New education reforms debated in West Virginia

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) — Students toured the capitol Tuesday as the Senate and House are in recess. But behind the scenes, Senate Republicans have proposed the “Student Success Act of 2019.” It would allow more local school decisions. Controversial education savings accounts are out, but there is a fierce debate about letting each county open charter schools.

“We’re saying it’s totally up to the county. If you want to convert your existing school to a charter school if you don’t that’s fine. But we are going to be measuring student success, and we’re tired of being near last,” said State Senate President Mitch Carmichael, (R-Jackson).

This year teachers walked out on strike for two days, over some of these very issues. Union leaders say the new bill won’t fly.

“I think that there’s too much here that opens up the door for charter schools that we do not need, do not want in West Virginia.  Our citizens spoke, and they said they did not embrace charter schools in West Virginia,” said Fred Albert, President, WV American Federation of Teachers.

But the Governor thinks the new changes could work.

“It’s progress. I mean we took out the Education Savings Accounts. There’re some ideas that the Senate has and everything, that are good ideas and everything. And I think that I hope that we have a bridge forward,” said Gov. Jim Justice, (R-West Virginia).

For now, the new Senate Bill is not being considered in the House.

The State Senate will be in session on Saturday for a rare weekend meeting, and some of the education reforms could get a vote up or down.

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