CHARLESTON, W.Va. − The West Virginia Education Association issued the following statement in response to the appointment of Senator Patricia Rucker as Senate Education Committee chair.
We are disappointed to hear that Senator Rucker has been named chair of the Senate Education Committee and to read Senator Carmichael’s statement that “…she understands it will take bold reforms and landmark change to truly make a difference in West Virginia’s educational landscape.”
The WVEA, as well as others in the education community, had numerous discussions with Senator Carmichael prior to his announcement and urged him to find someone who is familiar with our public schools and someone less extreme in their views.
Senator Carmichael chose to ignore the urgings of public educators, higher education officials, members of the education community and state leaders and went ahead with the appointment.
As a member of the Tea Party, Senator Rucker has chosen to spend her time in the Senate focusing on controversial, divisive issues that do little to advance our public schools. Her agenda of eliminating vaccinations, changing standards, lessening homeschool regulations, creating charter schools and passing education savings accounts (ESAs) shows that she is out of touch with what is happening in our public schools and out of touch with the average West Virginian.
We had hoped that after the walkouts of last winter that we could put our differences aside and work together this session to improve our public schools. This appointment is a direct affront to those who are working every day in our school systems to help our students achieve.
The WVEA and others in the education community will be watching the actions of the Senate Education Committee closely and advocating for positive change – not the type of change Senator Rucker has focused on
during her time in the Senate.