CHARLESTON, W.Va. – House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, today announced leadership in the House of Delegates has begun work on various pieces of legislation to improve the state’s education system by increasing flexibility at the local level, providing more support and resources for classroom teachers and building administrators, and funding critical needs of local schools.
“After hearing input from our local meetings and studying the Department of Education’s ‘West Virginia’s Voice’ report, we wholeheartedly agree with the need to let our teachers and local officials provide the best system possible that meets the needs of their local communities,” Speaker Hanshaw said.
“As such, I’ve instructed our House attorneys to begin a systematic review of the state codes dealing with education to identify any unnecessary, antiquated or burdensome laws that are hindering educators’ ability to deliver a world-class education to our students,” Speaker Hanshaw said. “While much of these sections of state code were well-intentioned and may have been good ideas at the time, they have come to shackle the hands of our educators, who now spend far too much time complying with rules and regulations instead of teaching our students.”
The report concluded, “there is an overwhelming outcry and support for flexibility at the local school level.”
“School employees know their students’ needs and they want flexibility in programming and resources to meet those needs,” the report said. “At the same time, educators indicate that they are willing to accept the high level of accountability that must accompany that flexibility.”
“We agree that our local educators and school officials know what works best for their students and communities,” Speaker Hanshaw said. “It’s time to end the micromanagement of this system from Charleston and allow our teachers and local officials – who have the greatest level of expertise in this – to do their jobs and serve our children the best way possible.”
In addition to House committee attorneys, Speaker Hanshaw has invited attorneys from the House Minority Office, state Senate, and state Board of Education to participate in the code review process to help better inform any potential legislation.
“We will continue to diligently work to build consensus around a plan and a series of bills addressing various aspects of public education that will accomplish our goal of bettering our school systems,” Speaker Hanshaw said. “It is my hope that we can produce a series of proposals soon so we can reform our education system and deliver the promised 5-percent pay increase to our teachers and service personnel by the end of this fiscal year.”