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Senate OKs protections for teacher planning time

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By The Associated Press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A bill to allow West Virginia teachers to determine how to use their planning time has passed overwhelmingly in the Senate.

The bill states that administrators may not require a teacher attend training, meetings or any work-related event during a planning period. This included parent-teacher conferences.

Lawmakers first voted to amend the bill Friday to state that teachers are not prohibited from attending meetings at their discretion.

Sen. Bob Plymale said the Education Committee had to move forward on the bill when it did not receive a recommendation on teacher planning from the state Board of Education.

Last week in committee, state Superintendent Jim Phares said he agreed planning periods should be teacher-directed but that some meetings also affect student learning.

The bill will go to the House for action.