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.

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

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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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