The Rt Revd W Michie Klusmeyer did not know that the Governor of West Virginia was about to announce a deal to end the teachers’ strike in that state just as his editorial was published in the Charleston Gazette-Mail; but much of what the Episcopal Bishop of West Virginia wrote resonates beyond the nine days that led up to today’s announcement.
Bishop Klusmeyer wrote, in part
Education is at the heart of everything we do – from leisure reading, to creating new platforms for web-based operations, to growing existing businesses and creating new ones.
None of it can be accomplished without a quality education.
As the bishop of the Episcopal Church in West Virginia, I have long proposed that our life cycle is relatively simple: fund education, which leads to a well-educated workforce, which creates economic growth, which generates taxes, which can be returned to funding education. …
Education is not just a priority. Education must be the priority.
I have the privilege of traveling this entire state, and I have seen the conditions of our schools and our students.
Our children deserve more. Our children deserve better.
I ask that you set aside all other discussions, resolve the salary issues for the education workforce and strengthen the education system in West Virginia.
I am holding the state’s teachers and school personnel and the children of West Virginia in my prayers.
Various news outlets report that the deal struck by the Governor and other state leaders affirms the 5% pay rise for teachers and other school personnel agreed in an earlier resolution that failed to pass the state Senate. The House of Delegates immediately passed today’s new measure, which now goes once again to the state Senate.
ACB reports that the Senate is on board this time, and that teachers could return to their classrooms as soon as tomorrow.
Featured image: Gloria Triplett, a reading specialist at East Chapmanville Elementary School, holds signs Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, during a teacher rally at the West Virginia Capitol in Charleston, W.Va. JOHN RABY / ASSOCIATED PRESS, via WV Public Broadcasting