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Southern West Virginia teachers voice their concerns about pay, PEIA, education system


Bluefield Daily Telegraph

Princeton Senior High School teachers along with a few students who are members of the Key Club stand outside the school with large signs on Monday to spread awareness to the public about issues in the education system.
(Bluefield Daily Telegraph photo by Jessica Nuzzo)

PRINCETON, W.Va.  — Mercer County teachers planned to stage walk ins today outside their schools to focus the public’s attention on pay, insurance, charter school proposals impacting both educators and the overall education system.

Teachers and their supporters demonstrated Monday outside Princeton Senior High School to let the public know about the issues surrounding the state’s education system this year.

“I think at this point it’s about bringing awareness to the community,” English teacher Jennifer Belcher said afterward. “I don’t know if everyone understands the issues.”

The issues facing teachers will inevitably end up in the classrooms, she said. These issues also affect other state employees. For example, the state needs to fully fund the PEIA. 

“They’re also promoting charter schools, educational savings accounts and vouchers; and then we also have, of course, the 1 percent pay raise and seniority,” Belcher stated. “Usually what we’ve heard recently is that we’re just concerned over the pay raise. Anyone who chooses education as a profession are very well aware that you’re not in it for the money, but the state of West Virginia needs to acknowledge and respect of those who choose to go into that profession and want to stay in the state.”

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