The Wetzel County Board of Education approved a request from Elliot Kendle, West Virginia Education Association's Executive Committee Member, to support WVEA's salary campaign with a resolution.
The resolution recognizes professional educators and service personnel as "the most critical ingredient in providing the children of West Virginia with a world class education opportunity." It also sees a quality public education system as the key factor for future economic development in West Virginia and that "providing competitive salaries and fringe benefits are instrumental in retaining and recruiting highly qualified personnel in the education profession."
The resolution also adds that West Virginia's institutions of higher education graduate far more educators than seek employment in West Virginia public schools and in the next five years over 50 percent of the state's educators are eligible to retire.
Also, West Virginia average teacher salaries have dropped from 30th in the nation in 1993 to 48th in 2013, just 20 years later. The average teacher salaries in West Virginia are $9,778 below the national average and are not competitive with our border states. West Virginia is $17,116 behind Pennsylvania, $18,860 behind Maryland, $11,687 behind Ohio, $3,464 behind Virginia, and $3,921 behind Kentucky, and getting farther behind each year.
The resolution states: "Now therefore be it resolved that the Wetzel County Board of Education supports the adoption of a multi-year salary increase for all school employees, both professional and service, and be it further resolved the Superintendent of Wetzel County Schools shall communicate this support to the Governor, Senator's and Delegates who represent Wetzel County, of this action taken by the Board of Education."