Mercer County Education Association meets to discuss future - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Mercer County Education Association meets to discuss future

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At Princeton Senior High School, the Mercer County Education Association met at 10 a.m. on March 1, 2018, to go over what was unfolding in Charleston and its impact locally.

"I need a number. I need a number," said Deborah Akers, Superintendent of Mercer County Schools. 
 
 Akers said the numbers of teachers, cooks, and bus drivers who were available to work, would determine if schools could open the following day.
"We are gathering information to inform me as to whether we have school. We are not gathering information for any other reason," said Akers.
 
This respect for differing opinions was stressed at the meeting, as teachers say some lawmakers are trying to divide educators and their union representatives.
 
"County by county. 'And this county stays out and this county doesn't.' That is how they divide us," said one educator to the crowd. 
 
Allen Kade, the MCEA President says some lawmakers are trying to split walkout support by making teachers wait.. 

"It's my opinion that they'll eventually come through and sign it, but not until we don't like each other --  until we're not standing together." 
 
Some parents, like Richmond Aiken, say waiting is dangerous, when his child's test scores are on the line. 
 
"I don't like it. He's not getting an education. He's suppose to be making it up. In the long run, I just have this little fear he might get held back a little bit. " 
 
After the meeting, many educators lined streets in Princeton to show their thanks for public support and to wait for an answer about school closure or opening.
 
"We are all stressed. I know some people that are physically ill. It's just the not knowing. But I think you have to think about it in the long run, and this will be better for the students," said Haley Pettus, a local teacher.
 

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