Legislative Update: February 19-23
A key component of the Education Alliance's mission is to foster dialogue between leaders and stakeholders on issues affecting public education. The Education Alliance believes that public education is strongest when input from all stakeholders is valued and partners feel welcomed into the process. Our students and our state deserve an active and engaged public. To support this goal throughout the 2018 Legislative Session, The Education Alliance will be publicly sharing our weekly legislative updates. Register here to receive weekly email updates. The following update is for February 19-23, 2018.
Policy Spotlight: Teacher Strike
The dominant policy issue this week has been the teacher and service personnel walkout. This fluid issue is changing minute to minute. The following outline provides both a snapshot of current events and a brief summary of some of the underlying issues.
- What’s happening:
- Historic 2 day walk-out in all 55 districts
- The PEIA Finance Board met Tuesday and authorized the freeze proposed by the Governor and Legislature
- State Board of Education convened on Wednesday with no action but authorizing the superintendent and board president to continue communication with all parties
- Governor signed pay raise bill on eve of strike which provides 2-1-1 pay raise, which Educators have said is not enough
- Attorney General sends representative to state board and issues statement condemning strike as illegal
- Record level crowds at the capitol on Thursday
- Key issues
Educator organizations have said they will make determinations on Friday afternoon and evening on how to proceed next week. This is a time for leadership, compromise, and vision. We will continue to keep you updated on the progress.
SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE
The following bills PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE this week: S.B. 573: relating generally to school calendars. S.B. 507: establishing Katherine Johnson Academy as magnet school programs at WV colleges and universities. S.B. 542: creating four-year middle high school pilot program as part of Upper Kanawha Valley Resiliency and Revitalization Program. S.B. 561: increasing minimum contract price requiring execution of bond with respect to building or repairing school property.
OTHER SENATE ACTION
Senate Finance: PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE SB 507: establishing Katherine Johnson Academy as magnet school programs at WV colleges and universities. SB 572: creating Farm-to-School Grant Program. SB 331: relating to retirement and pension benefits of certain members of PERS and Teachers Retirement system.
Senate Judiciary: PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE: S. B. 465: relating to mandated reporting of child abuse and neglect.
The following bills passed the Senate: S.B. 319: allowing individuals who completed home schooling be eligible for PROMISE scholarship without equivalent diploma.
HOUSE EDUCATION COMMITTEE
The following bills and resolutions PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE this week: H.B. 4223: developing a resource for use by parents to monitor and track deaf and hard-of-hearing children’s receptive and expressive language. H.C.R. 41: relating to a study of a statewide virtual library.
OTHER HOUSE ACTION
House Finance Committee: PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE H. B. 4619: relating to supporting implementation of comprehensive systems for teacher and leader induction and professional growth. H.B. 4219: permitting employees of educational services cooperatives to participate in the State Teachers Retirement System. H. B. 4625: relating to allocating a portion of any general revenue surplus accruing after a fiscal year to the Public Employees Insurance Agency Financial Stability Fund.
The following bills passed the House:
H.B. 3061: encouraging mastery-based education through the Innovation in Schools program. H.B. 4625: relating to allocating a portion of any general revenue surplus accruing after a fiscal year to the Public Employees Insurance Agency Financial Stability Fund. S.B. 267: increasing salaries of certain state employees. H.B. 4042: redefining school zone to facilitate placement of school zone signs. H.B. 4428: redefining school zone to facilitate placement of school zone signs. H.B. 4619: relating to supporting implementation of comprehensive systems for teacher and leader induction and professional growth. H.B. 4219: permitting employees of educational services cooperatives to participate in the State Teachers Retirement System.