Governor Justice releases education reform bill

Governor Jim Justice addresses budget deficit, education and tourism during 2017 State of the...
Governor Jim Justice addresses budget deficit, education and tourism during 2017 State of the State.(WDTV)
Published: Feb. 23, 2017 at 1:37 PM EST
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Governor Jim Justice has released his plan to overhaul the West Virginia public education system in the form of Senate Bill 420. After traveling the state to meet with educators, the Governor put forward bold education reforms to revive West Virginia's schools and to improve their competitiveness nationally.

Justice wants to rein in unreasonably rigid regulations so our teachers have the freedom to teach and students can learn without being over-tested. Governor Justice is following through with his promise to make education the centerpiece of his overall vision for West Virginia while building a highly-skilled workforce for the future.

"West Virginia's students and teachers are being crushed by a boulder of bureaucracy in Charleston," said Governor Jim Justice. "Our local school districts and parents have lost control of what's going on in the classroom. My plan will transform our public schools into a world-class education system that gives all of our students a shot at success and allows our teachers the freedom to teach."

Gov. Justice added, "Charleston thinks it knows what's best for our kids, and after meeting with educators and parents around the state it's as clear as day that the bureaucrats have no clue about what's really going on. We've proven how to be 50th; it's time to restructure and rebuild our school system from the bottom up."


Shatter the Bureaucracy in Charleston
  • Restructure the State Department of Education by changing the way shared services are provided to our local schools, eliminating the need for Regional Education Service Agencies (RESAs).
  • Eliminate the Office of Education Performance Audits. 
  • Limit school system intervention by the State Board of Education to only the most extraordinary or dire circumstances. 
Reduce Regulation and Restore Local Control
  • Establish a County Superintendents' Advisory Council.
  • Encourage county boards of education to share services formerly provided by RESAs.
  • Make 180 calendar day policy more flexible for local communities .
  • Create flexibility for instructional days, including reserved time for teachers to collaborate and plan lessons for their students.
Reduce High Stakes Testing
  • Require state board to review/develop and approve a college and career readiness assessment to be administered in 11th grade and make it count towards statewide student assessment in English Language Arts, Math, and Science in said grade or as required by federal law and regulations.
  • Amend school accreditation, accountability and school performance to include multiple measures. 
  • End the A to F grading of public schools by amending school accreditation, accountability and school performance to include multiple measures
Raise Classroom Teacher Pay by $808 (2% average)
  • Raise classroom teacher salaries and pay for it through reorganization and prioritization of educational programs at the State Department of Education.