EDITOR'S NOTE: While this list is extensive, it is not complete and will continue to be updated. Know of any legislation that's not on this list? Let us know here.
- After Republican senators voted for an education bill that would create the state's first charter schools, West Virginia teachers began to strike in protest. Senate Bill 451 would allow public school funds to be diverted to funding private schools, charter schools or other educational options including homeschooling.
- The proposal, which moved to the House, would also help pay for higher teacher salaries and more school staff, but many educators are still in opposition. But only a few hours into the teacher strike, the House of Delegates effectively killed the bill.
- After a notable year of teacher advocacy in West Virginia, education will likely be at the forefront of the state legislature, which convened Jan. 9.
- Senate Republicans unveiled a comprehensive education bill that would give teachers and school service personnel a 5% average pay raise. Under the bill, counties could identify what kinds of teaching positions they need to fill, and in order to fill them, they would be able to offer differential pay.
- In addition, math teachers specifically would get financial incentives in the form of annual salary bumps. The “omnibus education bill” also creates the state's first charter school system, which Republican Gov. Jim Justice has outwardly opposed. If the bill passes, teacher salaries would get slashed in the event of a strike, protest or other event that causes a work stoppage.
- The legislature will also likely consider a bill that would remove a current statewide mandate stating that when cuts are made in a specific teaching area, educators with the least seniority are the first to lose their jobs. Education savings accounts, teacher credentials and broader changes to the education funding formula could also be on the table.