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West Virginia Raises Teachers’ Pay to End Statewide Strike


Heather Accord; Danielle Harris; Dale Lee (WVEA); Lois Casto; Nina Tunstalle; Katherine Dudley; Kara Brown; Kerry Guerini; Renita Benson


CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The statewide teachers’ strike that shuttered West Virginia schools for almost two weeks appeared all but over on Tuesday when Gov. James C. Justice signed a bill to give teachers and other state employees a 5 percent pay raise.

A crowd of teachers wearing the red T-shirts that have come to symbolize their strike cheered as Mr. Justice, a Republican, signed the pay raise bill in a theater on the Capitol grounds. The bill had been passed unanimously earlier in the day by both houses of the Republican-controlled Legislature. “

We’re going to school tomorrow,” said Heather Acord, an elementary schoolteacher from Wayne County, with relief obvious on her face. “We got everything we asked for.”

Unlike a previous proposed raise that was backed by Mr. Justice and the State House of Delegates, the deal reached on Tuesday had the support of Mitch Carmichael, the president of the State Senate. Mr. Carmichael said the deal would probably lead to painful cuts in other parts of the state budget; another Republican senator, Craig Blair, said in a conference committee that Medicaid would be among the areas cut.