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Cabell school board backs staff pay raises

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By Kristi Murphy 
The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON - The Cabell County Board of Education voted Tuesday to endorse a petition to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin that supports increasing salaries for teachers and support personnel.

Teacher Denis Chapman asked the board to endorse the West Virginia Education Association's efforts to lobby lawmakers for a multi-year salary increase, citing Cabell County's proximity to other states where teachers are paid more.

"They can go to Ohio or Kentucky and make more money than they do in West Virginia," he said. "We're trying to convince Gov. Tomblin that it is imperative that he support and, in fact, in his State of the State address, mention and support a substantial pay raise for teachers in the state of West Virginia. We can no longer afford to be behind some of the counties that surround us and we lose teachers to."

All board members voted in support of the endorsement.

The board also heard three presentations during the two-hour public meeting before entering executive session to discuss current legal issues.

The most extensive presentation came from Lenora Richardson, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment, who walked board members through WESTEST data that was released earlier this month. It was the first time the board had met since the data became public. The other two presentations involved the Kids in Motion program at the YMCA and the SkillsUSA chapter at the Cabell County Career and Technology Center.

The board also approved interagency agreements between the district and five local pharmacies to provide opportunities for students enrolled in the Health and Science Education Program at Cabell Midland High School to observe and acquire clinical experiences. The pharmacies include Drug Emporium, Walgreens, Ross Pharmacy, Custom Script and Fruth.

The board also approved two out-of-state school trips for the Huntington High School debate team and baseball team, which are asking to travel to Charlotte, North Carolina, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, respectively.