Charter schools resolution not adopted

By Whitney Burdette, Capitol reporter

West Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Tim Armstead gavels the House of Delegates to order during the final evening of the 82nd Legislative Session. Armstead worked to keep the House members moving to meet committee deadlines and House rules during the evening. Photo by the West Virginia Press Association.

UPDATE: A resolution calling for the study of the implementation of charter schools was not adopted by the House of Delegates, meaning no action will be taken on controversial issue this year.

A resolution Democrats say was “prepared rather hastily” will create a task force to study the implementation of charter schools.

The House Rules Committee adopted the resolution with just a couple of hours to go in the 2015 legislative session. The charter schools issue created controversy as the legislation moved through the process. Senate Bill 14 was debated and discussed for several weeks in the Senate Education Committee before passing the full body on an 18-16 party line vote. The House amended the bill, but delayed passage.

Speaker Tim Armstead said House leadership began preparing the concurrent resolution, which doesn’t have a reference number, earlier Saturday evening. He said he sought input from the minority party, but Delegate Mike Caputo, D-Marion, said some provisions caused him concern.

“I think this is much too broad,” he said.

The concurrent resolution calls for a task force comprised of three members each from the House and Senate, two parents or guardians of students currently enrolled in public school, one member of the state Board of Education, one teacher holding national board certification, a public school principal, a county superintendent, a county board member, one person from a private sector employer of more than 25 employees and a person from a private sector employer with fewer than 25 employees. Members to the task force will be appointed by the Senate President and House Speaker and are asked to “make recommendations on best practices, procedures and methods for the implementation of charter schools in the state.”

Delegate Tim Manchin, D-Manchin, said he disliked that language and felt he didn’t have time to thoroughly review the concurrent resolution to offer an amendment. He called the resolution “self-serving and self-seeking.”

Delegate Tim Miley, D-Harrison and House Minority Leader, requested time for the party’s legal counsel to review the document.

“It seems this was prepared rather hastily,” Miley said.

The concurrent resolution was adopted on a 13-7 party line vote and reported to the full House.

Contact writer Whitney Burdette at 304-348-5149 or Follow her at