CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The House Education Committee wants West Virginia voters to have opportunities to cast ballots to select state school board members.

The committee on Wednesday approved, 13-8, a resolution that could make the state board a hybrid, with some members elected and a few appointed. Republicans supported it, with Democrats voting against it.

The resolution would make six seats on the state school board elected positions. Three other seats would be named by the governor — as all voting members of the board are currently.

The resolution still has a long way to go, though.

It goes next to House Judiciary. If it passes there, the full House would vote on it. It would then go through the Senate — and if it makes it through that chamber it would be up for a statewide vote as a constitutional amendment.

Even at that, questions would remain — many of which were raised by members of House Education.

The amendment would likely just designate a number of board members to be elected and the number of years they would serve. The resolution lowers the number of years on the board from nine to six.

If the amendment were passed, lawmakers would then have to go back and shape the rest of how it works.

Would elections be statewide or regional? Of the current board, whose seats would be subject to election and who would remain as an appointee? Would those up for election have to demonstrate any particular education expertise?

“Have you heard of a pig in a poke. Could that possibly fit, do you think?” asked Delegate Ricky Moye, D-Raleigh.

Moye admitted to the committee that he had actually sponsored legislation in the past to establish elected school board positions.

“I have sponsored legislation in the past to do this. But, being the good Baptist that I am, I have repented,” Moye said.

Moye expressed concerns about the possible influence of donors to state school board races.

“I have in the past thought that was a good idea. With further thought, I see the impact money can have on education through electing our board members,” he said.

Delegate Marshall Wilson, R-Berkeley, saw it a different way.

“Does it seem to you that political appointments would be political?” Wilson asked.

The broad discussion over how West Virginia’s state school board is formed goes way back, but recent events may have added some fuel to the fire.

Within just a couple of months of Gov. Jim Justice taking office, he named a majority of the current board members. Of the 9 voting members, Justice named six.

New faces on the board were Dave Perry, Frank Vitale, Miller Hall, Jeff Flanagan, Debra Sullivan and Joseph Wallace. Holdovers were Tom Campbell, James Wilson and Scott Rotruck.

The positions came open through a combination of expiring terms, terms that had not been filled and resignations.

That kind of turnover — and the ability of the governor to shape the board — doesn’t usually happen.

The House Education Committee also passed a resolution last year that would have led to elected state school board members.

The House Judiciary Committee initially passed the resolution too — but with one big change. Under its version, the proposed amendment would have placed the general supervision of free schools in the state with the Legislature, which would have been a significant constitutional move.

Two days later, the Judiciary Committee reconsidered what it had done and chose instead to create a study resolution, which was the end of the line at the time.