The Times West Virginian

West Virginia

January 10, 2012

WVEA to seek more teacher pay raises

CHARLESTON — A year after state public school teachers received pay raises, West Virginia’s largest educators’ group is calling for another one.

Despite an across-the-board raise of $1,488 last year, West Virginia remains 48th in the nation in teacher pay and nearly $12,000 below the national average, West Virginia Education Association President Dale Lee said at a news conference Monday.

“It revolves around ensuring that our kids have the best, highly qualified, motivated teacher in front of them,” Lee said.

The National Education Association says the average teacher in West Virginia was paid $44,701 in the 2009-10 school year. Average salaries are higher in every surrounding state.

Lee has made improving salaries a top goal since he took over the WVEA in June 2008.

Lawmakers gave teachers a $1,600 raise that year. Teachers then went three years without one, other than normal increases granted for experience.

The Legislature’s 60-day regular session begins Wednesday, and Lee will be going back to ask for more. He also said it’s “unacceptable” that some 2,000 classrooms lack a certified teacher, only because their districts can’t afford to pay them.

“That’s the basis for a child’s education and their future,” Lee said. “We have to address that.”

Lee said the perception of the teaching profession has taken a hit from lawmakers, parents, business leaders and negative stories in the media.

“And unfortunately, a lot of people equate respect with salaries,” Lee said. “And when you can make more in any other profession, it’s going to be hard to show that respect to teachers.”

Lee also released the results of a survey of 3,800 educators taken in November and December. It shows 36 percent of respondents blame problems in the public school system on parents who aren’t involved in their child’s education.

Twenty-nine percent blame lawmakers for failing to provide adequate funding, 26 percent point to students for a lack of discipline, respect and motivation, and 9 percent blame teachers for being unprepared to deal with student needs.

When asked what would be most effective in improving West Virginia’s public schools, most educators said reducing class sizes to give teachers more one-on-one time with students, followed by ensuring all students have access to a well-rounded education, including history, music and art.

Expanding the school year got the lowest ratings, and 93 percent of educators said too much emphasis is placed on standardized testing in public schools.

Lee said the survey was conducted because “the morale of our school employees is approaching an all-time low. Teacher bashing is everywhere. We are constantly hearing from elected leaders, business groups and others that our students are not performing well and the impression is that our schools and school employees are the problems.

“We have initiatives constantly being offered from those outside of the progression proposing ‘fixes’ to our ailing schools. We have teachers who feel as though their expertise is ignored and their work is not valued.”

A state Department of Education spokeswoman said Monday the department is reviewing the survey.

Text Only
West Virginia
  • Repairs set for I-77 tunnel

    Some lanes of an Interstate 77 tunnel along the Virginia-West Virginia border where a truck fire occurred are being rerouted for repairs.

    July 29, 2014

  • Veterans crisis center coming to Clarksburg

    The long delays for veterans seeking medical care at VA hospitals have prompted The American Legion to plan a short-term crisis center in Clarksburg.

    July 29, 2014

  • Weekend tornado confirmed in West Virginia

    The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado touched down in Pleasants and Ritchie counties over the weekend.

    July 29, 2014

  • Rahal: Fund VA reform ‘for our veterans’

     On the cusp of Congress’s lengthy summer break, factions sparring over legislation to strengthen health care and funding reforms for the Department of Veterans Affairs may have reached a compromise.
    Although final details are still in the works, the top two negotiators, Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., released a joint statement that said they had “made significant progress toward and agreement on legislation to make VA more accountable and to help the department recruit more doctors, nurses and other health-care professionals.”

    July 29, 2014

  • Attorney general reaches $950,000 settlement with three financial groups

    West Virginia’s attorney general has reached a $950,000 settlement with three companies over allegations of antitrust law violations.

    July 28, 2014

  • Woman convicted in teen’s slaying moved

    A Monongalia County teenager has been transferred to a state prison to complete her sentence for the slaying of another teenager.
    The Lakin Correctional Center near Point Pleasant said Friday Rachel Shoaf has been booked at the Division of Corrections prison. Shoaf turned 18 last month and had been held in a juvenile facility.

    July 26, 2014

  • Board suspends clinic operator’s license

    A West Virginia board Friday suspended the license of the operator of a pain management clinic where investigators found syringes were being reused. It was the second disciplinary action involving the doctor’s license within a decade.

    July 26, 2014

  • Candidates: Leave global warming debate to scientists

    Two West Virginia congressional hopefuls said during their first candidate forum matchup Thursday that the global warming debate is better left to scientists.
    Democrat Nick Casey and Republican Alex Mooney added that other countries should step up in reducing carbon emissions.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lawsuit filed over Dirty Girl Mud Run

    A lawsuit has been filed against the producers of a run that was canceled in Charleston in which participants were told they wouldn’t be issued refunds.

    July 24, 2014

  • WVa. man sues GM over wife's death

    A West Virginia man has filed a lawsuit against General Motors Corp., claiming a defective ignition switch in a Chevrolet Cobalt caused a 2006 accident that killed his pregnant wife.

    July 24, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads