WV House passes revamped education overhaul bill

February 15, 2019

With bipartisan support, the House of Delegates passed a stripped down version of an omnibus education bill that the West Virginia Senate passed earlier this month.

After spending more than 10 hours reshaping the bill well into Wednesday evening, the House voted 71-29 to pass it Thursday.

Now the Senate will either need to accept the House bill as is, or both chambers will need to bridge the chasm between their versions of the bill in a conference committee.

Chief among the differences are education savings accounts and public charter schools. The Senate bill allows for ESAs and an unlimited amount of charter schools in the state. The House version of the bill nixes ESAs and allows for two charter schools that are narrower in scope than those envisioned by the Senate.

Additionally, the House bill provides for $40.5 million in new spending to fund a police officer in every school in the state, and an expanded bonus of $1,000 to teachers who miss fewer than five days of school during the year.

The Senate bill also includes a paycheck protection section (workers having to annually re-agree to have part of their paychecks deducted to pay union dues) that’s absent in House bill. Also, the Senate bill has a non-severability clause (if a court overturns any part of the bill, the entire bill is overturned) that’s absent in House version.

This is a breaking story and will be updated as it develops.