Democratic Attempt to Raise Teacher Pay Fails in Senate

Mar 11, 2015

After approving a bill to give nationally certified teachers in low performing schools a pay raise Wednesday, Democratic Senators attempted to get an across the board raise for all teachers in the state by amending a governor's bill. 

Senate Minority Leader Jeff Kessler proposed the amendment to give West Virginia teachers a $2,000 raise.
Credit Martin Valent / West Virginia Legislative Photography

House Bill 2478 would reduce state funds dedicated to replacing county school buses one time, in the upcoming fiscal year. The bill was presented on behalf of Gov. Tomblin as a way to balance the 2016 budget.

Senate Minority Leader Jeff Kessler attempted to amend the bill by adding an across the board $2,000 pay raise for teachers across the state.

Kessler estimated the pay raise would cost the state between $55 and $58 million annually.

Republicans opposed the amendment because of budget implications. Senate Finance Chair Mike Hall said the Senate’s current budget was written without any teacher raise and it’s too late in the process to add one. 

Kessler’s amendment to provide a salary increase ultimately failed on a party line vote.

Hall said an increase in pay for teachers is an issue lawmakers plan to address next year.

The bill to reduce $4 million from the state fund to replace school buses to balance the upcoming budget, House Bill 2478, was approved 28 to 5.