CHARLESTON – The Senate briefly
debated a bill that will increase teachers’ pay across the state by almost $1,000.
Senators at the Capitol approved a
bill Wednesday that will grant teachers an across-the-board pay raise of $837.
The bill originated as a 2-percent
increase but was later changed to an across-the-board raise.
Officials say the change was to stay
within the budget for teachers pay.
Senators say education is in desperate
need of a boost in the state, and that change starts with teachers. But coming
to the decision wasn't easy.
“To be giving raises to anybody in the
middle of a budget crisis has you going to examine your thought process,” says
Senator Bill Cole, a Republican from Mercer County.
“Having said that,” adds Cole, “education
is – well, we're in trouble in the state of West Virginia. We're putting out
virtually a last-place student right now.”
The bill also grants school service personnel
a 2-percent pay increase. Next it will head to the House for consideration.