Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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March 5, 2014

W.Va. governor: bigger teacher pay raise unrealistic

CHARLESTON — Given the tough budget forecast, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin thinks a proposal to give teachers $6,000 in raises over three years is unrealistic.

Tomblin told reporters Wednesday that awarding teachers more than a 2 percent pay increase he suggested would cost millions of dollars and require offsetting budget cuts.

The House Education Committee increased the raise Monday. School service personnel would also receive $100 more monthly over three years.

The Senate passed an $837 teacher pay bump.

House budget chief Brent Boggs says the current shortfall is $64 million. His committee will likely lower the raises Wednesday. They could cost more than $200 million.

Tomblin has suggested cutting agency programs and using $83.8 million of reserves. West Virginia has never used its $915 million Rainy Day Fund for budget fixes.

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