CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state legislature gave final approval Saturday night to an across-the-board $1,000 teacher pay raise.

“Finally,” West Virginia Education Association President Dale Lee told MetroNews once the bill got the passing vote in the state Senate. The proposal had several ups and downs during the past 60 days.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin originally proposed a two percent raise for teachers and service personnel. The state Senate changed the raise to $837 for teachers and two percent for service personnel and then the House went with $1,000 across-the-board and two percent for service personnel.

The governor said Saturday night the change is more expensive than his original bill but he supports it.

“I would have preferred to stay within the two percent range because it is a tight budget year but we can fund the money to go with a thousand,” Tomblin said the increase would address the problem of starting salaries.

Del. Roy Cooper, R-Summers, himself a former teacher, told House members Saturday the raise wasn’t enough. He said the teachers have a monumental job in West Virginia.

“We have got to educate the workforce,” Cooper said. “We’re not going to educate the workforce when we’re not willing to pay those that do the educating half salaries.”

Del. Karen Arvon, R-Raleigh, said her daughter is a teacher with a masters degree and makes just more than $30,000 a year. She said she’s been talking about a job in Maryland where the pay is much different.

“To move to Silver Springs, Maryland from here with her same degree she will make 96-thousand dollars,” Arvon said.

But in a tight budge year supporters said $1,000 across-the-board is at the top limit teachers could hope for until better financial times.

Late Saturday night the governor sounded like he intended to sign the bill.

“We’re asking our teachers and school people to do more work and I think they need the compensation,” Gov. Tomblin said.

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  • Katrina Szilaj

    When your legislature is full of teachers, retired teachers, and family members of teachers then obviously they will vote themselves a pay raise regardless of performance. This is so very unfair it makes me ill.

  • can't loose what you never had

    I guess this means that all other state workers will not be getting the " huge" $ 504.00 pay raise that our most "generous " Gov. proposed in his state of the state address ? Thanks for nothing ...

  • Mark

    Every time I find myself in the "Comments" pages of this site I always wonder why I put myself through the readings? If you really want to know why quality teachers are leaving WV, look no further than many of the comments on this article. Many of these comments are vicious, rude, and, in many cases, out and out right lies...I believe that some perspective needs to be placed here...1 -if you can read and write, there's a very good chance that it was a teacher who helped you achieve these educational goals; 2 - If you are able to discern the information given about a topic and establish your entitled opinion, there's a very good chance that there was/is a teacher helping you to this; 3- I can't imagine someone spending their entire education with nothing but teachers who didn't/don't care...if you did, how did you get this far?

    Try this...instead of bashing a profession that most know little about (could be medical, law, or education) how about supporting it? Other than working one's way through the grades (which, sorry, does not make you an expert in the education field), most have little idea about what actually goes on in a classroom or during a teacher's day. How about we support these teachers by making sure our children are fed before school? How about making sure they are physically well? What about making sure that your child shows respect and that we do the same when talking about teachers? How about providing a supportive environment in your house to better able your child to reach the ever expanding and growing educational responsibilites that must be achieved?

    My guess is, if these were accomplished the $1000 would not be an issue...but, what do I know? I'm only a teacher...

  • Christel

    Silver Springs, MD pays $96K a year for a Master's degree? Not true. Starting pay is significantly higher than WV - around $46K a year. However, she would have to be a certificated Administrator to see that $96K - which you also need teaching experience to be hired.

  • rick

    Teachers are not the only educated people in the State that are underpaid in comparison to the surrounding States. West Virginia will pay the price in the next few years as this generation who stay because they want to see a better West Virginia leave the work force. We are having trouble hiring and keeping good workers with the State because they can work at McDonald's and make more money and get a free lunch.

  • WarDog10

    If you all on here think teaching is this easy, great field in which you work 200 8 hour days, please go try it. I firmly believe that most of you would either walk out or quit within 1 month of teaching.

    I am very grateful for a $1000 raise and love my job to the end of the earth and love being able to talk to my former students after they graduate when they come back and tell me what they are doing.

    The money can not and will never replace the fact that I am making a difference in children's lives whether they come back to West Virginia or not.

    Please quit lumping all teachers into this lazy do nothing group that some of you have because I think you will find there are more that work very hard to make children better than there are that are lazy!

  • Jeff

    Why is everyone getting upset? The PEIA is scheduling public comment sessions as I type in order to raise our premiums so we'll never see the extra income, which amounts to $5 a day before taxes.

  • Gary

    Delegate Arvon needs to get her facts straight. Her daughter couldn't go to Montgomery County Maryland and get a job making $96,000. They start you off between 46,000- 55. depending on what degree you have. After 25 years with certain degrees and hours you can get that high. Montgomery County Maryland schools are rated either at or near the top in the country.
    When are we going to spend some money to improve the schools? Instead we give raises to the teachers which does nothing to improve the schools. They could give the teachers 50,000 a year and that still wouldn't improve the schools. We would still have the 45th ranked schools in the country.Does anyone know if the employer pays their medical and dental? I believe they pay 6 per cent to their retirement and employer (us) pays 7.5 per cent . Their retirement if they made an average 40.000 a year the last 5 years and worked 30 years would be 24,000 a year.

  • joeyjojo

    These teachers are on the front lines working hard. 6 hours a day, 5 days a week 36 weeks a year. They deserve more more more.

    • Frustrated State Worker

      Talk about people on the front lines.....have you ever considered the danger to Child Protective Service Workers? They work long hours, have to be on call, are constantly in dangerous situations and dealing with horrible situations on a daily basis, yet no raise for CPS or other State Workers who work hard every day and receive no appreciation for their efforts.

  • John S. Shackeford

    Seems people having jobs requiring four-year specialized degrees are always looking in from the outside when the word money comes up. As far as the guy that said I was a dullard, I challenge him to a quadratic and differential equation competition.

  • Roscoe

    Lynn, "ain't" isn't a word. Maybe you need to go back to school.

  • Joe

    I think people forget, especially the elected officials, that there are many, many other state employees who have college degrees that make slightly above the poverty level. It would take one of two things for our leaders to listen (1) vote ALL incumbents out of office and replace them with new blood willing to listen and act in the state employees best interests or (2) state employees as a whole call in sick for a week. I am tired of teachers and their lobbyists getting more than their fair share.

    • Frustrated State Worker

      When only teachers have a voice in our government, because they fill the legislature and vote themselves raises........then you have a situation where the fox is guarding the hen house.

  • Lee

    WV should shut down their school system and put the savings into their welfare program then everyone can quit working and live the good life.

  • a concerned educator

    A number of comments have centered on the aspect of teachers having snow days off. However, after this year, ALL snow days must be made up which will hopefully put an end to this type of comment. Starting in the fall 2014, all counties must have 180 days of school due to SB 319 (I believe I have the # correct). Teachers may be off on the snow day itself, but they will have to make it up either at another time during the school year or as an added day at the end of the year.

  • Justin

    Here's an idea... Do what everybody else does in the working community. If you are unhappy with the pay, schedule, benefits, etc... QUIT!!! Make a change or deal with the field YOU chose to be a part of..
    For those of you that will hang me after this saying youve taught for 30 years, the pay is nothing new.. This didnt happen overnight..
    Its real simple.. If there is a major teacher shortage, as with any other field, the pay will go up to attract qualified people.. Until then, this type of news story will pop every couple years with the same old comments.....