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Governor Justice to call special session to sort education reform and teacher pay raise

(Charleston) With the end of the session looming and education still not sorted out, Governor Jim Justice said he will call a special session for the legislature.

Sure to be on the agenda is the teacher pay raise. A House of Delegates bill included a teacher pay raise but the Senate will not pass that bill without also acheiving education reforms that teachers have not supported.

Regardless of the legislature the Governor assured educators that the money is there. “The money required to cover the 5% raise will be included as an unappropriated expense in the FY 2020 budget that will be passed before the current legislative session ends. This means the money is safely stored.”

The session will cover more than just the teacher pay raise. Governor Justice said in a statement: “There are many education reforms that are worthy of consideration such as reforming the school aid formula to accurately reflect the hardships our smaller counties face and increasing the number of school nurses, counselors, and psychologists. These all deserve adequate time to debate and consider, and a special session with a single focus is the right way to do it.”

The Governor says the special session will begin as soon as the current session ends. In his statement he said, “The Legislature will recess immediately so they can go out and listen to teachers, parents, community leaders, and all those with a vested interest in making education better in West Virginia. When the legislators return to the session, they will be ready to tackle the issues and get it done.”

Haley Brown

Multimedia Journalist

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