West Virginia education bill sent to House committee

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The House has received Senate Bill 451, which will offer teachers and school workers a five-percent pay raise. The bill passed the Senate on a close 18 to 16 vote. But the measure also contains some contentious items such as the development of public charter schools in the Mountain State.

Many Democrats want the bill divided up by individual issues instead of an all-in-one bill. House leaders remain open minded.

“What the House Education Committee does with it and what their recommendations are will be taken seriously. We’ll be looking at that. We also plan to send the bill to the House Committee on Finance. There is a substantial financial component to this bill,” said House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, (R) Clay.

“We do have a separate Governor’s Bill for this, for the raises.  We need to sit and think about the rest of this Education Bill and decide, maybe next year. We’ll work on something, but not this year,” said Del. Linda Longstreth, (D) Marion.

Last year teachers walked off the job for nine days and won a five percent pay hike. This year they are considering similar options. Delegate Robert Thompson, is a school teacher by profession.

“As long as it comes to the House Education Committee I think we’re going to be able to deal with it. Whether to kill the bill outright or to actually fix it,” said Del. Robert Thompson, (D) Wayne.

Other believe the Senate Bill will not survive intact.

“Sometimes no matter what you do to that bill, it’s still going to be stagnated in a lot of ways. We’re looking to do a lot of changes to the bill and hopefully make new headway moving forward,” said Del. Zack Maynard, (R) Lincoln.

Teacher’s want a separate pay raise bill, not tied to any other issue.

They are also battling the calendar. This coming Thursday is Day 30 of this Legislative Session, meaning we’re halfway to being finished.

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