Education

West Virginia Department of Education

A new report on public education in West Virginia could be a roadmap for lawmakers who are set to focus on improving the state’s system. The report comes after a long, sweeping and  controversial education reform bill was rejected by the state Legislature earlier this year -- a measure that caused public school workers to walk off the job for two days.

In this Wednesday, April 10, 2019, file photo, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos testifies before the House Education and Labor Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP Photo

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said Monday that teachers are walking off the job too often and that protests about pay and school conditions should be done on "adult time" so students aren't hurt.

DeVos made the comments in Baltimore while speaking at a conference for education journalists.

Teachers from West Virginia to California have walked out of classrooms in recent months to protest working conditions and call for better benefits. Many have demanded changes including higher pay, smaller class sizes and more classroom funding.

Rebecca Kiger

Science can be a hard subject to understand, especially upper-level higher-ed science courses. A professor in West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle is creatively cracking the code to help his students understand tricky topics.

Joe Horzempa is an associate professor of Biology at West Liberty University, and he has what could be described as an unorthodox way of teaching science. 

West Virginia University

A West Virginia University student is accused of threatening to shoot people at the school and then kill himself.

News outlets report 21-year-old Cheickna Kagnassy, of Maryland, was arrested Wednesday and charged with making terroristic threats.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, science can be a hard subject to understand, especially upper-level higher-ed science courses. A professor in West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle is creatively cracking the code to help his students understand tricky topics. Corey Knollinger has more.

Sen. Patricia Rucker, R-Jefferson, gives her opening remarks during the 2019 Legislative Wrap Up Breakfast in Martinsburg.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A special session to address education in West Virginia is just around the corner, and lawmakers from the Eastern Panhandle are making plans to reintroduce controversial legislation next month.

classroom
Arria Belli / Wikimedia Commons

Public roundtable forums on education in West Virginia are complete and now state officials will examine the information to offer for a special legislative session to address school issues.

Did States with Charter Schools Cluster Below W.Va. in ACT Scores?

Apr 8, 2019
An ACT Assessment test in Springfield, Ill.
Seth Perlman / AP file photo

West Virginia state Sen. Mike Romano, a Democrat, recently took a swipe at charter schools.

A Feb. 2 tweet by the West Virginia Senate Democrats quoted Romano criticizing a low ranking for the state in a report published by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative group. Romano sought to turn the tables by offering a more favorable ranking for West Virginia -- the state’s test scores for the ACT, a major college entrance exam -- and by taking a shot at charter schools, which West Virginia doesn’t allow.

April 5, 1856: Educator Booker T. Washington Born in Franklin County, VA

Apr 5, 2019
Booker T. Washington
e-WV Encyclopedia / Library of Congress

Educator Booker T. Washington was born a slave in Franklin County, Virginia, on April 5, 1856. After the Civil War, he relocated to Malden, a few miles east of Charleston, where he attended a one-room school for blacks.

He also was tutored by Viola Ruffner, whom he later credited for instilling in him the qualities of cleanliness and hard work.

After graduating from Hampton Institute in Virginia, Washington returned to West Virginia as a teacher. In 1879, he went back to Hampton as a professor. But when school was out, he’d come home to work in West Virginia’s coal mines.

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission is planning to pick a new interim leader by late next month due to the current interim chancellor's plans to resign.

AP Photo / Randy Snyder

As state administrators throughout Appalachia grapple with mounting health care costs, a new resource is offering assistance to policymakers by taking lessons from success stories outside of the health sector.

Adobe Stock

Student loan debt is a major issue for many millennials. A bill in Congress would offer loan forgiveness to West Virginians who want to return home, or stay in the state, to work.

Clark Davis

Hundreds of West Virginia residents attended the state's first public hearing to prepare for an upcoming special legislative session to address education issues.

West Virginia education officials are kicking off a series of public hearings as part of preparations for an upcoming special legislative session. The first of seven forums is set for Monday night at Cabell Midland High School in Ona.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia Legislature’s 60-day regular session could very well be remembered more for the bills that failed as those that passed. Top-priority proposals -- and some measures that sprung up through the legislative process -- fell by the wayside as the clock ticked toward midnight Saturday and lawmakers adjourned sine die.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the state faces complex ripple effects as a result of the opioid crisis. Schools are especially affected as they respond to increased number of children experiencing traumatic events. Many counties are working to adapt to a changing educational landscape, including Wirt County. Glynis Board visited Wirt Middle and Elementary schools recently to explore tactics being deployed.

In a session dominated by an omnibus education bill that ultimately died, lawmakers know officially now that they'll be back for a special session on education. We bring you the latest, and we also speak with the presidents of two state universities.

Tyler Evert / AP Photo

Gov. Jim Justice has called a special session to begin as soon as the 60-day regular legislative session ends Saturday. According to the governor, the special session will focus on “education betterment” with focus on a promised pay raise for teachers and service personnel, as well other aspects of the public education system.

Adobe Stock

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has signed legislation requiring students to take computer science classes before graduating high school.

Justice held a ceremonial bill signing Thursday, Feb. 28, at Cranberry-Prosperity Elementary School in Beckley.

It’s Day 50, Crossover Day, and the last day for Senate bills to get out of the Senate, and for House bills to get out of the House. This determines whether those bills are to survive this session. We recap the day’s action, and we also look at the latest on SB 1 – the “last dollar in” community and technical college bill.

Elementary Classroom
Douglaspperkins / Wikimedia Commons

The West Virginia House has approved a bill to expand mental health services in schools.

Delegates passed the measure by a 99-0 vote Wednesday. Roane County Del. Martin Atkinson's bill would require counties to hire at least one school psychologist for every 1,000 students between kindergarten and seventh grade. The bill now heads to the Senate.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, youths experience trauma across Appalachia at a higher rate than the national average. This trauma can range from parents divorcing, to exposure to violence — and when kids don’t get help, there can be disastrous consequences for them and the people around them. Kyeland Jackson, of WFPL in Louisville, Kentucky, brings us this report.

This week, we've seen a teacher and school workers strike, the death of a massive controversial education bill, and a campus-carry gun bill zoom through the House of Delegates. We bring you up-to-date on all these issues and more.

Teachers and school workers were on strike in 54 of West Virginia’s 55 counties Tuesday. But shortly after 12:30 p.m., the controversial education bill, which drove them out of school, was postponed indefinitely by a motion in the House of Delegates. Host Suzanne Higgins and Senior Statehouse Reporter Dave Mistich discuss the action on the bill, and the leaders of the teachers and school service personnel unions join the show to discuss whether the bill could have another shot at passage.

Late in the afternoon on Monday, the West Virginia Senate took up SB 451 – comprehensive education reform – as amended by the House of Delegates. But the upper chamber provided its own amendment to the House’s version. Host Suzanne Higgins and Senior Statehouse Reporter Dave Mistich break down the day’s floor action over the bill and what could come next. We also hear from the chairman and minority chairman of the House Select Committee on Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse.

SB 451 – comprehensive education reform – is now back in the Senate, and the chamber is expected next week to consider the massive bill as amended by the House of Delegates. In this reporter roundtable, host Suzanne Higgins speaks with fellow statehouse reporters on the evolution of SB 451, and we explore other issues moving through the legislative process.

The comprehensive education reform bill passed out of the House of Delegates on a vote of 71 to 29. We’ll recap the day’s action on the bill, and host Suzanne Higgins talks with Randall Reid-Smith, Curator of the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Updated on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019 at 6:54 p.m.

The West Virginia House of Delegates has passed its version of a long, sweeping and controversial education reform bill. The proposal, which calls for teacher and school service pay raises, but also other ideas opposed by public educators such as charter schools, is a stripped-down version of the measure the Senate passed last week.

The House of Delegates considered amendments to SB 451 – comprehensive education reform – all day, and they’ve continued their work into the evening. We break down the day’s proceedings, and we have a discussion with the Senate Health Committee over several healthcare bills that are moving through the legislative process.

Updated on Tues. Feb. 12, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. to include the TV broadcast of "The Legislature Today" from Feb. 11, 2019.

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