(WVVA) West Virginia senators voted in favor of a comprehensive education reform bill.
The GOP-controlled body voted 18-16 in support of the measure.
Senate Bill 451 would give state educators a five percent pay raise, permit teachers to bank personal days for retirement and create a bonus program for teachers with good attendance. It would allow for the creation of charter schools and give counties the option to pay teachers more for fields that are in high demand. The measure would also give county school boards the ability to increase property tax levy rates to the maximum under state law.
The legislation has been widely criticized by teachers and service personnel unions; questioning why the issues are not being handled separately instead of in one comprehensive plan.
Senate Bill 451 will now head to the House of Delegates. Gov. Jim Justice previously said he would veto the bill if it makes its way to his desk. However, a simple majority vote by lawmakers in both houses can override a veto.
Listen to remarks from senators before the vote: