Educators speak out against education reform

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(Charleston) As teacher’s unions across the state vote on strike authorizations, the Speaker of the House of Delegates called for a public hearing on the education bill or Senate Bill 451.

In the House of Delegates, the desks were filled with teachers, rather than delegates. At the public hearing on education reform the educators left no question where they stand on Senate Bill 451. Public School Teacher Danielle Harris said, “Let me be clear: West Virginia schools are not for sale, and I will not be bought with a two-thousand dollar pay raise.”
Tim Woodward the Superintendent of Hancock County schools said, “Until we face the fact that schools are a symptom, not a problem, we’re gonna go round and round.”

House of Delegates Education Committee member Del. Ed Evans (D – McDowell) summed up the balance of the support saying, “I have gotten thousands and thousands of calls from people that are against this. I have gotten a total of 8 from people that are for it.”

Educators say greater school choice brought about by charter schools and ESAs won’t make a difference because the real problems come from outside the classroom– mental health and poverty
A teacher named Barbara said, “We have trauma children and drug children that we are trying to deal with as educators.”

The only question left is whether this public hearing is just about letting teachers blow off steam or if the legislators listen.

An amended version of Senate Bill 451 passed the House of Delegates Education committee. The bill now moves to the Finance committee.

Haley Brown

Haley Brown

Multimedia Journalist

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