Posted by 20 February 2019
Charter schools and education savings accounts will not be coming to West Virginia this year. Teachers across the state walked out of school to protest legislation that would enact these education reforms as well as increase teacher salaries. Legislators adjourned without passing the bill, ending the two-day teacher walkout.
West Virginia is currently one of the few states where no charter schools operate. These are public schools that have more freedom in terms of curriculum and hiring. They offer a greater choice in the type of education offered, but critics say they harm traditional public schools. The legislation at issue would have made it easier for these schools to open in West Virginia. Another provision would have established education savings accounts, which parents could use to pay for private school tuition if their children have special needs or have been bullied. In addition, the legislation contained a pay raise for teachers and more money for educational support services.
Teachers walked off their jobs to hold a vigil at the state capitol in opposition. Every school system in the state except one closed because of a lack of teachers. Legislators adjourned without considering the bill, which killed it for this year.
Do you support charter schools? Should parents be able to use education savings accounts to pay for private school tuition or other education expenses?