CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. – House of Delegates Education Committee Chairman Paul Espinosa, R-Jefferson, today applauded Gov. Jim Justice for signing House Bill 4006 into law.
“I want to thank Gov. Jim Justice for today taking this extraordinary step forward to give our teachers and principals more control over their professional development programs, and to eliminate some of the unneeded bureaucracy that’s been holding back our state’s education system,” Chairman Espinosa said.
“As we’ve said all along, House Bill 4006 was designed to make our education department more efficient and better tailored to fit the needs of our students, educators and administrators,” Chairman Espinosa said. “I’m also glad the Governor has recognized our commitment to ensuring there be no disruption of federal funds or services provided by these programs.
“This bill simply reorganizes the existing programs under the Department of Education and the Arts into departments where they are a better fit and can be administered more efficiently, including through the separate Department of Education and the Department of Commerce,” Chairman Espinosa said. “The critical programs that had been housed under the Department of Education and the Arts will continue and are fully funded in the budget, including the Center for Professional Development, Energy Express, the Governor’s Honors Academy, West Virginia Humanities Council and STEM Education and Grant Program, among many others.
“Again, I think this is a positive step forward in improving our state’s education system and making it more efficient and I applaud Gov. Justice for signing this bill.”
*** Note: The FY2019 Budget Bill, Senate Bill 152, included funding for the Department of Education and the Arts and funded its various programs through separate line items under the department. However, language was also added at the beginning of the budget bill in anticipation of the potential passage of bills like House Bill 4006 that allows for the transfer of these funds to their appropriate, post-reorganization departments. That language is found in Section 3, Classification of Appropriations:
“And provided further, That if the Legislature consolidates, reorganizes or terminates agencies, boards or functions, the secretary or other appropriate agency head, or in the case of the termination of a spending unit of the state, the Director of the State Budget Office, in the absence of general law providing otherwise, may transfer the funds formerly appropriated to such agency, board or function, allocating items of appropriation as may be necessary if only part of the item may be allocated, in order to implement such consolidation, reorganization or termination.”