New Year, Same LegislaturePublished:January 2, 2020
The year 2020 is upon us, and we love to make resolutions and goals about what we need to achieve in our lives. This season not only brings us into a new year, but also a fresh legislative session in West Virginia. The last two sessions produced dramatic strikes, amazing displays of solidarity among educational employees, and a few legislative victories. However, education in the Mountain State suffered a significant setback last summer, when Senate President Mitch Carmichael used his leadership position to push House Bill 206 in the Special Legislative Session. This law opened the possibility for charter schools in West Virginia, a policy which most West Virginians opposed. Senate GOP leadership tried to build a narrative that educators should be pleased with the bill, due to the teacher pay raise instituted and other much needed funding for students.
In this new year, we find ourselves in a precarious situation. The 2020 Session occurs months ahead of the next election cycle, meaning this state must stomach further attempts to erode educational institutions from Mitch Carmichael and Senate GOP leadership.
Several anti-education politicians lost bids for re-election in 2018, but not enough to stave off HB 206. Lawmakers such as Carmichael, (the perpetually angry) Craig Blair, and Patrician Rucker understand that their days in office can easily come to an end in 2020. Thus, they will undoubtedly push further legislation which is neither needed, nor wanted.
You can make a difference
During this legislation session, you can help create a better educational system! Defeating the Senate GOP leadership becomes much easier with everyone pitching in! You don't need to do anything complex. You only need a willingness to act!
Here's what you can do:
- Contact the Delegates and Senators from your district! This link provides a membership directory of the State Legislature, where you can call or e-mail these men and women! Ask them about proposed legislation or how they intend to improve education!
- Brainstorm ideas which you believe to be important for improving schools in West Virginia and let us know, or directly connect with legislators!
- Connect with your local union! The West Virginia American Federation of Teachers (AFT), West Virginia Education Association (WVEA), and the West Virginia School Service Personnel Association (WVSSPA) are allies in the effort to produce solid education legislation.
- Coordinate with other educators, service personnel, parents, and members of the community to discuss ideas and find out when political events occur!
- Find an education friendly candidate in any part of the state and donate a few dollars to their campaign! Every little bit helps!
- Donate directly to Future of 55 !
WE COUNT ON YOUR SUPPORT
If you support public education, teachers, and public service personnel, donate to Future of 55 today!