As school children toured the Capitol, lawmakers were making decisions that could affect the future of education in the Mountain State. The House Finance Committee held late night and early morning meetings, and eventually went back to the House Education Committee’s recommendation to remove education savings accounts from the bill, and cap the number of charter schools in the state to just two. But all this could be changed again.
“And I pursuaded them that I thought that this would probably be the best decision that we could make right now. And the bill advances and it lives anither day,” said Del. Eric Householder, Chairman, (R) Berkeley – Education Committee.
“I’m here to represent the folks that voted for me. And overwhelmingly, 90 percent to 10 percent, I’m hearing from home that they don;t want charter schools,” said Del. Lisa Zukoff, (D) Marshall.
What remains in the bill is another five-percent pay raise for teachers, and school staff just as they recieved after last year’s statewide strike. And a promised fix to ther health insurance.
“We giving, for the first time in the histry of our state, these last two years we’re givingof the biggest pay raises,” said Del. Zack Maynard, (R) Lincoln.
Outside the House floor, one of the teachers unions set up a table to lobby lawmakers. Leaders are pleased that charter schools are againt limited to just two.
“We want to have the real input from our teachers, our principals, our superintendents and our parents. So at this point, two is better than five; two is better than six, so it’s better than it was,” said Fred Albert, President WV American Federation of Teachers
Unions are still working to maintain teacher seniority.
The Education Reform bill now goes to a vote of the full House of Delegates by the end of this week. Then it goes back to the Senate for reconsideration there.