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Teachers Again Close Every West Virginia Public School

Statewide strike now impacts a third school day
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 26, 2018 8:29 AM CST
Hundreds attend a candlelight rally in support of the ongoing statewide teachers walkout outside of the capitol building in Charleston, W.V., on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018.   (Craig Hudson/Charleston Gazette-Mail via AP)
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(Newser) – A teacher's strike is keeping public schools closed for a third day in West Virginia. The state Department of Education's website shows all school districts are closed in all 55 counties Monday morning. Gov. Jim Justice has signed teacher pay raises of 2% next year and 1% the following two years. But West Virginia's teacher pay ranks 48th in the nation, and teachers say the increases are too stingy, especially as health care costs more. The starting salary for a teacher in West Virginia is around $32,500; the average teacher salary is $44,701. CNN reports that state superintendents got together on Sunday to discuss the situation and the possibility of securing an injunction to force teachers back to work.

West Virginia Education Association President Dale Lee said thousands of teachers are returning to the state Capitol in Charleston on Monday to raise pressure on the Legislature and governor, reports the AP. The Gazette-Mail revisits the West Virginia's "first" statewide teacher's strike, which lasted for 11 school days in 1990 but didn't actually include eight of the state's counties. At the time, teachers' pay ranked 49th; the concessions they secured raised them to 34th.

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