Education Reform back at WV Capitol

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CHARLESTON, W, Va. (WOWK)

It will be a familiar scene at the Capitol on Monday, as hundreds of teachers plan to protest certain education reform measures being considered in the House of Delegates. Two weeks ago the Senate passed a massive education bill which includes controversial charter schools and a separate measure to create Education Savings Accounts, known as ESAs.

“We have to make sure that every child regardless of their Zip Code or income level, has a shot at a bright future. And these policies are proven to do that. The folks that are against this have very little data to back up their contention,” said Jason Huffman, Americans for Prosperity-WV.

But many educators disagree, pointing to the State Department of Education’s eight public forums and thousands of surveys in recent months. They show just 12 percent support for both measures.

“We have other ideas to move education, to transform education here in West Virginia and it’s not charter schools, it’s not ESAs. And our citizens have said, we don’t want them,” said Fred Albert, American Federation of Teachers-WV.

Unions plan to have their members out in force; while education reform backers are phone banking their supporters.

“A real possibility here is that the House passes a bill that is vastly different that the Senate’s and the two sides can’t work out their differences. If that happens, educations reforms and teacher pay raises may have to wait until January,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.

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