State of the States
Security, Teacher Pay Top W. Va. Agenda
A school security initiative and enhanced teacher pay were among several new education programs outlined by Gov. Joe Manchin III in his State of the State address on Jan. 10.
Gov. Manchin, a Democrat, said that West Virginia should focus its attention on improving its response to school emergencies. He is requesting $10 million for the creation of a school-access safety-grant initiative, headed by the School Building Authority, to better secure and monitor access to public schools.
Overall, the governor is proposing to spend $1.81 billion on K-12 education in a fiscal 2008 state budget of $3.87 billion.
The governor also recommended a 2.5 percent across-the-board pay raise for all teachers, a minimum salary of $30,000 for all full-time teachers, and an increase in the salary bonus for teachers who earn certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
In addition, he outlined a new project called Student Educational and Economic Development for Success, or SEEDS, a public-private partnership between the state and the Education Alliance, a statewide business-education partnership. SEEDS aims to help struggling schools through the use of established business practices, such as time management, goal-setting, and performance measurement.
In the higher education arena, Gov. Manchin said he will create by executive order the Governor’s Workforce Planning Council. The group’s task will be to identify current and future workforce needs and communicate with two-year colleges to guarantee appropriate academic programming.
Vol. 26, Issue 20, Pages 29-30