UPDATE: 6/2/19 @ 9:00 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia Senate Republicans have added a measure to ban teacher strikes to their sweeping education proposal.
Lawmakers in the GOP-controlled chamber approved the amendment 17-14 Sunday with heavy opposition from Democrats.
Republican Sen. Charles Trump sponsored the amendment and said it’s meant to keep schools running. He says it’s not meant as retaliation for teacher walkouts this year and last.
Democrats argued that teachers have the right to protest.
The president of West Virginia chapter of the American Federation of Teachers says the move is clearly retribution for past strikes.
The broad-based Republican education plan would allow the state’s first charter schools.
Gov. Jim Justice on Sunday told reporters it would be preferable for the GOP proposal to be broken up so lawmakers know what they’re voting for.
UPDATE: 6/1/19 @ 8:00 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va (WOWK) – School may be out of session, but teachers are still in, as they returned to the capitol Saturday to protest the education bill being considered by the Senate.
“Our children are as gifted as everywhere else. We need to say we love our kids, our parents, our students – it’s time to act”, says Republican Senate President Mitch Carmichael (R – Jackson).
Senate Majority hoped to consider the new Omnibus Bill in one day, but doing so would require a super majority vote to suspend the constitutional rule that requires bill to be read over three days.
That vote failed.
“We anticipated the rules would be suspended – didn’t occur, doesn’t deter us. One more obstacle to deal with because we care about our kids,” remarked Senate President Carmichael.
But Senate Democrats believe the GOP proposals are a repeat of that Omnibus Bill that sparked a two-day strike earlier this year.“
“We think it’s unconstitutional. It’s like a dead tree – what can we do to fix it up?” remarks Minority Leader Senator Roman Prezioso (D – Marion)
The Senate reconvenes Sunday at 2 p.m., where the Omnibus Bill we be considered again.
Even if the Senate passes the new comprehensive bill, it still must pass through the House, before heading to the Governor’s desk.
ORIGINAL: 6/1/18 @ 11:45 a.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia Senate Republicans have failed at their bid to fast-track a broad-based education proposal that would allow the state’s first charter schools.
Senators reconvened Saturday for their special legislative session on education. Lawmakers quickly voted down efforts to let the sweeping GOP plan pass, as well as a separate bill to create education vouchers.
Republican Senate President Mitch Carmichael has been pushing for the measures to circumvent a state Constitutional rule requiring bills to be read over three days.
His wide-ranging education bill also includes a teacher pay raise and mental health services for students. Democrats say the GOP proposals are a repeat of a bill that spurred a two-day teacher strike in the state in February.
Dozens of teachers protested outside the Senate chamber as lawmakers met.
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