CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The head of West Virginia’s school system is turning down a raise after criticism from the state Senate president.

West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Steven Paine announced Thursday that he would not accept any increase to his current $230,000 salary until other education issues are addressed.

Republican Senate President Mitch Carmichael issued a statement earlier Thursday slamming the $4,100 raise as “unwarranted and unnecessary.”

The state Board of Education has already approved the salary increase.

Paine says he appreciated the board’s decision but said that the raise has become a distraction for students. He said the school system must first address a shortage of teachers and other problems before he would be willing to accept a raise.

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