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Board endorses state wide pay resolution

By Staff | Dec 3, 2014

The Tyler County Board of Education on Monday unanimously endorsed a resolution to support a statewide pay increase for all teachers and support professionals.

The letter addressed to the Honorable Governor Earl Ray Tomblin states the West Virginia Constitution singles out public education as a top priority and case law says education is the primary responsibility of the our state government. “West Virginia’s teachers and the service professionals we employ in our public schools are the foundation of our education system and the catalyst upon which we can grow the best schools possible for our great state,” it states.

“Highly qualified teachers are the single most important component to improving student achievement, and can help a child overcome the effects of poverty.

“We now find ourselves at a crossroads, as more teachers are retiring from the profession and it’s becoming more difficult to attract young professionals into teaching. Further, recruiters from neighboring states continue to entice young teachers away from West Virginia.

“As members of the Board of Education, it is our job to prepare students for a 21st century workforce. We can only do so by attracting talented, skilled teachers into our classrooms. It is also imperative that we increase pay for our hardworking education support professionals, like our bus drivers, cooks, aides, custodians, secretaries, and maintenance workers. A pay boost will keep many of them from leaving for private sector jobs.

“We believe it is in our state’s best interest to build upon Senate Bill 391, which increased teachers’ pay by $1,000 across the board and also gave education support professionals a two percent pay raise.

“This important first step set us on the right path to the competitive pay that will keep our highly qualified teachers in West Virginia. Yet we must continue the momentum. SB 391 includes goal language that would set a beginning teacher’s salary at $43,000 by 2019. We support improving teacher pay and finding a mechanism to maintain a competitive level of pay.

“The need to achieve competitive pay is now more important than ever if we want to improve our education system and help our children reach their full potential.”

“Our children are the future of our state. We must do all we can to ensure they succeed.”

This letter was signed by all members of the Tyler County Board of Education on Dec. 1.