The President of the West Virginia Education Association says there’s been plenty of time to plan for pay raises for teachers.
“It’s disappointing,” Dale Lee said on Thursday’s MetroNews Talkline, a day after Governor Earl Ray Tomblin was on the show and said pay raises for state workers, including teachers, are unlikely during the coming year.
Lee says the current state of West Virginia’s budget should not be a surprise. “They’ve known for the last six years, with the proposed budget and budget deficits, that this was going to be a tough year,” he said.
More investments in education, Lee says, cannot wait. “We have to address the fact that there are more than 600 classrooms, across the state of West Virginia, without a certified teacher in them.”
Governor Tomblin will deliver his State of the State Address on February 13th, the first day of the 2013 Regular Legislative Session.
A number of education reforms are expected to be among his proposals to the Legislature.
Lee says raises should be part of that. “We have to entice people to get into the profession and stay in the profession,” he said.
“You simply can’t do that when the pay is so low that you can make more in any of the surrounding states or in most any other profession.”
The Governor has said he is not planning to propose any tax increases or fee increases to make up for budget shortfalls during the coming budget year, but he has asked most state agencies to trim their budgets.