April 2017

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April 4, 2017

Paine returns to job as state School Superintendent
By Carrie Hodousek, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — New state Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine says he wants West Virginia students to learn without being over-tested.

“We over-assess students,” said Paine on Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline, one week after returning to the job.

Paine, who replaced former state Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano last week, said, “We need to reduce the amount...

April 5, 2017

WV House Ed rejects bill to nix seniority as No. 1 factor in teacher layoffs
Ryan Quinn, Charleston Gazette-Mail

With seven delegates voting for and 14 against, West Virginia’s House Education Committee on Tuesday rejected a bill that would’ve removed the statewide mandate that public school teachers with the least amount of seniority automatically lose their positions when job cuts are made in a particular teaching area.

The bill (SB 401) said the least...

April 5, 2017

House, Senate likely to pass differing WV budget bills
Phil Kabler, Charleston Gazette Mail

The West Virginia House and Senate are poised Wednesday to pass versions of the 2017-18 state budget that are miles apart from each other and even further from Gov. Jim Justice’s budget proposal, a $4.394 billion budget that requires $224 million in new taxes.

With the Governor’s Office indicating that he will veto either legislative version of the budget,...

April 6, 2017

Both houses pass budgets, but issues lie directly ahead
By Brad McElhinny, WV MetroNews

Of all the numbers associated with the budget bills that passed both houses of the state Legislature on Wednesday, one stands out.

Two thirds.

That’s the number required to override a veto by Gov. Jim Justice, and it doesn’t look like either the Senate or the House of Delegates has it.

The House of Delegates passed its budget bill 58-42 a little after 8 p...

April 6, 2017

WV Senate president: ‘We’re going to run’ governor’s K-12 bill
Ryan Quinn, Charleston Gazette-Mail

The chairman of the West Virginia Senate Education Committee abruptly pulled Gov. Jim Justice’s wide-ranging K-12 education bill from his committee’s meeting agenda on Wednesday and said the bill is “dead.”

But after the action and comments by Chairman Kenny Mann, R-Monroe, Wednesday morning, Senate President Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, said the bill (...

April 6, 2017

Hopefully, time will run out on this funding bill
Register- Herald

At first blush, allowing county boards to increase property tax rates to help fund education in their districts seems like a good idea.

After all, if locals are unhappy with the education their kids are getting or not satisfied with whatever share the state sends their way via school aid funding, then there is an answer: they can pay up via a hike in their property tax rate.


April 6, 2017


We need a strong effort to contact some key delegates to try to defeat Senate Bill 239. We are hearing about a real push in the House of Delegates to convince some delegates to vote for this anti-worker, anti-union bill by telling them it’s really no big deal, just sign a paper.

Well, it is a big deal.

It’s meant to weaken unions and weaken your ability to seek fair treatment, or to speak out against bad legislation and abuses by your employer. It is also...

April 7, 2017

Common Core, Smarter Balanced nixed as Justice’s K-12 bill advances
Ryan Quinn, Charleston Gazette-Mail

The Senate Education Committee on Thursday passed a version of the governor’s education bill that would now also ban Common Core standards and the current Smarter Balanced standardized tests. It could be amended on the Senate floor today.

Gov. Jim Justice’s bill (House Bill 2711), which already would eliminate the state Office of Education Performance...

April 7, 2017

College grant application deadline extended in West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia officials have extended the application deadline for the need-based Higher Education Grant Program through May 1.

The Higher Education Policy Commission and Community and Technical College System say the deadline has been pushed back because of a federal technology issue.

The old deadline was April 15.

The filing required for the grants is the Free...

April 10, 2017

Bills pass to allow non-public school students access to sports, eliminate RESAs
By Jeff Jenkins, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Legislature finalized two education-related bills in the final few hours of the 60-day session Saturday night.

The session neared its midnight deadline when the Senate finally agreed to the last version of the HB 2711, which would eliminate eight Regional Educational Service Agencies while giving flexibility in the...

April 10, 2017

WV lawmakers pass amended version of Justice’s education bill
Ryan Quinn, Charleston Gazette-Mail

At five minutes to midnight, the end of this year’s regular legislative session, the West Virginia Legislature completed Saturday passing a bill eliminating the current Regional Education Service Agencies, the state Office of Education Performance Audits and the mandate for public school year calendars to have 180 separate instructional days.

House Bill 2711...

April 10, 2017

WV Legislature passes home-school, virtual education bills
Ryan Quinn, Charleston-Gazette-Mail

Lawmakers Saturday completed legislation giving home-schoolers access to public vocational education centers, giving them access to public school sports and allowing county public school systems to offer home-schoolers and others full-time K-12 virtual education — while getting state funding for it. Saturday was the last day of the regular legislative session.