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May 2019

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May 1, 2019

By Ryan Quinn/Phil Kabler, Charleston Gazette-Mail

Delegate Danny Hamrick resigned Tuesday from his position as House Education Committee chairman at the request of the speaker of the House of Delegates.

“I asked for his resignation earlier this week for a personnel matter that has nothing to do with the upcoming session,” said House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay. The special legislative session on education is expected to begin later this month.

“That’s about as far as...

May 2, 2019

By Brittany Murray, WV MetroNews

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — Though heavily disputed during this year’s regular legislative session, the topic of charter schools will likely be back on the table when the West Virginia Legislature holds its special session.

 “We’re looking at lots of things that relate to school choice,” House Speaker Roger Hanshaw said earlier this week on MetroNews “Talkline” with Hoppy Kercheval. “We know this is a topic that has a lot of people...

May 3, 2019

Opinion Article by Sonya Ashby, Charleston Gazette-Mail

It’s that time of year again: Monday marks the beginning of Teacher Appreciation Week. The last few years have seen teacher wages at the bottom of the barrel, benefits stripped, workloads increased with fewer resources, and a lot of teacher bashing in the West Virginia Legislature and on social media.

My colleagues and I have stood on a picket line twice in the last two years to stop legislation dangerous to public...

May 6, 2019

By Ryan Quinn, Charleston Gazette-Mail

On Thursday, Gov. Jim Justice said he supports “two or three pilot charter schools” in West Virginia.

Earlier that day, state Senate President Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, reiterated his support for both charter schools and education savings accounts (ESAs) in a letter he sent to the Gazette-Mail for publication.

On Tuesday, Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Patricia Rucker, R-Jefferson, said the upcoming special legislative...

May 7, 2019

By Brad McElhinny, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A new report resulting from education forums around the state may serve as a launching point for an upcoming legislative special session.

“I think it needs to be the foundation of a special session on education,” state Superintendent Steve Paine said today on MetroNews’ “Talkline.”

The report is available here.

The report, called “West...

May 8, 2019

By Ryan Quinn, Charleston Gazette-Mail

The West Virginia Department of Education is recommending no education savings account vouchers and, if charter schools are legalized, banning for-profit and virtual ones.

The department released those recommendations Tuesday in a report, available online at wvde.us/edvoices. Neither vouchers nor charter schools made the department’s four “top priorities,” which are:

  • “...
May 9, 2019

By Ryan Quinn, Charleston Gazette-Mail

Debra Sullivan told her fellow West Virginia Board of Education members Wednesday that she was perplexed, a word she repeated, alarmed and concerned about a state school board “finance” committee suddenly adding lawmakers as members and discussing non-finance-related topics.

“I was perplexed and dismayed to see that there was a policy committee established without our knowledge, without our opportunity for input,” Sullivan said.

It’...

May 10, 2019

By Ryan Quinn, Charleston Gazette-Mail

A newspaper commentary authored by the state Senate Education Committee chairwoman contains a passage that is nearly identical to a post found on a pro-charter school website.

Sen. Patricia Rucker, R-Jefferson, on Thursday denied copying the passage.

“If it’s similar that’s pretty amazing,” she said. “It is an incredible coincidence.”

 

Rucker’s commentary was published in Thursday’s Register-Herald. It was also sent...

May 13, 2019

By Ryan Quinn, Charleston Gazette-Mail

On Feb. 19, public schools across West Virginia were empty.

Classrooms were silent and students were home. Teachers, bus drivers and others were protesting at the state Capitol.

But not far off Interstate 64 near Beaver and Beckley, past a lot full of mobile homes and another of storage pods and a mile from its namesake church, Victory Baptist Academy was open.

About 140 students total attend in prekindergarten through 12th...

May 14, 2019

By Alex Thomas, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Democrats in the West Virginia Senate plan to introduce multiple education bills next week during the special legislative session, although what lawmakers will exactly consider during that session is unknown.

Members of the Senate Democratic Caucus on Monday announced plans to...

May 16, 2019

By Ryan Quinn, Charleston Gazette-Mail

West Virginia’s three main public school worker unions asked Wednesday for Republican...

May 17, 2019

By Jake Flatley, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — With a special session on education approaching in the West Virginia Legislature, affiliates of the West Virginia Education Association in Kanawha County are wanting to make sure they are heard.

Kanawha County Education Association (KCEA) Co-President Dinah Adkins and other members gathered on Thursday at their Charleston office to discuss ideas and make signs for a scheduled walk-in Monday morning before school...

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