March 2015

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March 11, 2015

Kanawha school board considering employee raises
By Ryan Quinn, Staff writer

The Kanawha County school board’s proposed budget for next school year includes a 2 percent raise for professional educators like teachers and principals and a 1 percent raise for service workers like cooks and bus drivers.

Superintendent Ron Duerring said the salary increases would be the first across-the-board local raises in about a decade for school employees, who have...

March 12, 2015

Wade Linger: Leave education standards to the educators

Serving on the state Board of Education for six years, I have seen a lot. In spite of the drubbing the state board has taken during this legislative session, I am proud of our record. We have accomplished reforms that nobody thought possible as recently as five years ago.
Contrary to critics’ claims that the Board of Education doesn’t listen, this board has been very reform-driven. Working with the public,...

March 12, 2015

House Amendments to Immunization Bill Being Opposed by State DHHR and DOE

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and the state Department of Education supported the immunization bill passed by the state Senate, but opposed House amendments Wednesday.

The proposed House amendments, in SB 286, would eliminate the DHHR's ability to add vaccines through the state's current medical exemption process.

The DHHR uses a process that allows a...

March 12, 2015

State school board approves make-up day waiver process
By Ryan Quinn, Staff writer, Charleston Gazette

County school districts may be allowed to make up fewer days after snow-day cancellations under a waiver process approved 6-1 by the West Virginia Board of Education Wednesday.

Until April 1, school districts will be able to ask the state school board for permission to not make up school days that were canceled due to states of emergency, according to...

March 14, 2015

The Charleston Gazette: Charter — Sad example

On this final day of the session, the 2015 Legislature seems likely to add West Virginia to 43 states that authorize charter schools — special schools supported by tax money but operated by private owners under outside contracts, independent from county school systems and teacher unions.

Last week, the state Senate approved the schools in an 18-16 party-line vote. Then the House Education Committee removed language...

March 15, 2015

Session comes to an end; several bills fall short on final night
By Jeff Jenkins, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The final day of the 60-day regular legislative session may be best remembered for what didn’t pass than for what did as several much-talked-...

March 15, 2015

Legislature fails to pass adjustment in 180-day school calendar
By Jeff Jenkins, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — If West Virginia schoolkids are going to avoid heading to school in mid to late June their counties will have to get a waiver from the state Board of Education. A bill creating a way to use instructional minutes to convert to instructional days died on the last night of the legislative session.

The bill (SB537) passed the House of Delegates...

March 16, 2015

Editorial: State should stand firm on 180-day school rule
Herald- Dispatch editorial

West Virginia has long had a law on the books that its public schools should provide 180 days of instruction each school year. But, as it often turned out, that seemed to be more of a suggestion than a mandate. Restrictions on the length of the school year combined with inclement weather during the winter often made providing 180 days of instruction impossible.

In fact,...

March 16, 2015

Lawmakers approve immunization bill minus House amendment
By Aaron Payne in News | WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state legislature approved an immunization bill on the last night of the legislative session without an amendment that sought to lessen the role of the state Bureau of Public Health.
After nearly an hour of debate earlier Saturday, the House passed an amended version of the bill (SB286) related to exemptions to compulsory immunizations...

March 16, 2015

Common Core repeal, smoking bill, fireworks die on Legislature’s final
Phil Kabler, Charleston Gazette

On the last day of the 2015 regular session, when several key bills crashed and burned, much of the fireworks in the final hours were over a bill that originally intended to legalize fireworks in the state but had been “Christmas treed” in the Senate to include multiple provisions, including exemptions from smoking bans at racetrack casinos and veterans’...

March 17, 2015

Teachers unions not satisfied with raise bill
By Samuel Speciale, Education reporter

A bill increasing the salaries of teachers at low-performing schools, while praised for providing incentives to work in areas of critical need, has been criticized by union leaders for not making pay for the profession more competitive.

The bill, passed in the final days of the Legislative session, provides an additional $2,000 to each teacher who is employed by a low-...

March 17, 2015

Martirano moves past session
By Lacie Pierson, Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON - With the 2015 regular session of the West Virginia Legislature in the past, West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Michael Martirano is looking forward to the future of education in the Mountain State.

Martirano talked about his assessment of the legislative session and his goals for the state in terms of high school graduation rates Monday during the weekly luncheon of the...