Bill passes to eliminate RESAs, budget bill heads to Governor

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WDTV)-- The state Legislature finalized two education related bills at the last minute Saturday night.

The session neared its midnight deadline when the Senate finally agreed to the last version of the HB 2711, which would eliminate eight Regional Educational Service Agencies and give flexibility to the 180-day school calendar.

The bill allows counties to plan for backpack days at home for students when the weather is bad and five days can be accumulated that can be used for teacher collaboration.

The bill also puts a stop to Common Core or any national testing program.

Meanwhile, time ran out on the regular session for coming up with a budget bill. However, the House of Delegates passed the budget bill early Sunday morning by a vote of 63 to 37. The bill also passed the Senate just before midnight Saturday.

The bill reportedly does not include any tax increases and would use $90 million from the Rainy Day Fund.

It also includes no cuts to public education, but does propose slightly higher cuts of just under $30 million for higher education.

Now that it has passed both the House and Senate, it will have to be approved by Governor Jim Justice.