Getting W.Va. Back to School

Early last night, leaders of public school unions recommended their members go back to work today. Yet nearly all, if not all, schools in the state remained closed this morning.

Blame confusion and timing for some of that. In some counties, it may not have been possible to contact essential employees to ensure they would be on the job.

But in a substantial number of counties, something else was in play: Many striking teachers and service personnel refused to end their strike, now in its sixth day. In doing so, they were going against the advice of state union leaders.

Why? Gov. Jim Justice pledged to work toward the 5 percent pay raise union leaders said was needed to end the strike. House of Delegates members approved a bill to that end.

Justice agreed to establish a task force to improve the Public Employees Insurance Agency. PEIA premiums have been frozen.

Union leaders were right last night. Important progress has been made — enough that public schools throughout West Virginia should have been open today.