EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSEDUCATION REFORM
from Eyewitness News Online
State Senate Unanimously Passes Governor's Bill
Reported by: Kennie Bass
Videographer: Troy Morgan, Matt Durrett
Web Producer: Kennie Bass
Reported: Mar. 18, 2013 5:48 PM EDT
Updated: Mar. 18, 2013 5:54 PM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Following several days of intense negotiations, state senators unanimously passed Governor Earl Ray Tomblin's education initiative.
"It has changed the hiring practices," Jeff Kessler, Senate President said. "It has made sure the kids have 180 days of actual fannies in the desks worth of instruction."
"Senators approved several changes to the governor's original bill, including giving more weight to principals and faculty senates in the hiring process, expanding the school calendar to 48 weeks to ensure students get 180 days in the classroom and eliminating an invitation for the Teach For America organization to move into the state."
"It takes some steps in the right direction in terms of the calendar and hiring practices and so forth," Senator Mitch Carmichael, republican from Jackson said. "But we have left out, we have left so much undone here."
The bill is a compromise hammered out between lawmakers, the administration the state's teachers unions.
"It gives teachers input into, and principals input into who comes into their school," Judy Hale, president of the West Virginia Federation of Teachers said. "Who they think best fits in their school when there's a vacancy."
"This doesn't address everything but what we did get done is very significant and probably about as much as you could bite off and chew in one year," Wade Linger, president of the West Virginia Board of Education said.
Even though some of Tomblin's proposals were altered the governor says the core of his bill remains intact.
"The faculty senate and principals will be involved with hiring which really will help put the teams together in the kind of schools we want," Tomblin said. "Where the teachers and principal are working as teams to assure the student outcomes that we're desiring in West Virginia."
The bill now goes to the House of Delegates for further consideration.
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