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Tyler County Board of Education Discusses PEIA Concerns

February 14, 2018
BY KRISTEN KELLER - Staff Writer (kkeller@tylerstarnews.com) , Tyler Star News

At a regular Feb. 5 meeting, the Tyler County Board of Education discussed growing concerns over legislation's proposed one percent raise for teachers and all public employees.

Public employees, all all over the state have joined forces to express their collective concerns.

The major cause of concern is funding and fixing the Public Employees Insurance Agency, and avoiding huge cuts to health benefits.

Article Photos

Local educators lined the bridge to Tyler Consolidated High School last week, protesting potential cuts to public employees’ PEIA insurance funding.

"The amount of pay raise the state would ever probably be able to afford to give them isn't going to mean anything if the insurance isn't fixed," Tyler County Schools Superintendent Robin Daquilante said.

"I think the misconception out there is that it's just teachers, because that's all you hear on the news. It is all public employees," Daquilante said. She continued, "This is your people that work at the hospital; this is the police, correctional officers, DHHR workers, and all of our staff."

"The history of the insurance is that it was given over a period of years instead of money for raises..." Board Member Jimmy Wyatt commented.

Daquilante chimed in, "In lieu of a pay raise."

"...in lieu of a pay raise, not only teachers but all public employees. And that's just like cutting salaries but only worse because you never know.

Daquilante noted that she met with staff to discuss the insurance and what their priorities are as a whole. She said that an informational table would be set up at the Wednesday, Feb. 7 basketball game, with the purpose of educating the community regarding PEIA.

Daquilante admitted that she didn't know too much regarding the pay raise, because right now the priority is insurance.

The board announced the resignation of member Scott Strode. Strode resigned due to his candidacy for county commission. West Virginia law prohibits an individual from holding a public office while seeking another. Each of the members wished him well in his venture.

Roseanne Eastham, from the Tyler county Public Library, and Sabrina Kile, from the Sistersville Public Library, attended the meeting to request funding toward their respective libraries. The libraries receive approximately $18,000 in grant aid from the state, which requires them to get local tax-based funding in the same amount. The librarians are requesting for the board to maintain the support they received last year in the amount of $23,000. However, any amount will be appreciated.

The board received a letter from Middlebourne Parks and Recreations Director Alex King thanking members for being wonderful partners and neighbors. King is entertaining writing a Stealey-Green grant to receive funding for security cameras and lighting for the parking lot that is shared by the Board and the Stealey-Green Community Center.

"We will certainly, Mr. Davis and I, sit with him and discuss that venture and what our part is in it because it will certainly benefit us as well," Daquilante remarked.

 
 

 

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