Teachers Warily Celebrate Tabled Education Reform Bill

Feb 19, 2019

John Marshall high school teacher Joe Kuskey worries the celebration may be short-lived.
Credit Cory Knollinger / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Teachers and service personnel in the Northern Panhandle joined picket lines this morning and were on their way home before a typical school day would have closed. Many teachers were relieved, but uneasy.

Teachers in Marshall County will return to their classrooms tomorrow, but Marshall County American Federation of Teachers President Josh Gary hopes the message of the short-lived strike is received by the public as well as legislators.

“The fact that teachers wanted the bill killed even though it included an over $2,000 pay raise for them should give people pause and understanding that it was a very bad bill,” Gary said.

There was a sense of relief that the House of Delegates tabled the sweeping education reform measure, but John Marshall high school teacher Joe Kuskey worries the celebration may be short-lived.

“I don’t feel like it’s a dead issue,” Kuskey said. “It’s probably going to come back to haunt us again, just like it did this year.”

Kuskey and other teachers expressed frustration that today’s disruption was necessary at all. He says concerns remain that the education reform bill could be revived before the end of the legislative session.