EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSEDUCATION UNIONS RALLY
from Eyewitness News Online
Education Unions Conduct Informational Picket Voicing Concerns About Senate Bill
Reported by: Jeff Morris
Videographer: Bob Frank
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Mar. 12, 2013 9:17 AM EDT
Updated: Mar. 12, 2013 1:10 PM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Members and staff of several education unions were at the West Virginia Capitol Tuesday conducting an informational picket about the education reform bill in the Senate.
Organizations participating were the American Federation of Teachers-West Virginia, West Virginia Education Association and the West Virginia School Service Personnel Association.
In a joint news release from the groups, they said they were frustrated with Senate Bill 359.
“Discussions were progressing well last week and all stakeholders were working in good faith to reach consensus. Unfortunately, not only has the good faith discussion stalled, it appears to have regressed regarding many proposals,” the statement said. “We are very disappointed in this turn of events and still have serious concerns over the many provisions contained in the bill.”
The unions said they are concerned about the following provisions for these reasons:
* Lack of subjectivity in the hiring process.
* Transfer of employees at any time, without due process.
* Lowering the standards of entry into the teaching profession with organizations such as Teach for America.
* Lowering standards for the state superintendent while increasing the salary.
* Cutting the top heavy administrative bureaucracy identified by the education audit and driving education dollars and decision making directly to classrooms and teachers.
Senators who support the bill said it focuses on improving student achievement. Many have said the educational reforms are long overdue.
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