|The House of Delegates Education Committee on Monday adopted pay bills for teachers and school service personnel.
House Education counsel said House Bill 2828 would move teachers’ starting salaries from $39,000 to $44,000.
Through provisions of existing law, teachers will receive other increases in salary, based on years of experience and degree attainment.
The measure is expected to cost $171 million, according to fiscal information prepared by the state Department of Education.
Delegate Wayne Clark of Jefferson County praised lawmakers for supporting the bill, saying “we can finally show our teachers that we’ve been listening, and we want to help and make things better.”
He also noted pay disparities between his district and neighboring school districts in Virginia.
House Bill 2598 provides a $900 monthly increase to state school service personnel, according to the bill note. The state Department of Education fiscal note says the measure will cost $121 million, although the amount could vary annually based on county board deployment of service personnel.
Additionally, the Committee approved these measures:
House Bill 2279 grants in-state resident status to students whose parent or legal guardian received economic development incentives to locate to West Virginia. The student must file his or her intent to establish residency in West Virginia. The student would qualify as a “resident” on the first day of the semester or term for purposes of receiving resident tuition rates.
House Bill 2380 removes obsolete sections of law relating to the School Building Authority of West Virginia.
House Bill 2443 designates school service employees certified as Director or Supervisor of Pupil Transportation by the National Association for Pupil Transportation eligible for professional employee positions involving supervision of county transportation departments. County boards posting professional positions involving supervision of county transportation departments must consider service employee applicants having NAFPT certification for Director or Supervisor of Pupil Transportation positions.
House Bill 2941 extends the sunset date for the state Advisory Council on Postsecondary Attainment goals until 2025. The Council’s role is to ensure that students have opportunities to learn and earn the “most relevant industry-demanded knowledge, skills, and credentials to prepare students for the challenges of college, careers, and life” based on collaboration with K-12 education leaders, employers and industry leaders, state agency leaders, the Higher Education Policy Commission, and the Council for Community and Technical College Education.
House Bill 2942 allows the state Superintendent of schools to automatically suspend a teacher’s certificate for offenses that involve battery and assault of a disabled child; child abuse resulting in injury or child abuse creating risk of injury; sexual abuse as a person in a position of trust to a child or for allowing sexual abuse to be inflicted upon a child and display of sex organs by a person in a position of trust and/or failure to report such abuses.
House Bill 2989 increases the number of out-of-state medical students receiving in-state tuition rates from two to four program participants per medical school. The House Education Committee amended the bill to ensure students render services for one calendar year as a M.D. or O.D. both in a medically underserved area and in a primary care or specialty practice or field in West Virginia having a shortage of physicians.