“Providing a world-class education for West Virginia students and children is among the most important functions of state government. Virtually every national entity that ranks student performance has reported poor statistics for our state. There is no question that our educational system needs critical reform, and it needs reform right now.
An issue of this magnitude should not have input from only members of the Education and Finance Committees. It should have the input of all members of the Senate as we work toward our shared goal of improving student achievement across the board, at all grade levels, in all areas of the state. We believed the Committee of the Whole served as the most open, transparent way to conduct the thorough vetting of this piece of important legislation.
Appropriately, there is tremendous public interest on all sides of this issue – both Republican and Democratic Senators, the West Virginia Department of Education, teachers, administrators, school service personnel, and most importantly, families of children in our public schools. We believed this was an issue that should be fully heard and considered in Committee by every member of the Senate and done in the Senate Chamber where there would be more room to accommodate the members of the public.
This bill will change West Virginia’s future. It will change the education of our children for generations to come. That’s why we took this rare step, and why we believe the full Senate is the best place for the body and the public to consider this bill as it makes its way through the legislative process.”