Teacher strike ends after lawmakers approve of 5 percent pay raise

West Virginia

West Virginia school officials say the teachers strike is officially over.

It’s been a long nine days, but Eastern Panhandle school officials say class is back in session on March 7.
 
“Relieved. we are cold. we are tired. it’s been a long nine days,” said Ian Helmick, music teacher in Morgan County.
 
“I’m excited to see the kids again. Welcome back kids!” said Deborah Ditto, fourth grade teacher at Warm Springs Intermediate School. 
 
West Virginia lawmakers and school officials say a deal has been reached to deliver a five percent pay raise to teachers as well as all state employees. Teachers from Morgan County initially came out along Route 60 to continue the fight.

The announcement came from Governor Jim Justice’s office this morning. School officials say they’re looking into every possibility for students to regain lost time. This may mean extending the school year into June for some counties.
 
“I’m very relieved. Very happy to be excited to go back to school,” said Amy Penner, of the West Virginia Education Association.
 
Since students haven’t been able to meet with guidance counselors, Delegate Jill Upson asked the state Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) to extend the March 1 deadline for the PROMISE scholarship, a merit-based financial aid program for West Virginia residents. It was just last week on Thursday when schools in West Virginia were on edge whether they were going to return to school.
 
“Get back at what we were doing two weeks ago and start thinking about how to get kids excited and motivated and back into the regular routine of things,” said Nora Crossen, 6th grade teacher at Warm Springs Middle School.
 
Now going back to the classrooms 55 strong.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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