Greetings, Public Educators, Administrators, & Staff!
The 85th Legislature was instrumental in setting the conditions for the element of fairness in the private, charter, and homeschooling communities for the first time. Now our taxpaying citizen friends and neighbors who have decided to homeschool or send their children to a private school can utilize some of their own earnings to purchase educational supplies, materials, uniforms, tutoring, tuition, etc.
Some have pushed a narrative that the legislature was “trying to destroy the public school system”. This is patently false. On the contrary, a House Resolution was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support aimed at a full review and upgrade of public education law. Quite frankly, Chapter 18 of the West Virginia Code is far from perfect and may have language which is not only outdated and redundant, but may also be cumbersome and detrimental to the educational process. For far too many decades our public school law was written by legislatures who may have been influenced and funded by forces who, in many regards, did not have the best interests of the students in mind. Therefore, our goal during the next Legislative Regular Session is to directly assist public education by repealing bad laws which may be stifling the educational process. We must do this only after first soliciting input from, and achieving buy in with important stakeholders in the Administrative, Educator, and Service Personnel communities.
If you would like to be a positive contributor to this organized effort to update and better public education in West Virginia, I want to hear from you. Please note that this is not going to be a gripe session. This needs to be a sincere effort to identify, isolate, codify, and possibly repeal some language in the current Code which is holding back our employees and stifling the educational process. Every decision should be student-first focused going forward, especially with regard to increasing STEM standards.
I hope you will consider signing on as a contributing team member to this process by joining myself and other House Delegates from both sides of the political aisle in striving to sincerely better our public education system. We are currently working to establish an online legislative depository link where you may, after reviewing sections of Chapter 18 which directly impacts your duties, responsibilities, and educational, administrative, or facilities maintenance standards in a negative way, login and leave your own personal examples and recommendations for moving forward. More to follow on this later. While I will continue to provide updates there is no need to wait to get started. Simply visit the West Virginia Legislative website, do a search for “Chapter 18”, then scroll down and locate the various sections of code that deal with your specific duties and responsibilities.
I am looking forward to hearing from you.
Todd Longanacre Delegate, District 42, WV House