CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The West Virginia Education Association is taking the public's pulse on its proposal to again boost pay for public school teachers.
According to the WVEA-commissioned poll released Monday, 58 percent of 2012 likely voters agreed that West Virginia teachers were due for a pay raise, while 31 percent of respondents disagreed.
Of the respondents who thought that teachers should receive a salary increase, 39 percent thought teacher's pay should be competitive with that of surrounding states, 24 percent thought it should be on par with the national average, and 37 percent thought it should reflect compensation of similar jobs in the state.
Three hundred likely voters were contacted by telephone in mid-August by polling group Grove Insight.
Dale Lee, president of the WVEA, said the union decided to put a poll in the field because the morale of school employees is "approaching an all-time low."
"Teaching used to be a very respected profession," Lee said in a news conference on Monday. "People equate respect with salaries."
West Virginia currently ranks 48th nationally in teacher pay, nearly $12,000 below the national average, according to the WVEA.