The House Education Committee has passed the Omnibus Education Bill (SB 451) with substantial revisions. Gone is the “paycheck deception,” penalties for strikes, Education Savings Accounts, and other odious language. According to the Charleston Gazette-Mail, “The bill would legalize charter schools in West Virginia but also provide pay raises to public school workers, employ more school support workers, like counselors, social workers and psychologists, and do much more.” Charter schools are limited to two for now. More here and here on what’s included in the version of the bill approved by the Education Committee on Friday.
There was originally only one 8:00 AM public hearing scheduled on this bill before it moves to House Finance. However, Delegate Sean Hornbuckle (D-Cabell) rose on the House floor Friday to complain that anyone working in the education system would not be able to attend (as intended) and shamed leadership into holding a second public hearing for 5:30 PM also on Monday, February 11. Both are in the House Chamber. This is your chance to weigh in on this monstrosity! Even if you can’t make it, you can watch the action live on the WV Legislature’s video feed at the assigned times.
The House Judiciary Committee will also have a hearing at 2 PM, Monday on HB 2519, the so-called “Campus Self Defense Act.” This bill would force colleges to allow people to, with some exceptions, carry concealed guns on college campuses and in buildings. Let’s see, mix young adults, alcohol, and guns in a place absent of parental guidance — what could go wrong? If you can’t make it down to let members of the House Judiciary know what a really irresponsible and dangerous idea this is, please give them all a call before the hearing!
We’ll have more to say by Monday morning when our regular Capital Eye report comes out, but we wanted to get these two, very timely action items to you before then.
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Yours for Action,