CHARLESTON, W.Va. – During a press conference Tuesday, Gov. Jim Justice called on members of West Virginia’s Legislature to pass a bill, first introduced by the Governor, that would provide a pay raise for teachers, service personnel and other state employees, without any further changes to the state school system at this time.
“I’m calling [legislators] to pass my pay raise bill, the bill that I sent up, the clean bill, that’s a pay raise for all government employees,” Gov. Justice said. “I think there’s a real opportunity to move forward here and that needs to be the first step.”
The request came just hours after the House of Delegates voted to indefinitely table Senate Bill 451, commonly known as the Comprehensive Education Reform Bill. The Governor’s announcement was attended by dozens of teachers who spent the day at the State Capitol in protest of SB 451.
Gov. Justice said that the comprehensive bill included some good ideas that may be worth re-visiting at a later date. But the Governor also disagreed with other portions of the bill.
“I’ve said all along that I am not an advocate and a fan of charter schools, period,” Gov. Justice said. “The reason I’m not is because I do not think our education system today can afford it and I think we need to do a whole lot more for the public [education] before we start taking on more of a load.”
“We’ve got to move forward,” Gov. Justice said. “There are many people here that are teachers, that are service personnel…I’m calling upon you to go back to work.”
“Give this process now a chance to work,” Gov. Justice continued.