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“We have reached a deal”: WV schools reopening after Justice signs pay raise bill


Parry Casto; Adam Culver; Dale Lee (WVEA); Randi Weingarten (AFT)


Gov. Jim Justice signed into law a 5 percent pay raise for public school teachers and school service personnel Tuesday that appears to mark the end of the nine-school-day statewide strike.

By 7 p.m., multiple county school systems, including Kanawha’s, announced that they’re reopening schools Wednesday. None said they’d be closed, although Fayette and Logan counties announced 2-hour delays.

Before a meeting of a conference committee composed of Senators and members of the House of Delegates, Justice announced that all state employees, along with teachers, school service personnel (a category including bus drivers and cooks) and State Police would receive a 5 percent raise. The raises will take effect next fiscal year, which starts July 1, and equal $2,020 for teachers.

Both houses of the Legislature voted unanimously Tuesday, except for Delegate Frank Deem, R-Wood, who was absent, to accept the conference committee report and pass the bill.

“We have reached a deal,” Justice said on Twitter. “I stood rock solid on the 5 percent teacher pay raise and delivered. Not only this, but my staff and I made additional cuts which will give all state employees 5 percent as well. All the focus should have always been on fairness and getting the kids back in school.”