Education bill springs back from the dead

By Brad McElhinny in News
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Senate Education Committee brought back and passed a wide-ranging education bill Thursday morning after seemingly tabling it for good the prior day. The committee also passed the “Tim Tebow bill” to the Senate floor.

The bill would eliminate the state Regional Education Service Agencies, eliminate the state Office of Education Performance Audits and provide more flexibility on the school calendar.

The issue that nearly killed the bill was a proposed amendment meant to ensure the Legislature would be involved and consulted on the adoption of new statewide education standards. The object of some legislators’ ire was Common Core.

The education committee not only picked the bill back up but it also passed it, after additional conversation about Common Core. The discussion actually focused as far back as No Child Left Behind standards in the Bush administration.

Senators asked the new state Superintendent of Schools, Steve Paine, to answer questions. Paine is back as superintendent, a job he previously held.