Update from the Superintendent 2/21/18
Berkeley County Schools will be closed on Thursday and Friday, February 22nd and 23rd, due to the statewide work stoppage organized by state leaders of employee organizations. All activities and events, are cancelled.
*The Berkeley County Social Studies Fair and setup will be held as scheduled on Saturday, February 24th at Spring Mills High School.
Update from the Superintendent 2/19/18
Negotiations among our Legislature, Governor, and the state leadership of employee organizations have continued throughout today. It is anticipated that these negotiations could continue for several days.The decision to hold classes on Thursday and Friday in Berkeley County will be made on Wednesday after 3 pm. We remain hopeful that an agreement will be reached that will prevent the work stoppage announced for Thursday and Friday, February 22nd and 23rd, by the state leadership of employee organizations. However, it is important that you begin to make preparations for your family in case an agreement is not reached.Berkeley County Schools values the support of our families, community, and our staff. The Board of Education members and Berkeley County Schools administration are working to minimize the disruption to our schools and community that a work stoppage could create. Be assured that the education of our students is our priority.We will continue to provide timely updates to you.
Important Information Regarding February 22 - 23, 2018
On February 17, state leaders of employee organizations in Charleston announced a statewide work stoppage for professional and service personnel for Thursday and Friday, February 22nd and 23rd. At this time, Berkeley County Schools is still evaluating this announcement made by the representatives of these employee organizations. It is our hope that the WV Legislature will address the critical needs of our employees so we can avoid a work stoppage.
The decision to hold classes on Thursday and Friday will be made on Wednesday after 3 pm. There are many factors to be considered in making this decision, especially the reaction by employee organizations to Legislative actions regarding compensation and benefits that may occur over the next three days.
Berkeley County Schools values the support of our families, community, and our staff. The Board of Education members and Berkeley County Schools administration are working to minimize the disruption to our schools and community that a work stoppage could create. Be assured that the education of our students is our priority.
Teacher Compensation Resolution
The Berkeley County Board of Education unanimously passed the Teacher Compensation Resolution at their Board meeting on Monday, February 5, 2018. Please take a moment and read the resolution and contact the members of the Senate and House Education Committees, and our local delegation, to let them know you support our Berkeley County educators and staff. On behalf of our Board, our professional and service personnel, and our students, we sincerely thank you for your time and attention to this important matter.
Read: Teacher Compensation Resolution
THE BERKELEY COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION
RESOLUTION No. 2017-2018-01
WHEREAS, the Berkeley County Board of Education values its teachers and believes they are deserving of competitive compensation; and
WHEREAS, the ability to offer competitive compensation is an integral component of recruiting and retaining highly effective teachers; and
WHEREAS, the basis for teacher salaries in West Virginia is a salary schedule that is set by the State; and
WHEREAS, the average teacher salary in West Virginia ranks 48th in the United States, ahead of only Mississippi and Oklahoma; and
WHEREAS, the Governor of West Virginia is proposing a one percent increase in the teacher salary schedule; and
WHEREAS, the West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Agency (PEIA) is implementing a premium increase of one-half percent and other changes in benefits that will increase health insurance costs for all covered employees; and
WHEREAS, as a result of higher PEIA health insurance costs, the proposed one percent increase in the teacher salary schedule will not improve compensation for most teachers; and
WHEREAS, it takes a teacher with a bachelor’s degree 13 years to earn a salary of $40,000.00, excluding local pay supplements; and
WHEREAS, West Virginia teacher salary levels are currently lower than all of its neighboring states, including Maryland, which ranks eighth in the nation, Virginia, which ranks 10th and Pennsylvania, which ranks 12th; and
WHEREAS, the current state of teacher compensation in West Virginia undervalues teachers, causing many to leave Berkeley County Schools to pursue teaching opportunities in another state educating the children of Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania; and
WHEREAS, the current state of teacher compensation in West Virginia has made it extremely difficult for school boards to recruit and retain highly effective teachers and to offer employment packages that are competitive with these neighboring states; and
WHEREAS, the Berkeley County Board of Education acknowledges recently proposed Senate Bill 453, which would amend the aggregate PEIA premium cost-sharing percentages between the employer and employees to a level of 85 percent for the employers and 15 percent for the employee, reducing employee premium contributions by five percent, and encourages the West Virginia Legislature to approve Senate Bill 453; and
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Berkeley County Board of Education respectfully requests that the West Virginia Legislature improve teacher compensation to make West Virginia a more attractive state for the nation’s best teachers to live and work by providing sufficient salary increases during the 2018 regular session to raise teacher pay so that West Virginia no longer ranks 48th in the nation, to approve Senate Bill 453 and to take all other action necessary to remedy the longstanding, statewide problem of stagnant teacher pay, recruitment and retention.