Education

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.

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

This week’s reporter roundtable focuses on the week’s action over SB 451 – comprehensive education reform. We recap what happened with the bill since passing out of the West Virginia Senate on Monday, and where it is now in the committee process over in the House of Delegates.

Delegate Sean Hornbuckle speaks in the West Virginia House.
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia House of Delegates has scheduled a second public hearing on a long, sweeping and controversial education reform bill. Lawmakers decided Friday, Feb. 8, to add a second chance for members of the public to express their thoughts on Senate Bill 451.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Trump, R-Morgan, and fellow Senate Judiciary member Mike Romano, D-Harrison, join host Suzanne Higgins to chat about some of the recent legislation they’ve considered in committee as well as on the Senate floor. We also breakdown the recent changes to SB 451 – comprehensive education reform – made in the House of Delegates.

The comprehensive education reform bill – SB 451 – passed the West Virginia Senate following a few hours of debate. The bill now heads to the House of Delegates for consideration. Host Suzanne Higgins and Senior Statehouse Reporter Dave Mistich break down the day’s action over the bill. We also bring you a special report about the state’s drug court.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, when President Trump delivers his State of the Union address on Tuesday he’ll talk about job growth and it’s quite likely he’ll talk about coal. The coal industry and its out-of-work miners have been important symbols for Trump. 

But as Brittany Patterson reports, after two years under Trump more coal power plants are closing down and coal employment is at an all-time low.

In this reporter roundtable, we recap the week’s proceedings over Senate Bill 451 – a massive bill to reform public education in West Virginia. We bring you up-to-date on where the bill is now and where it’s heading.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On last night’s episode of The Legislature Today, WVPB assistant news director Glynis Board spoke with Felicia Bush. Bush is a founder and CEO of the nonprofit Harmony Mental Health and co-founding member of Handle with Care. She works to implement trauma-informed care across six counties in the state – helping educators respond to students traumatized by the opioid crisis. On this West Virginia Morning, we hear an excerpt from the interview.

Sen. Craig Blair presides over the Senate's Committee of the Whole on Jan. 30, 2019, to discuss SB 451, sweeping and controversial education reform bill.
Will Price / WV Legislative Photography

The full West Virginia Senate is set to consider amendments to a wide-ranging and controversial education reform bill Friday.

Senate Bill 451, also known as the omnibus education bill, cleared the chamber’s 34-member Committee of the Whole on an 18-16 roll call vote and advanced to the Senate proper. Republican Sens. Kenny Mann and Bill Hamilton joined Democrats as no votes.

It’s been a marathon day in the West Virginia Senate, as senators discuss SB 451 – the comprehensive education reform bill – as a “committee as a whole.” In the House, delegates considered amendments to HB 2010 – transitioning the state’s foster care system to a managed care model.

Appalachia Health News Reporter Kara Lofton leads a discussion on the Justice administration’s plan to tackle the state's substance abuse crisis, and host Suzanne Higgins chats with Senior Statehouse Reporter Dave Mistich about the comprehensive education reform bill, which continues to garner attention throughout the state and under the dome.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, a controversial piece of legislation focused on overhauling public education continues to move through the West Virginia Senate. Lawmakers adopted a motion yesterday to skip the bill’s second reference to the Senate Finance Committee and instead bring the bill before the full Senate as the Committee of the Whole. Dave Mistich has more.

The omnibus education reform bill is the talk of the Capitol’s halls. A historic move was made by Senate leadership Monday to have the bill, SB 451, reported to the floor and be considered by “the committee as a whole” – meaning all 34 senators would consider the bill from the floor in the same manner as if it were still in committee.

Senate
Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

This is a developing story and will be updated.

 

A controversial piece of legislation focused on overhauling public education continues to move quickly through the West Virginia Senate. Lawmakers adopted a motion Monday, Jan. 28, to skip the bill’s second reference to the Senate Finance Committee and instead bring the bill before the full Senate as the Committee of the Whole.

We bring you another Friday Reporter Roundtable. Host Suzanne Higgins is joined by statehouse reporters to recap the week and look ahead to the next. We explore the massive education reform bill, the debate over legalizing cannabis in West Virginia, child welfare needs, and the latest on legislation related to an Intermediate Court of Appeals.

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