The state’s largest teacher’s union announced a new initiative pushing for a competitive salary for teachers and school personnel. Union leaders call the pay increase the next step in improving public education and student achievement across West Virginia.
The West Virginia Education Association kicked off the “Competitive Pay Campaign” at their Charleston headquarters.
West Virginia currently ranks 48th in the nation in teacher pay at an annual salary of $45,000.
While WVEA President Dale Lee declined to put a dollar amount on what the union considers a competitive salary, he said it should be a major priority for lawmakers despite a struggling state economy.
“It’s not our job to find the resources for them, but it is their job to place a priority,” Lee said during a press conference. “This has to become a priority and anything up at the Capitol that they make a priority they are able to find the funding for it.”
Lee said every $1,000 raise for teachers would cost the state more than $26 million.
He said implementing a multi-year program would allow the state more time to find some of that amount while catching West Virginia teacher up with the national average of $55,000 a year.