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Teacher Pay Raise Bill Might Not Fit in Budget
Written by Rachel McDevitt
Last updated on March 04, 2014 @ 7:01PM
Created on March 04, 2014 @ 5:36PM

There's a bill in the House of Delegates right now that could give teachers $6,000 in raises over the next three years, but it could also put a strain on the state's budget.

The original Senate bill proposed a modest raise, about $800. With the new amendment, the bill would give more substantial raises to both teachers and service personnel. Delegate David Walker (D-Clay, 33) introduced the amendment, which would give teachers a $1,000 raise this year, $2,000 next year, and $3,000 the next. Service personnel would get a $1,000 raise.

The bill has moved on to the finance committee, which could strip the bill back to the Senate version. One reason they might do that is this amendment didn't have a funding plan and it's estimated to cost the state over $200 million a year. These are going to be years where the revenue projections are declining, and some delegates are worried there will be no way to pay for these raises without extra taxes.

"It would have put us in a budget crisis, with the only option, I believe, to increase taxes somewhere," said Mary Poling (D-Barbour, 47). "That's a significant increase. Or cut many, many other programs, including funding for instructional programs other than salaries."

A county like Marion wouldn't have too much of a problem, because they have an excess levy to help pay for supplies and other things, but counties without that would have to take money from other areas to pay for these raises.

"The entire education budget is one whole big package. The Legislature are the ones who decide what is good for education. We obviously at the local level don't have that option. We have to follow the rules and mandates given to us," said Treasurer of the Marion County Board of Education, Kim Wade.

The House will have to pass this bill by the end of the week for it to take effect.


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Comments (2)
Mar 08, 2014 at 7:05 AM
When did we lose the concept teachers are professionals? Once they started caring more for money than teaching. Once they started abusing/molesting their students and once they started 'protecting' with their union, any teacher getting caught doing things they should be fired for and once they started 'protesting' and walking out, causing harm to learning for children because really they care more about the $$$ than the teaching of students.

Google 'teachers in WV arrested for abuse/raping their students' and see just how UNprofessionals a lot of them are becoming. It's downright sickening that your children and the parents can no longer count on their kids being safe in classrooms anymore. It's their 'actions' that made folks take a different 'look' at teachers today. Maybe if their union would stop 'defending' the bad ones, it wouldn't destroy the entire lot of them, but that is how it is looking in WV and all over. We hear these on the news daily. It's sickening that sexual predators are teaching in schools.
Mar 06, 2014 at 7:41 PM
When did we lose the concept of teachers being professionals? These are professional jobs and the future of our society, that is what teachers are here for and what they do on a day to day basis! They should be paid more and with that be held more accountable. Let us pay more taxes for a better educational experience and on that note, cut the teachers that are dead weight and make our youth thrive! Teachers teach, its what they do, their students become doctors, lawyers, teachers, accountants and so much more, so why not pay them more and expect more out of them? Makes no sense, cut out other expenditures and promote education! And no, I am not a teacher.
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