West Virginia lawmakers unveil omnibus education bill draft

West Virginia
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia lawmakers are unveiling comprehensive education legislation that includes promised pay raises but also other provisions that immediately put unions on edge less than a year after a teachers’ strike.

The Senate education committee on Thursday discussed a draft version of the bill, which has yet to be introduced.

Senate President Mitch Carmichael says the idea behind the bill is improving student test scores and performances.

Among its proposals are public charter schools, differential pay for teachers in critical shortage areas such as math, and tax credits for teachers who buy school supplies.

West Virginia Education Association President Dale Lee says unrelated items in the bill should be voted on separately.

West Virginia teachers won a 5 percent pay raise after a nine-day strike last year. Another 5 percent increase is included in the current draft bill.

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