The massive and controversial Education Reform Bill in West Virginia has now moved down the hall at the State Capitol.
The House has officially Received Senate Bill 451, which will offer teachers and school workers a five percent pay raise. The bill passed the senate on a close 18 to 16 vote.
But the measure also contains some contentious items such as development of charter schools in the mountain state.
Many Democrats want the bill divided up by individual issues instead of an all-in-one bill. House leaders remain open minded.
“What the House Education Committee does with it and what their recommendations are, will be taken seriously,” said House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, (R) Clay. “We’ll be looking at that. We also plan to send the bill to the House Committee on Finance. There is a substantial financial component to this bill.”
“We do have a separate Governor’s Bill for this, for the raises,” said Del. Linda Longstreth, (D) Marion. “We need to sit and think about the rest of this Education Bill, and decide, maybe next year. We’ll work on something, but not this year.”
The House plans to study the bill every day in committee for the next couple of weeks before we see any votes.
Teachers across the state have been holding meetings to decide if they should authorize a strike like the one last year, or consider other tactics to defeat the education bill.