Speed Reads

holding the line

School's out in West Virginia as the teachers' strike continues

West Virginia's teachers and school service personnel have been on strike since Feb. 22, and they said Saturday the strike will continue — and public schools will stay closed — at least through Monday.

Unions representing the teachers and other school workers negotiated a 5 percent raise with Gov. Jim Justice (R), but the state Senate voted to approve only a 4 percent raise. The state House already endorsed the 5 percent plan, and the teachers have pledged to stay on strike until the bills are reconciled at 5 percent. Both houses are controlled by Republican lawmakers, who have generally agreed a raise should happen while differing on how much the state government can afford.

"This wrangling needs to stop right now. For crying out loud, we are putting our children at risk," Gov. Justice wrote on Twitter Saturday night in one of several pleas that a deal be reached. "Education should be our centerpiece and I have worked tirelessly to get our teachers the 5 percent pay raise," he said in a follow-up post, adding, "we MUST get our kids back in the classroom."