CHARLESTON, W.Va. – House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, today issued the following statement in response to the Senate’s passage of their comprehensive education reform package, Senate Bill 451.
“As we have said repeatedly, improving the compensation and benefits of our state’s teachers, service personnel and public employees so that they are competitive with neighboring states and the private sector is and continues to be an absolute top priority for House leadership this session,” Speaker Hanshaw said. “The House remains completely committed to addressing pay and benefits for all state workers and school employees.
“With the final passage of the comprehensive education bill by the Senate, House leadership now has a starting point for our work on this bill,” Speaker Hanshaw said. “As I said before, we will fully review this bill in a deliberate manner, and will work to build consensus on the best path forward with proposals to improve our state’s education system.
“It’s important to remember: We are not satisfied with the status quo. Despite the amount of taxpayer money we spend on education, our current system remains ranked near the bottom compared to other states,” Speaker Hanshaw said. “We believe this can be changed by inspiring innovation in our education system, increasing local control over schools, providing teachers more resources to use in their classrooms, giving teachers more time to teach instead of complying with testing or administrative requirements, improving technology in our classrooms, providing parents with more choices in their child’s education, and changing the one-size-fits-all approach to education that is too often mandated from Charleston.
“As a graduate of our state’s public school system, I am deeply invested in this and absolutely committed to making our state’s education system the best it can possibly be for all involved,” Speaker Hanshaw said. “I’ve seen firsthand the struggles our teachers face, and I know every parent’s desire for their child to receive a quality education. These thoughts are at the forefront of my mind as we move forward in this process.
“In the coming days, the House will take a serious, deliberate look at the bill that passed the Senate and we will begin consideration of these proposals in a manner that respects all who might be affected by it,” Speaker Hanshaw said. “It is my hope that our citizens will be patient and respect this process as we move forward with an open discussion on how to best improve our state’s education system for all involved.”