Battle lines drawn for education reform court fight

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W. Va. (WOWK) — The West Virginia Education Association teacher’s union is planning a lawsuit against the legislature, over the recently passed education law. It contains a large variety of seemingly unrelated item items, including teacher pay raises, more school counselors and even charter schools. Critics say that violates the constitution’s mandate that laws deal only with a single-object.

“And just because you say it’s a single-topic ‘betterment’ of West Virginia that doesn’t get around the constitutional provision that says single-object, every bill, or it’s unconstitutional,” said State Sen. Mike Woelfel, (D) Cabell.

But supporters say they all relate to the single issue of education.

“We’ve already sought an Attorney General’s opinion regarding the single-object provision of this bill and we’ve received an opinion back that says yes, it’s within the single object provisions. So I think they’re barking up the wrong tree,” said State Sen. Mitch Carmichael, (R) Jackson – Senate President.

Governor Justice already signed the bill into law, and pay raises have taken effect. It’s possible the lawsuit could reverse that.

“It’s likely the lawsuit will be filed in Circuit Court in Kanawha County, but given how controversial and combative the education reform debate was, this will likely go to the State Supreme Court in a long, drawn-out legal battle,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.

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