West Virginia teachers to end strike Thursday

House of Delegates Decides on West Virginia Sports Betting Bill

The school closing notifications began rolling in after the West Virginia Senate adjourned Thursday, with lawmakers announcing plans to send bill containing a 5 percent pay increase for teachers and police as well as 3 percent increase for other public employees to the Senate Finance Committee. That deal included the raise for teachers, school service personnel and state troopers.

"We believe the best course of action at this time is to return to school", West Virginia Education Association President Dale Lee said at a news conference.

However, the deal didn't include a fix to the Public Employees Insurance Agency (PEIA), which employees say requires them to pay premiums that are too high. "Let's start school Monday and say this Senate does support education in West Virginia". The statement was read and shared widely by teachers throughout the day. According to the Charleston Gazette-Mail, workers from Boone County "had taken some sort of vote outside the nearby Culture Center to continue striking".

Indeed, every day that students like him miss school because of the week-old teacher strike is another day they not only miss the chance to become smarter, but also risk falling further behind on several measures of student achievement.

Boone County is a mining area in the southern portion of the state.

Jim Justice declared an end to the teachers' strike on Tuesday.

All 55 school systems announced they would be closed today as teachers and service personnel continue to protest at the state Capitol in Charleston and picket in counties throughout the state.

House approval of Gov. Jim Justice's proposed raise came on a 98-1 vote Wednesday evening. "I'm not ready to go back to school until it's passed through both the House and the Senate", said elementary school teacher Chloe Adkins. "The rest are absolutely in opposition, 100 percent".

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, has backed a similar proposal in his state, and Sen.

Greg Merritt, president of theWood County American Federation of Teachers, said the deal is not flawless, but it is a start. And all these fights that we've had to try to raise these issues before the strike were unheeded.

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While leadership has touted this agreement as a victory for educators across the state, who have been on strike since Thursday, February 22nd, workers across the state ultimately reject leadership's compromise. "We are getting some pushback on the PEIA part but we have more than we had a couple of hours ago; we hope to get information out tomorrow, answer questions and move on from there".

Teachers and public workers who spoke to the World Socialist Web Site Wednesday evening expressed a mood of opposition and defiance.

West Virginia ranked 48th among the 50 states in average teacher's salary in 2016, at $45,622, according to National Education Association data. "I couldn't be at 9 percent corporate tax and expect corporations to stay here if they didn't have to". People are very angry. "So I went home and I thought a lot about it".

"We can no longer abdicate our responsibility", said Del. There will be no work at my school. "We asked for 5 percent and that is what we got basically".

"You watch what your kids are looking at on the video screen, on the Babylonian idiot box", Pogge said.

"They did this by standing up and because they went and talked to the governor and talked to all of you", Campbell said.

"It doesn't force them to make any tough decisions".

They're saying we can't afford it.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, had announced Wednesday night the committee would not meet Thursday, and it did not. "I don't understand how one man can have so much power".

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