What Amendment Four’s failure to pass means for West Virginia

West Virginia elections
West Virginia elections(MGN)
Published: Nov. 11, 2022 at 4:40 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - West Virginia voters rejected constitutional amendment four on Election Day.

The Education Accountability Amendment would have made rules and policies issued by the state Board of Education subject to review by the Legislature.

Because the amendment did not pass, the current procedure stands -- a relief to those against the measure.

“It showed that the voters want control of education to be by the experts, the educators and their local boards, not the Legislature,” said West Virginia Education Association President Dale Lee. “I think they saw this as a power grab by the Legislature.”

Supporters of the measure, however, like state Sen. Patricia Rucker, a Jefferson County Republican, believes parents voices will not be considered when it comes to their child’s education.

“The State Board of Education is not an elected body; they are appointed by the governor,” she explained. “Those appointed members sit there for nine years, so if you have a disagreement with the State Board of Education, you’re not going to have a say.”

Both sides of the issue agree the one thing they want is whatever is best for West Virginia students.

“I certainly don’t want to be suing our own state Board of Education and having legal battles, within what should be with all of us working together as a team,” Sen. Rucker said. “I hope that we will be able to pass this amendment, maybe in the future, we can certainly try again.”

“We’re doing a good job,” Lee said. “We have to bring the educators to the table to figure out what they need to do an even better job. We’re all now West Virginians, not a party or not supporting or against an amendment. And then we figured out ways to improve West Virginia together.”

Rucker said she will effort getting a similar measure on future ballots.