January 2018

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January 7, 2018

WV Legislature likely to address teacher seniority issue
By Ryan Quinn, Charleston Gazette-Mail

The West Virginia House Education Committee’s vice chairman expects a bill that would remove the statewide mandate that public school teachers with the least amount of seniority automatically lose their positions when job cuts are made in a particular teaching area to be considered in the impending legislative session.

Vice Chairman Joe Statler, R-Monongalia,...

January 8, 2018

Armstead supports change in constitution to elect some state school board members
By Jeff Jenkins, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — House of Delegates Speaker Tim Armstead says at least some members of the state Board of Education should be elected.

There will be a resolution introduced during the upcoming regular session that will do exactly that, Armstead (R-Kanawha) said.

“It’s such a serious area of governance and to have no...

January 10, 2018

Lee: Lawmakers need to look at raising teacher salaries during 2018 session
By Carrie Hodousek, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The president of the West Virginia Education Association wants to see lawmakers implement across the board teacher pay raises during the the 2018 Regular Legislative Session.

“We have to have a long range plan of action to look at teacher salaries so that we’re not continuing to have the 700+ openings across the...

January 11, 2018

Coach' Justice calls for WV to win in second State of the State address
Phil Kabler, Charleston Gazette-Mail

With members of his Greenbrier East High School girls basketball team leading a cheer on the House of Delegates floor, Gov. Jim Justice in his second State of the State address Wednesday declared, “We’re on our way, let’s go get it done.”

Using whiteboards to show the six years of budget deficits projected when he took office in 2017, and the...

January 11, 2018

Education leaders say teachers need more than 1 percent pay raise proposed by governor
By Carrie Hodousek, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia education leaders say a proposed one percent pay raise for teachers is not enough to fill the more than 700 vacancies statewide.

“We’re still 49th in the nation in pay. One percent doesn’t move us anywhere,” said Dale Lee, president of the West Virginia Education Association following...

January 11, 2018

State BOE approves policy for changes to graduation credits, grading scale
By Carrie Hodousek, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Board of Education approved a policy Wednesday that deals with changes to graduation credits and the current grading scale for high school students.

The board passed Policy 2510 after taking nearly 1,3000 comments from a 30-day public comment period.

The policy includes reducing credits...

January 16, 2018

WV teachers call for more than a 1 percent raise
By Ryan Quinn, Charleston Gazette-Mail

Gov. Jim Justice, in his State of the State address last week, requested a “1 percent” across-the-board pay increase for West Virginia teachers in this year’s legislative session, with further 1 percent increases in each of the next four years.

“That’s it?” has essentially been the response of teachers, at least as indicated by a rally Monday in the state Capitol....

January 18, 2018

Delegates criticize WV PEIA wellness program as 'invasion of privacy'
By Phil Kabler, Charleston Gazette-Mail

Some House members were critical Wednesday of a new Public Employees Insurance Agency wellness initiative, calling it intrusive and an invasion of privacy.

“We have some pretty doggone unhappy state employees. A lot of that unhappiness is based on this program,” Delegate Marty Gearheart, R-Mercer, said of PEIA’s new GO365 program.

Under the...

January 18, 2018

WV House committee passes bill to dismantle Dept. of Education and Arts
By Ryan Quinn, Charleston Gazette-Mail

The West Virginia House Education Committee passed Wednesday an extensive bill that would dismantle the state Department of Education and the Arts, sending agencies and functions within it to other areas or spinning them off as independent agencies.

But committee members who opposed House Bill 4006, which now heads to the House Finance Committee...

January 25, 2018

Unions hold press conference over unrest with salary and PEIA proposals

CHARLESTON – Speaking on behalf of thousands of public employees, leaders from AFT-WV, WVEA, UMWA, CWA and the West Virginia AFL-CIO called on lawmakers to work on a long-term strategy to make salaries for state employees competitive with contiguous states.

“There’s a lot of unrest among public employees out there,” WV AFL-CIO President Josh Sword said. “We have a crisis on our hands within...

January 25, 2018

Justice administration changes pay raise bill to reflect multi-year increases
By Jeff Jenkins, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice’s pay raise bill for state workers now includes language that says it will be a multi-year raise for teachers and all other state workers.

The bill (SB 267) passed the Senate Finance Committee on a voice vote Thursday afternoon. The committee voted on a bill that was different from the original...