Justice suggests pay raise for teachers, cutting RESA funds

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Justice suggests pay raise for teachers, cutting RESA funds
Ryan Quinn, Charleston Gazette-Mail

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice proposed during his State of the State address Wednesday night a 2 percent pay raise for classroom teachers next fiscal year, and his proposed budget for next fiscal year also suggests cutting all state general revenue fund dollars for the eight Regional Education Service Agencies.

Teachers already get automatic pay raises based on years of service and some other factors, like degree attainment level.

Justice, according to his proposed budget, apparently was talking about an additional pay increase for all public school teachers averaging 2 percent, or $808, for next fiscal year. Fiscal years run from July 1 through June 30.

Pay for Mountain State teachers consistently ranks low in annual teacher salary rankings released by the National Education Association, a school employees union. Teachers last got a statewide pay increase of $1,000 under Senate Bill 391, which passed in 2014, though county school boards have the right to approve countywide pay increases.

“I’m pleased he recognized that we have to pay our teachers to help retain and attract people into the profession,” said Dale Lee, president of the West Virginia Education Association, part of the National Education Association. The WVEA endorsed Justice during his successful campaign.

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