That would explain why nearly 20,000 teachers and about 13,000 school service personnel are battling the state's government for better benefits and higher pay.
So how much does a teacher in West Virginia make? These are numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
. Take a look for yourself.
The numbers above don't include the salaries of the state's career and technical education, special education or pre-school teachers. The difference between their pay and the national average is equally stark.
Keep in mind that the numbers above are teachers' base salary. They don't include deductions, such as Social Security or teacher retirement accounts.
Also, they also don't include deductions for health insurance. That's a big one, and it's one of the main issues the striking teachers are looking to address.
For now, only three other states rank lower than West Virginia for teacher salaries:
- South Dakota
(The District of Columbia is included in the state rankings, which is why they add up to 51.)
On the other end of the range, teachers in New York, California and Massachusetts earn