EXPLAINER: What is West Virginia’s Amendment 4?
BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (WVVA) - West Virginia’s Amendment 4 deals with legislative approval of the state board of education’s rules. A yes vote for Amendment 4 supports requiring the state board of education to submit rules and policies to the legislature for approval. A no vote opposes that requirement.
“I think the state board of education and our local boards of education are where our experts are. People who really think about school policy 365 days a year where as the state legislature while they have great intentions and they want our schools to be strong they’re only around 60 days a year right,” said Kelly Allen. Allen is the Executive Director for the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy.
“They’re an appointed body. They’re not an elected body so they’re not accountable to the voters where the legislature is accountable to the voters. What this does is provide accountability. Any organizations that makes rules that have the affect of law, should be accountable to the voters,” said Sen. Jack Woodrum, (R) Summers.
Those opposed to Amendment 4 say it puts politicians in control of children’s education. Those supporting Amendment 4 argue people within the department of education can become narrow minded and this would allow the legislature to have a better overview of the issues.
“So (Amendment) 1 is over no more judicial authority over impeachments, 2 is around local funding for local public services and 4 is around policy decisions that current local folks make. So together it really seems like an effort by the legislature to really concentrate more power in Charleston, in the capital,” said Allen.
“I know some people want to spin this, that we’re trying to politicize boards of education. State boards of education. We’re not doing this. We think it’s the right thing to do. We’ve done it at the county level, we want to see it done at the entire state level,” said Woodrum.
Voters get the final say on all four amendments on Nov. 8. Early voting begins on Oct. 26
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