House votes to repeal Common Core standards
By Jeff Jenkins in News | WV MetroNews
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Despite outcries from the education officials, the state House of Delegates voted overwhelmingly to repeal the Common Core education standards Saturday night.
The bill garnered strong bipartisan support, passing 74-19 after an hour-long debate. The vote came one day after state Board of Education members held an emergency meeting urging delegates against repealing the standards.
Del. Amanda Pasdon (R-Monongalia), chair of House Committee on Education, called the bill a victory for localized control.
“The overwhelming majority of West Virginians do not support Common Core Standards and our students deserve better,” Pasdon said. “This is first step in creating education standards that reflect our West Virginia values, and I am glad my colleagues joined in bipartisan support to stand up for our children.”
Earlier Saturday, the House passed the Senate bill that would change how the prevailing wage is calculated on publicly funded construction jobs.
Delegate Ron Walters (R-Kanawha) cited a story of how the former prevailing wage hamstrung an agency:
“Two years ago, the Sissonville Volunteer Fire Department station burnt to the ground and they received a small portion of funding from the state, which then mandated them to pay prevailing wage for the project’s entire reconstruction. On behalf of the volunteer firefighters who have worked tirelessly in raising funds and who were stalled in their efforts to rebuild their fire station, I urge passage of this bill.”
Several Democrats spoke against the bill, calling it anti-worker and anti-business. Delegate Isaac Sponaugle (D-Pendleton) argued the biggest issues in West Virginia are wages, income and salary. Another delegate produced dozens of letters from workers and business owners who are against the changes.
Under the bill, calculating the wage would no longer be the state Division of Labor’s domain. Instead it would shift to WorkForce West Virginia with help from business experts at West Virginia and Marshall universities.
The bill maintains the wage must be calculated by July 1 but includes an extension to Sept 30. If that deadline is not met, there would be no prevailing wage that year.
The Senate still must approve the House’s changes to the bill before sending it to the governor.
In other news Saturday from the legislature:
• House Democrats failed in their attempt to discharge a committee from a teacher pay raise bill.
• The Senate put off a decision on the charter school bill likely until Monday. A compromise is apparently in the works.
• The Senate passed a bill that changes the year-old law regulating above-ground storage tanks. Supporters claim the legislation directs more focus toward tanks closest to water sources.
The Senate is convening for a rare Sunday session, while the House is off until 11 a.m. Monday.