CABELL COUNTY – WVEA member Adam Culver and Western Region ODS Staci Wallace spoke at the Huntington area State Code 18 and 18A Task Force Town Hall. The town hall was hosted by Delegates Hornbuckle, Lovejoy, and former Delegate Higginbotham with Delegates Rohrbach and Worrell in attendance. The general theme from pro-public education speakers urged delegates to be very cautious about opening up state code. Comments made by anti-public education legislators leave educators very concerned for their employee rights.
Culver, a teacher at Crossroads Academy, stressed the need for more employees to implement the strategies the county and state provided to schools to aide in the mental welfare of both students and staff. Delegate Lovejoy pointed out that recent legislation passed for charter schools and the Hope Scholarship will prevent counties from being able to add those needed staff members. Wallace reminded the delegates of the physical and mental exhaustion education employees face daily and shared the fear of more and more people walking away from the profession. Opening up and changing employee rights in state code could be the final straw for many.
Delegate Hornbuckle stated he understands why so many are uncomfortable about the possibilities should the code be opened and promised to continue to fight for what is best for public education in West Virginia. He also noted he was not in favor of the task force being created to begin with.
WVEA will keep you updated on any legislation regarding education.