education policy, as well as SB 319 (I think that is the number) that it MUST be the principal who conducts the evaluation.

          • Kelly

            Thank you. I absolutely do not claim to be education expert.....just trying to understand.

            That said, I did not ask who does the evaluation, I asked who typically a teacher reports directly to.

            That is, the teacher's boss.

    • a concerned educator

      Independent View

      I agree with you that a better system of evaluation must be developed. In addition, as I commented recently, in the fiscal situation that the state is currently facing, I do not believe, and neither does my spouse who is a teacher, that a pay raise is a wise decision at this time.

      However, until teachers are allowed to teach the way they want and at a pace they know is effective, nothing is going to change. Unfortunately, the WV Department of Education, as well as central office staff, mandate how teachers must do many things that affect the educational environment. For example, my spouse was told this week by her principal that the county is not going to buy textbooks anymore. Teachers are supposed to come up with all of their instructional materials and ideas. This is just not feasible or realistic.

      In your post, you tell teachers to "work with your system". However, it is difficult to work with a system that is already broken from the top, and is also run by people who know nothing about teaching. This is not a cut down to your post but an unfortunate fact about the way the education system in this state is managed.

      • Kelly

        Can you provide specifics about this elimination of textbooks please? Otherwise, I think that story is BS.

        • ryan

          My county is the same, no New books and we are one of the rich ones

          • Jason412

            A lot of high schools in the inner city don't even have old text books. If they do, it's 1 book per 2-3 students and the book can never leave the class. Some classes the students only receive photocopies of text books. Wilkinsburg High School in PA is an example of this. A school that also has frequent gang related crime in, or near, the school.

            I'm not saying it's right and teachers should have to work in conditions like that, just that things could be a lot worse.

        • a concerned educator

          Kelly

          I don't want to discuss what county we live in because I don't want my spouse to get in trouble. However, I can guarantee that it is the truth. I work closely with the educational profession in my current position, and I have also heard the same discussions about doing away with textbooks. Some counties have gone to IPADS, and some people believe that there should be no books at all. Just this week, I read a journal article regarding the push to do away with textbooks in a leading international education journal. I even showed the article to my spouse. The push is out there....the general public is just often unaware of the directions the "higher ups" in education are mandating for teachers and principals.

  • So

    So nothing for state workers?

  • Joe

    What about the other state employees who DO have to work every day and also has college degrees and must continue their education and training. Last year prison overcrowding was a hot topic and correctional staff has made great strides in abiding by the legislation. Yet, we have not received a raise for additional work that is required yet alone an attaboy.

    • Gimme Moore

      Joe,

      I work with state employees every day. They are alot like teachers in their own right. Most of them work about 8 months out of the year as well...and I use the term "work" very loosely.

    • Gary

      I think they get paid pretty well for being the 45th ranked state in the country and only working about 10 months a year. There are a number of states that pay less. Is this raise going to improve the schools? Absolutely not. The way the economy is they are lucky to have a job.

      • Jen

        Being ranked 45 says something about our state. I'm not lucky to have a job. I work hard and perform very well in my position. I have a Master's plus 45, am Nationally Board Certified and work from sun up to sun down. I should be paid well for my achievements. I would actually prefer being paid based on performance (but that's a topic for another day). Teachers haven't even gotten a cost of living raise in a long time. Expectations have increased, pressure has increased, and we spend time "raising" children as well. Will a raise improve schools, no....but it will be a small improvement on the value that society should start placing on our educational system.

        • William

          I have heard this Masters Plus "X"hours. Your Masters is weak ( a mere 27 hours) and not close to the hours required for an MBA, etc. And your "plus" hours are nothing more than continuing ed units. All professionals must remain certified and take continual learning classes. Stop sensationalizing your careers and hours.

          • epteach

            I must concur. While CE states the hours do not count many of the "graduate hours" for professional development do count toward the +45 (a few of the courses in education I have taken could have counted toward those - merely show up pay some $$ and credit was given).

            Meanwhile I have three valid masters two of which are in education and the latter the same as the one William mentions. Which has more requirements and studies? The non education one. And which one has no discount? The non education one...

          • a concerned educator

            William

            There is no Master's Degree in Education that is 27 credit hours. A Master's Degree in Education is a minimum of 36 hours, but most are more. Some range from 39-51 credit hours. In addition, Continuing Education hours do not count toward graduate hours. This is in education policy.

      • js

        Its funny people never realize the extra time teachers put in at home doing their work and taking extra mandatory classes to renew their certification. Guess who pays for that? It isn't the WV tax paying citizens. All you teacher bashers never give credit for the time and resources teachers donate on a yearly basis and yet you gripe about a thousand dollar raise.

        • William

          Every professional takes work home dumbass. How do you expect to earn as much as people who year round and with no paid snow days, breaks, etc. I say year round school, give every teacher a $20K across the board raise, but no more free snow days, no more spring breaks, no more Christmas breaks, no more Thanksgiving break, etc. Then you will be working the same schedule as the rest of us with A BS/BA degree.

          • William Is An Idiot

            I cannot believe that WV MetroNews continues to post his garbage. And now he uses cuss words in his posts. I find it very offensive that this is allowed to continue. I understand that people will make derogatory posts that some groups deserve/don't deserve a raise. But to allow such profanity on these boards is unacceptable. Lastly, the reason William will always be a problem instead of a solution is because he spend way too much time on here instead of working. Your employer should be so proud. You aren't qualified to clean the schools where these fine teachers work, let alone teach! MetroNews ban this individual!!

          • James

            Yes js, has Ed D and works in adminstration in a school doesn't he.

          • js

            I've got your dumb ass. My brother in law is a doctor and he doesn't take his work home.Where did you get your so called bs degree? Jack ass university

      • Kevin

        I guess a well educated man as yourself was taught at home without the help of any kind of teacher. Some people have short term memory loss.

      • js

        Another blah blah blah comment. Haters always say the same dumb things. Just because you went to school doesn't mean you are a school expert. Obviously you are not.