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Editorial: WV Legislature must really tackle school issues

From The Intelligencer of Wheeling: 

West Virginia legislators have been set up for a failure that could affect public schools throughout the state, perhaps seriously. It is time to call a “time out” to address not just the current confrontation but more important, the systemic dysfunction of which this is but a symptom.

Dissatisfaction among many Mountain State school teachers has been building for years, much of that time under Democrat control of state government. Now, Republicans who had not been in power for more than 83 years are being told they must address the teachers’ complaints satisfactorily right now.

Give legislators and Gov. Jim Justice credit for trying. House of Delegates members have approved granting teachers pay raises of 2 percent this year and 1 percent in each of the succeeding three years. That would be in addition to the 1.5 percent “step increases” they receive annually. State senators seem to be looking favorably on the proposal.

If adopted, the plan would result in pay raises for teachers between 9-13 percent over five years.

Another major complaint by the teachers and their unions has been the cost of health insurance. Justice and lawmakers are collaborating on a plan to freeze premiums for 17 months.

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