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Berkeley teachers to walk out Wednesday

March 13, 2007

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Teachers in Berkeley County will stage a one-day walkout Wednesday.

Berkeley County Education Association President Jim Keller announced the walkout in a fax received by The Herald-Mail early this morning.

"The immediate goal of this walkout is to express our frustration with the state government over lack of funding and to get a special session of the legislature to address this crisis," Keller wrote. "Our ultimate goal is to be able to have a highly qualified teacher in every classroom so we can provide the high quality education the students of Berkeley County are entitled to. We must be able to retain and attract highly qualified teachers in order to attain this goal."

The West Virginia Legislature this year voted to give teachers statewide a 3.5 percent pay raise. Calling that offer inadequate, members of the West Virginia Education Association plan a one-day walkout Wednesday.

The union is allowing individual chapters to decide whether to miss classes that day.

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Betty Jo Walter, president of the Jefferson County Education Association, said Monday that an announcement about Jefferson County teachers' participation in the walkout would probably be made this morning.

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