You don’t have to look far to understand teacher shortages in West Virginia. The average teacher salary in the Mountain State is about $45,000. It is by far the lowest compared to any surrounding state.
Pennsylvania’s is $67,000; Maryland, $69,000; Ohio $58,000; Virginia and Kentucky both pay more than $50,000. The national average is more than $60,000, so a teacher can go just about anywhere in the U.S. and get much better pay than here
One would think we’d treat teachers who choose to stay in West Virginia really well and listen to them.
After all, this year they turned down a bill that would have given them a pay raise, because they were worried charter schools would fail to improve student success. You'd think legislators would show some appreciation for teachers by backing down on that bill.
You’d be wrong.
West Virginia schools are left scrambling to create innovative programs to bring student teachers to their schools to fill the gaps. Or they must devise ways to help local kids get their teaching degree if they promise to teach here for a few years. That’s all great. But what if we elected a governor and legislature that worked for our children and our schools instead of for big companies seeking tax breaks?