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West Virginia teachers’ strike

Teachers and school personnel celebrate after the state Senate approved a bill to increase state employee pay by 5 percent at the capitol in Charleston, W.Va., on Tuesday, March 6, 2018. The lawmakers unanimously approved the pay raises for teachers and troopers, after the governor reached a deal to end a teacher walkout that shuttered the state’s schools for nine days. (Photo: Craig Hudson/Charleston Gazette-Mail via AP)

West Virginia teachers' strike

It’s back to school in West Virginia. Teachers across this poor Appalachian mountain state are returning to the classroom Wednesday, March 7, jubilant after their governor signed a 5 percent pay raise ending their nine-day walkout.

Teachers expressed relief and exhilaration by breaking out into song Tuesday after legislators approved the pay raise bill that a conference committee agreed to hours earlier, ending their strike.

And now the state’s 35,000 public school employees can get to work — and 277,000 students, to the books.

The West Virginia teachers, some of the lowest-paid in the country, had gone without a salary increase for four years. They appeared to have strong public support throughout their walkout. (AP)

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