Salaries. Wages. Planning periods. Duty free lunch. Class sizes. Certification. Sick Leave. Evaluations. Extracurricular contracts. These are just a few of educators’ rights and responsibilities covered in Chapter 18 and 18A, the state code sections that cover public education.
Lawmakers passed a resolution to study 18 and 18A under the guise of assessments; they are holding hearings using various titles. “When they met it May, Senator Rucker said the priority was to look at funding,” WVEA President Dale Lee said, noting that the state is getting $1.2 billion in one-time COVID money. “Our fear is that many legislators are viewing the move as a way to defund public education, citing the one-time funds as increased school funding.” And questionnaires that lawmakers are sharing at local hearings are flaming more concerns with questions regarding educators’ rights, class sizes and changes in the school aid formula. “We are concerned about the participation of lawmakers who do not have the best interest of public education as a priority,” he said.
“If you care about public schools, our students and our profession, attend task force hearings in your county,” Lee noted, adding that “we must make sure our elected lawmakers are pro-public education, regardless of political party.” Task Force hearing dates will be posted at wvea.org.