MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — No pay raises until there’s educational reform.

That’s what state Senate Finance Committee Chairman Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, said Friday during an appearance on MetroNews affiliate WEPM’s Panhandle Live.

Craig Blair

“The money is there, but until we get through the special session on education reform, I can tell you there’s 18 senators that we’re not willing to do any pay raise until we get education reform, or betterment is the term being used by the governor,” Blair said.

Lawmakers are currently in a special session to handle reform but may not meet for some weeks but they’ve recessed while they gathering information on the reform issue. Many lawmakers, including Blair, have been attending education reform forums being conducted this week by the state Department of Education. There remain four more forums over the next two weeks.

Blair said Friday he wants reforms to free teachers to do their jobs:

“We see that they have problems in the classroom, and it’s a whole host of things; I’m not pointing my finger at anybody for that matter. Now’s the time to get into the details and get the classroom to where the teachers can actually do their job,” Blair said.