Marshall school board mulls backing raises

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By Sarah Harmon, Staff Writer
The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register

The Marshall County Board of Education may choose to support a statewide pay raise for teachers after hearing a presentation from Owens Brown, the Northern Panhandle representative for the West Virginia Education Association, at Tuesday's meeting.

According to Brown, West Virginia teachers' salaries trail the national average by nearly $10,000. He said the teachers' pay in the state ranks 48th in the country and has dropped 18 spots in the national ranking since 1993.

"West Virginia ranks at the bottom of our neighboring states in average teacher pay as well," Brown said. "Our brightest home-grown educators do not have to travel very far to find better and more lucrative teaching jobs."

Superintendent Michael Hince said the board will consider signing a resolution from the WVEA pushing for a five-year increase in teacher salaries at the board's next meeting.

In other business, the board unanimously voted to renew a contract with Agricultural Design Inc., of Seville, Ohio for the maintenance of the district's football fields. The county will pay $24,150 for services including maintaining field irrigation systems and lawn seeding and feeding of the fields. Board member Lori Kestner was absent at the time of the vote.

Hince also reported discussions on the 2014-15 school calendar are coming to a close and the school district will be collecting notes and comments from schools in early February. Hince previously said the board is looking at a unified calendar for the county, eliminating a controversial modified calendar for Cameron schools.

He said the county's calendar must be approved by May 1. The board is required to hold public meetings on the issue prior to making a decision.

Additionally, due to recent inclement weather, the district's Night of Excellence is rescheduled for 7 p.m. March 18 at John Marshall High School.