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January 2019

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January 2, 2019

by The Hechinger Report

HEMPHILL — Johnathan Snead, 15, is flitting in and out of a white, vinyl-sided prefab shed that’s been converted into a bedroom. The bed dominates the room, and a crooked “home sweet home” plaque hangs on the wall.

A lone window allows in little light. Each time a door opens, cigarette smoke drifts in from the mobile home his family shares next door.

As Johnathan plays on...

January 3, 2019

By Michelle Hackman and Eric Morath, The Wall Street Journal

Teachers and other public education employees, such as community-college faculty, school psychologists and janitors, are quitting their jobs at the fastest rate on record, government data shows.

A tight labor market with historically low unemployment has encouraged Americans in a variety of occupations to ...

January 4, 2019

By Shauna Johnson

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — On the day Governor Jim Justice gives his 3rd State of the State Address at the State Capitol, some of West Virginia’s teachers and school personnel will be drawing attention to the “State of the Mountain State’s Schools” with a walk-in event.

Set for Wednesday, organizers said it was designed as a reminder that educators are still unified less than a year after the nine-day walkout that ended with approval of a 5 percent...

January 7, 2019

By Ryan Quinn, Charleston Gazette-Mail

State Schools Superintendent Steve Paine said Friday he’d support some type of one-time pay incentive for educators who aren’t certified to teach math, but are teaching it anyway, to increase their math education skills, and for elementary school teachers to also improve their teaching techniques.

He suggested Gov. Jim Justice will provide more information in his State of the State address Wednesday.

“We’ll be developing a strategy...

January 8, 2019

By Joselyn King, The Intelligencer 

West Virginia leads the nation when it comes to the percentage of children under age 6 living in poverty, and this statistic has the state’s teachers seeing red.

Educators across West Virginia will “Go Red for Ed” on Wednesday, the first day of the West Virginia Legislature 2019 regular session. Teachers from across the state are set to stand outside local schools a half-hour before classes start Wednesday, wearing red to call for more...

January 9, 2019

By Ryan Quinn, Charleston Gazette-Mail

The speaker of the House of Delegates and the state Senate president both prioritized educational changes Tuesday, but hinted at discord as to what those may involve.

The Republican legislative leaders say the upcoming session will include talk of free community college tuition, charter schools and higher pay for math teachers, though the House of Delegates speaker isn’t as firmly behind the first two issues as the Senate president is....

January 10, 2019

By Jeff Jenkins, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice promised to raise pay for teachers, put more money toward their health insurance and allow them to bank sick days in his State of the State Address Wednesday night.

Justice’s plan includes a five percent raise for teachers and $150 million funding for PEIA. American Federation of Teachers-West Virginia President Fred Albert said what Justice said should leave classroom teachers hopeful.

...
January 11, 2019

By Phil Kabler, Charleston Gazette-Mail

Gov. Jim Justice’s 2019-20 budget proposal includes $200 million in one-time supplemental appropriations — including $105 million for a PEIA reserve fund, Budget Office Director Michael Cook told the West Virginia Senate Finance Committee on Thursday.

Justice, in his State of the State address Wednesday, announced he was upping his pledge for PEIA from the previously announced $100 million commitment to $150 million.

On Thursday,...

January 14, 2019

By Ryan Quinn, Charleston Gazette-Mail

West Virginia’s public high school four-year graduation rate last school year was 90 percent, up from 89 percent the previous school year and about the same as the year before that.

Counties’ graduation rates ranged from 83 percent in Kanawha, which has the state’s highest public school enrollment, and in Cabell, which has the third-highest enrollment, to 97 percent in Doddridge, Lewis, Mingo, Morgan, Putnam and Tyler counties.

...

January 15, 2019

By Brad McElhinny, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The law of unintended consequences means West Virginia colleges may be on the hook for up to $35 million in unanticipated expenses.

That’s because of two promises made during Gov. Jim Justice’s State of the State address.

The governor promised pay raises for state employees. There’s money to cover state employees who work for agencies funded by general revenue. But for agencies funded through special...