This website is devoutly dedicated to all of Larry's friends and associates, both early and late, who have influenced and mentored him. However, it also should be noted that, being who they are, a majority of them have been late most of the time.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

2013 Legislative News #7

The passage of and signing of SB 359 into law will not remedy West Virginia's education crisis.

 Left unresolved and still a problem is the lack of direct accountability of the West Virginia State Board of Education to Mountaineer voters and the continuing problem of too much top heavy bureaucratic authority over local  schools.

 The needs of students and the voices of parents will be much better served if we provide much more voter ownership of our educational system by making the members of the West Virginia State Board of Election accountable to voters in non-partisan General elections (HJR 35 - Constitutional Revision Committee), and moving the non-partisan local county school board elections from the Primary to General election (HB 2555 - Education Committee).

Further, SB 359 weakens the employment qualifications of the State Superintendent of Education, and removes the cap on his salary, even though he already earns more than the West Virginia Governor.

Until 1932, the State Superintendent of Education was an elected official, but now is appointed by the State Board of Education (who also aren't elected, but appointed by the Governor, and who has no authority over them after their appointments).

The State Superintendent of Education also is the only unelected state official who serves on the State Board of Public Works (Serving on the West Virginia Board of Public Works are the Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor, Treasurer, Attorney General, Commissioner of Agriculture, and the State Superintendent of Education).  

 Sadly, SB 359 is full of sound and fury, signifying not so much (apologies to Shakespeare's "Macbeth").

  Legislative Process Footnote:

The deadline for introducing new legislative proposals (bills) is only a few days away. Further, committee voting on bills introduced must be completed in the originating chamber by the end of this month. Each chamber (House of Delegates and Senate) must complete voting on bills in the originating chamber by April 3rd. Then, each chamber will turn their attention soley to discussing and voting on bills that already have been passed in the opposite chamber.

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