CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Board of Education penned its wish list on Wednesday for the 2012 West Virginia Legislative Session. At the top of its agenda is a request to address Other Post-employment Benefits, or OPEB expenses that include an unfunded liability for retiree benefits.
Also high on the state board’s priority list are pay raises for both educators and service personnel to make salaries competitive nationally and with neighboring states. The average teacher salary in West Virginia currently ranks 48th in the nation.
“This ranking is detrimental to the economic and educational well-being of our state,” said state Superintendent of Schools Jorea Marple. “West Virginia needs a long-term plan to address this fundamental issue of attracting and retaining high quality educators.”
Also included in the board’s 2012 Legislative Agenda is a request to invest nearly $23 million to expand the state’s technology infrastructure, tools and support to serve students and teachers and to lift the funding cap on the state’s eight Regional Education Service Agencies (RESAs) at an estimated cost of $1.6 million.
Board members also are asking lawmakers to increase appropriations for educator mentoring and induction by $930,466.
For more information, contact the West Virginia Department of Education’s Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.