Governor signs pay raise bill

WV Legislature Braces for State Teachers Strike

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Those actions haven't affected teachers' walkout plans "and in some respects the pay bill upset them more", West Virginia Education Association spokeswoman Kym Randolph said Wednesday.

More than 1,000 demonstrators were in line Thursday morning at the Capitol's West Wing entrance, waiting to express their displeasure with state lawmakers.

In what appears to be the biggest strike in West Virginia history, thousands of teachers walked off the job Thursday, closing schools in all of the state's 55 counties, the Wall Street Journal reports. "They are engaged in a righteous and fundamental American values fight for dignity and respect".

Gov. Justice signed legislation on Monday giving teachers a pay increase, starting with a 2 percent increase next year. The law would permit operators to offer sports wagering through apps and online, which is the wave of the future and also would make sports betting more accessible to more remote parts of rural West Virginia. A further point of dispute is the rising health-care costs at the state Public Employees Insurance Agency (PEIA). Specifically, we will be preparing additional food to go home with children who rely on our food service program and our teachers will be sending home extended homework packets to keep kids moving in the right direction instructionally.

The state Senate shaved a year off the House of Delegates' proposed teacher pay raise of 2 percent next school year, followed by three years of 1 percent annual increases.

Mesa High School Students Walk Out In Response To Florida Shooting
It happened during the school's third period and lasted for 17 minutes- one minute for every victim in the Florida shooting. Participants will be urged to wear orange, the color that has come to represent the movement against gun violence.

Workers are protesting over low salaries and changes to public employee benefits that had been proposed.

"Now they still aren't getting the pay raise they deserve and they are trying to raise insurance", said Thoroughman.

"I believe the concern [about students] is well founded, especially in a poorer state such as West Virginia", said Kiner, "but I also trust the judgement of the teachers to not only do what's best for themselves but their students".

"We'd love to give a larger raise but funds are not there at present and we're $25 million behind estimates (in revenue) for January", he said.

Community partners have been working to address the county's high poverty, under-performing schools, drug and alcohol abuse, housing shortages, limited medical services and inadequate access to technology and transportation in connection with the downturn in coal. The House sports betting bill, which mirrors SB 415, has seven Republican co-sponsors and public support from a number of Democrats. The impending work stoppage is unlawful. "We also stand ready to assist and support any county board of education or county superintendent as they enforce the law".

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