KEYSER – The Mineral County Board of Education is scheduled to discuss the Education Reform Bill currently before both the West Virginia State Senate and House of Delegates when they meet in regular session Tuesday.

By Liz Beavers

lbeavers@newstribune.info

Tribune Managing Editor

KEYSER – The Mineral County Board of Education is scheduled to discuss the Education Reform Bill currently before both the West Virginia State Senate and House of Delegates when they meet in regular session Tuesday.

The multi-layered bill includes a 5 percent payraise promised to teachers and service personnel as a result of last year’s nine-day strike, but also includes some other issues which teachers throughout the state have spoken out against.

Earlier this week, the West Virginia State Board of Education took an official stance against the bill, citing such issues as the establishment of charter schools, which many have said will drain much-needed funding from the state’s public schools.

State superintendent of schools Dr. Steven Paine also weighed in, condemning the “nonseverability clause” which states if any individual issue within the bill is struck down, the entire bill dies. Each issue included in the bill, Paine said, should be discussed on its own.

“Our State education leaders haven’t had the opportunity to give input into this monumental bill and it is absolutely necessary to have those frank discussions and debates with individuals inside our state,” Paine said. “I fully support Governor Justice’s stance that each item contained in Senate Bill 451 be fairly vetted individually and I do not believe the appropriate level of discussion can happen in a one to two-day timeframe.’”

Gov. Jim Justice has said he would veto the bill if it passes.

In addition to the Mineral County BOE’s discussion of the bill, which was just placed on the agenda Friday, there are a number of personnel items and financial reports on the agenda.

The meeting gets underway at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the board room at the central office, 36 Baker Place, Keyser, and is open to the public.