West Virginia schools stay closed, despite pay rise promise to striking teachers

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"The Council will oversee an office of tourism, and will report annually to the chief executive officer of each locality in the Historic Triangle and to the chairmen of the House Committee on Appropriations and the Senate Committee on Finance", according to a statement from the Virginia Senate.

With school in West Virginia out for seven days already because of a statewide strike, the deadlock in the Legislature is over 1 percent.

All told, those cuts diminished state revenue by more than $425 million each year, the center estimates.

The bill is contingent on the City of Williamsburg doing away with ordinances that raise the local transient occupancy, plus food and beverage cost and admission rates to events and attractions. We too would love to see state employees receive the same percentage increase as our school employees, and we are fully supportive of them also receiving a 5% increase.

Yet the situation is tangled.

"If we give five-percent, what happens is, that we may not be able to afford that next year and the following year". One night later, the House suspended rules and passed a bill reflecting that amount, 98-1.

The drama started after the Senate Finance Committee amended the House bill to give all public employees a 4 percent raise.

"We did not see that coming", Wood said. "We're staying out until it's 5 percent".

So lawmakers established conference committee.

"I think this is a great bill". The governor seems to be very much for the 5 percent raise, and that's the House position. We challenge the Senate to do the right thing.

House of Delegates spokesman Jared Hunt said Sunday no meeting had been scheduled yet of the conference committee. "So I went home and I thought a lot about it". "However, it appears many in the Senate are not honoring the agreement their leadership reached along with the governor on Tuesday". "We need to invest in education". "I really hope we can get this accomplished".

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But the procedural matters worked out for Senate leaders; the real bill with the 4% raise was voted on again, and passed. Mitch Carmichael, (R) Jackson - Senate President.

Senate President Mitch Carmichael and other Republican legislators maintain the state can not afford raises that would end the walkout by some of the lowest-paid educators in the country.

Boggs served on that committee and now serves on this one.

The late Saturday night at the capitol came with some added drama. It's unclear when the house vote will take place. Certainly my position going in is the 5 percent. "You've given us a bunch of promises, but you've not given us anything to back it up with".

The state's county superintendents expressed agreement with that.

"I can not understand how politics gets in the way of the right thing", Arvon said.

"I'm not sure what is up", Gearheart said of the confusion.

Hundreds of teachers and supporters, including students, rallied at the Capitol on Friday, the seventh day they've shuttered classrooms.

Earlier this week, James C. Justice, the governor, announced a plan to raise teachers' salaries by 5 percent, and state union leaders said teachers would return to work on Thursday.

They continued to watch as the process became a parliamentary fiasco.

The Republican-controlled Senate voted Saturday evening to approve the lower pay raise, bucking teachers, Republican Gov. Jim Justice and the Republican-controlled House, which approved the 5 percent raise Wednesday.

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