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House Education Committee passes amended version of education reform bill

In at 15-10 vote the House Education Committee passed the education reform bill Friday after multiple days of discussion and several amendments. Republicans voted to approve the bill and democrats voted to oppose. (WCHS/WVAH)

In at 15-10 vote the House Education Committee passed the education reform bill Friday after multiple days of discussion and several amendments. Republicans voted to approve the bill and democrats voted to oppose.

Before discussions were underway Friday afternoon Delegate John Doyle from Jefferson County moved to kill the bill completely. He said the bill was still too complex, and it needed a year of study before it would be fully understood.

"There are so many things I still don't fully understand," Delegate Doyle said. "If we sit here for 20 more hours, all through next week, we still won't know enough about this bill to make a good decision."

His motion was rejected and discussion continued. Several key amendments were approved in committee.

The charter school provision was amended to recommend a pilot program for two elementary schools. The majority of teachers and parents would also have to approve the decision to switch. The non-severability clause was removed along with paycheck protection.

The option for education savings accounts was removed altogether. Previously, a provision would withhold teacher pay in the event of a work-stoppage. That provision was also nixed.

The amendments are suggestions from the House Education Committee that could still be changed. House members are also preparing for two public hearings on the education reform bill. One will begin at 8 a.m. and one at 5:30 p.m. both Monday on the House floor.

Teacher unions will have a state wide meeting Saturday in Flatwoods to discuss the results so far.

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