Espinosa to head House Education Committee

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Espinosa to head House Education Committee
By Charleston Gazette-Mail staff reports

Delegate Paul Espinosa will be the next House Education Committee chairman, a post Delegate Amanda Pasdon, R-Monongalia, vacated in December.

Espinosa currently is a member of the House Education Committee. He also is an assistant majority whip and vice-chairman of the House Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Committee.

In a statement announcing the appointment, House Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, said Espinosa is a strong leader who has worked to improve schools in West Virginia.

“He has a passion to improve the education system in our state and I’m confident he’s the right person to lead this committee,” Armstead said.

As part of accepting the position, Espinosa, a Jefferson County Republican, said he’ll end his bid for a seat on the state Senate and instead seek re-election to the House.

Espinosa said he supports investing in teachers and classrooms, giving more autonomy to local school systems and repealing Common Core-based education standards.

The West Virginia Board of Education repealed its Common Core-based English and math standards in November and replaced them with similar, albeit different, education goals. The change was prompted by legislative attempts in recent years to repeal the unpopular standards.

The Education Committee is expected to take up several high-profile bills during the next session, which starts Jan. 13. Bills that could come across Espinosa’s desk include proposals to end the state’s ban on charter schools and change education standards used in public schools.