Q&A: Omnibus Education Bill Likely Unconstitutional, WVU Law Professor Says

Feb 8, 2019

The West Virginia House of Delegates is considering changes to Senate Bill 451 – or the education omnibus bill, as it is often referred to. 

There have been several House amendments that could affect the bill's constitutionality. But among the many things that the Senate version of the omnibus bill would do if it becomes law is to create a charter schools system in West Virginia. Supporters say charter schools are necessary for the state’s education system to move forward. Opponents say they will drain resources from the established public school system.

Joshua Weishart, associate professor of law and policy at West Virginia University, studies the legal environment around schools and state government. He wrote an article laying out his argument that the charter schools provision in SB 451 is unconstitutional.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting news director Jesse Wright asked Weishart to explain why he believes SB 451 is unconstitutional. Watch the video below to hear his response.

There are two public hearings scheduled for 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11. on the bill.