West Virginia Teachers’ Pay: Good Enough Or Not?

Striking+school+workers+hold+signs+and+chant+inside+the+West+Virginia+Capitol+in+Charleston%2C+West+Virginia%2C+U.S.%2C+on+Friday%2C+March+2%2C+2018.+A+week+ago%2C+thousands+of+public+school+teachers+in+West+Virginia+went+out+on+strike%2C+a+rare+but+familiar+union-organized+action+to+protest+low+wages+and+rising+health-care+costs.+Tuesday+night%2C+state+union+leaders+and+the+Governor+Jim+Justice+reached+a+deal%2C+and+the+teachers+were+expected+to+be+back+at+work+on+Thursday%2C+but+hey+didn%27t+go.+Unsatisfied+with+the+resolution%2C+they+stayed+on+the+picket+line%2C+mounting+one+of+the+country%27s+biggest+unauthorized+%22wildcat%22+strikes+in+decades.+Photographer%3A+Scott+Heins%2FBloomberg+via+Getty+Images

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Striking school workers hold signs and chant inside the West Virginia Capitol in Charleston, West Virginia, U.S., on Friday, March 2, 2018. A week ago, thousands of public school teachers in West Virginia went out on strike, a rare but familiar union-organized action to protest low wages and rising health-care costs. Tuesday night, state union leaders and the Governor Jim Justice reached a deal, and the teachers were expected to be back at work on Thursday, but hey didn't go. Unsatisfied with the resolution, they stayed on the picket line, mounting one of the country's biggest unauthorized "wildcat" strikes in decades. Photographer: Scott Heins/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ryenn Snyder, Author

Although teachers have one of the most important professions, their pay does not reflect that. 

West Virginia teachers have one of the lowest salaries among the other states. They get paid an average of $45,453 a year. West Virginia teachers are in the 48th rank of pay, meaning there are only two states that receive a lower salary. 

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Considering teachers mold our children into the scientists, politicians, and important people of tomorrow, this amount of pay is unacceptable. 

Many teachers and students found this so unacceptable that around two years ago, West Virginia teachers decided to go on strike. This strike lasted from February 23rd to March 7th 

Many West Virginia teachers stood strong, supporting each other to protest for their rights as teachersAlso, many dedicated students stood with their teachers to support them and to show appreciation for everything teachers do for them and their futures. 

The two main objectives of this strike were to raise teachers’ pay and lower the health insurance costs they receive. Teachers wanted and needed a far more reliable financing plan. 

The day before the strike begun, Governor Jim Justice signed a bill into law stating that teachers would receive a two percent pay raise, but teachers declined this, saying it would not keep up with inflation. 

Finally, agreeing on a five percent pay raise, teachers and students returned to school. 

Although teachers still deserve a far higher salary, a five percent raise is definitely a good start for now.