Paine correct in rejecting pay increase

Members of the West Virginia Board of Education who voted to give state school Superintendent Steven Paine a pay raise may have good intentions — but they were not using their heads.

Fortunately, Paine recognized that and said he will not take the $4,170 salary boost board members authorized last week. He will not consider a raise until other pressing issues in Mountain State schools are addressed, Paine explained.

Well, good. As state Senate President Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, pointed out, Paine isn’t feeling the same financial pinches that affect most public school teachers. The state superintendent already makes $230,000 a year.

Giving Paine a raise when so much needs to be done to make public schools better would have sent a terrible message. Good for Paine — who, by the way, was not aware board members were planning the move — for recognizing that.

As Carmichael noted, board members put Paine in “an awkward position.” Until some of the serious concerns facing schools are addressed, it should not do so again.