CHARLESTON, W.V. – Senate Minority Leader Jeff Kessler (D-Marshall) and Senate Minority Whip John Unger (D-Berkeley), on behalf of the Senate’s Democrat Caucus, filed an amendment today to House Bill 2478 (HB 2478) to increase teacher salaries.
HB 2478, the Public School Finance bill, revises certain aspects of public school financing and the school aid formula.
Senate Minority Leader Kessler says without competitive salaries, West Virginia cannot attract and retain quality teachers. “This legislative session has been consumed with teacher-bashing issues like charter schools, the repeal of Common Core, and alternative certification,” says Kessler. “How can we expect to attract and retain quality educators if we refuse to pay them competitively?”
The amendment called for a $2,000 salary increase effective July 1, 2015. Senate Minority Whip Unger says competitive teacher salaries are imperative to West Virginia’s educational success.
“We need to make sure that we have qualified, certified teachers in the classroom,” says Unger. “We need to start treating our teachers as professionals by compensating them accordingly and getting out of their way and letting them teach.”
The amendment failed on an 18-15 voted along party lines.