Every public school in West Virginia is closed due to teacher walkout

Posted: 1:29 PM, Feb 26, 2018
Updated: 2018-02-26 20:21:17Z

West Virginia is a red state, and not just in presidential politics.

Just take a look at the "School Closings - At a Glance" map put out by the state Department of Education on its website.

The map -- which sports different colors for delayed opens, early dismissals and closings -- is a solid red (for closings)  since all 680 public schools in the state's 55 counties are closed because of the ongoing teachers' strike there .

West Virginia employs nearly 20,000 classroom teachers in its public schools and has more than 277,000 students enrolled.

Teachers hit the picket lines last week , demanding higher wages and better benefits. In 2016, West Virginia ranked 48th in the nation for average teacher salary, according to  the National Education Association .

Gov. Jim Justice signed legislation Wednesday giving teachers a pay raise, but educators said it wasn't enough and it didn't address other areas of concern like insurance and health care costs, so they went on strike.