W.Va. Senate Majority Leader discusses education bill

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Senators had to sit back and watch as a House committee went through the education bill with a fine-tooth comb on Friday.

Sen. Tom Takubo, R-Kanawha, the Majority Leader of the West Virginia Senate, says some people feel that an increase in teacher pay will be a solution to the poor performing schools in the state.

However, West Virginia has never seen an increase in student performance after a pay raise, Takubo said. He added that pay raises are important and necessary to compete on the same level as surrounding states. But he adds there’s much more to this bill than just pay raises.

Takubo says pilot programs should be out of the question when it comes to charter schools. Charter schools are already in 44 other states and have been operating for more than 30 years, so there is no reason to think they will not succeed, Takubo said. He also pointed out that not one of those laws allowing charter schools in the state have been repealed.

Another element to the bill is regarding reduction in force (RIF) situations. If teachers would need to be cut, then seniority would not take precedent – as it stands now. Seniority would still play a part in picking and choosing which teachers to cut but would not come before criteria, Takubo said.

Takubo says the hope is that the Senate leadership will find some common ground with the House version of the bill.

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