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Committee fails to come together on differences; West Virginia teacher strike continues

Thousands of teachers and school personnel fill the Capitol building in Charleston on Monday, the eighth day of statewide school closures.
(Gazette-Mail by Craig Hudson)


Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Public schools across West Virginia will remain closed Tuesday as a conference committee composed of House of Delegates and Senate members failed to reconcile their differences on legislation granting pay raises to teachers and school service personnel Monday evening.

However, Senate Majority Leader Ryan Ferns, R-Ohio, said the Senate Republican caucus, which has found itself at odds with the other three legislative caucuses and Gov. Jim Justice, is ready to compromise, though he declined to say what the compromise would entail.

Delegates passed House Bill 4145, granting a 5 percent average raise to teachers, school service personnel and the West Virginia State Police, effective next fiscal year, with the intention of granting a 3 percent average raise to other state employees in the budget bill. The Senate amended the 5 percent average raise down to 4 percent, with the intention of giving all other state employees a 4 percent average raise in the budget bill.

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