Saturday, January 31, 2015

This Week in Education

What a Week! 

Where to start? 

Colleges and Universities from across the state traveled to Charleston this week for Higher Education Day at the Capitol.  

International visitors stopped by the House Ed offices. 

The House Chamber was packed for the public hearing on Public Charter Schools. We heard from 11 members of the public in favor of #PCS and 11 who were against. 

Chair’s Corner

As usual House Education Chairwoman Amanda Pasdon had a whole slew of meetings this week. Here's a peek into some of her appointments:

Danny Dailey, Technology Director at Lincoln County Schools spoke with Amanda about how we can get technology in the hands of our students to provide the most effective learning environment possible.

Amanda held a video conference with the National Center for Excellence in Women’s Health at WVU to discuss their nation-wide efforts at improving women's health education and promoting female leadership across healthcare fields.

Mike Donally of the Home School Legal Defense Association stopped by to speak about some close to home issues with Amanda; she was a homeschooler not so long ago (a few members of our committee and staff also home school their kids)!

Amanda sat down with some WVU student leaders in hopes of establishing future collaborations  

Charles Liao, Executive Officer, Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office paid Amanda a visit to continue a long standing relationship between heads of the two offices 

Amanda also made appearances on Talkline, Legislature Today, The Mike Queen Show, Decision Makers She frequently appears as a blur throughout the House Ed corridors as she hastens between appointments!

Committee Updates

Not to be outdone by Chairwoman Pasdon, the members of House Education dedicated more than a full work day worth of time this week to committee meetings. 

Monday afternoon the committee gathered to discuss H.B. 2005 Relating to alternative programs for the education of teachers, and H.B. 2160 Making West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind eligible to participate in any and all funding administered or distributed by the West Virginia School Building Authority. 

The committee really proved their diligence, resolutely continuing conversation into the night. Most of our guests stuck around too to provide the committee with their expertise on the topics at hand. We cannot thank these guests enough for the valuable help they provided:

Monica Beane, Executive Director, Office of Professional Preparation of the West Virginia Department of Education
Heather Hutchens, Counsel to the West Virginia Board of Education
Will Nash, Executive Director of Teach for America Appalachia
Dr. Corley Dennison, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission
Dr. Scott Wolmack, USA, Ret., of Monroe County High School 
Mary Catherine Funk, Counsel to the West Virginia Board of Education,
David Sneed, Executive Director of the School Building Authority

Much to the consternation of everyone present Wednesday's committee meeting ended before the sun set.

Guests, Dr. Michael Martirano, State Superintendent of Schools, Joe Panetta, COO, Division of Student Support Services of the West Virginia Department of Education, and Terry Harless, CFO, Office of Internal Operations of the West Virginia Department of Education spoke to the committee about the State Board of Education’s budgeting and operations. 

Our subcommittee on the Public School Support Program convened twice this week to learn all they could on the workings of the Support Program in preparation for the upcoming presentation to the full committee  

Cheat Sheet

A Look Into Next Week

Chairwoman Pasdon will appear on Decision Makers Sunday morning

The Committee will be discussing H.B.2151 Making the West Virginia state teacher of the year an ex officio, nonvoting member of the West Virginia Board of Education and the Public School Support Plan

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Friday, January 23, 2015

The Blackboard

Welcome to the Blackboard!

This is the new place to gain insight on the 2015 House Of Delegates Committee on Education.

Let’s get started with some introductions!

The members of the 2015 House Education Committee are:
Delegate Amanda Pasdon Chair
Delegate Walter Duke Vice-Chair
Delegate David Perry Minority Chair
Delegate Rick Moye Minority Vice-Chair

Don’t worry; we’ll make sure you get to know the committee members over the next few weeks.

Chair’s Corner
Our new leadership hit the ground running; Amanda had a very busy week. Here’s a peak at some of this week’s meetings:

She met with Shiloh Woodard of the WV Child Advocacy Network concerning the implementation of Erin’s Law in West Virginia.  Erin’s Law requires schools to enact child sexual abuse prevention programming. More information about Erin’s Law is available here.

The School Board Association presented recommendations to Amanda on education improvements that begin at the county level. The improvements included polishing up the county board code and refocusing RESA.

She discussed areas of concern, calendar planning and Next Generation Standards with members of the State School Board.

Representatives from regional and state colleges paid her a visit to explore how best to enhance the efficiency, best practices, and budgeting of local higher education institutions.

Amanda has also been having regular meetings with Senator Sypolt, Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, in order to discuss joint projects.

Committee Updates
During Wednesday’s committee meeting Dr. Kathy D’Antoni, Chief Officer of Career and Technical Education of the West Virginia Department of Education presented to the committee on the success of the student led Simulated Workplace Program. Students are accountable for much of the learning process in the program and instructors are able to exercise flexibility and creativity implementing curriculum. More information on this growing program can be found here.

Before the close of the committee meeting Chairwoman Pasdon announced the formation of a subcommittee to study the Public School Support Program. This program, also known as the School Aid Formula, is the basic foundation allowance program that provides funding to local school districts for all of the following programs:
personnel salaries
employee benefit costs
transportation operation costs
general operating costs
substitute costs
allowances for faculty senates
improvement of instructional programs
increase in technology funding
advanced placement programs

The subcommittee’s assignment is to take an in-depth look at the program in order to provide advanced comprehension during the February 2nd presentation on the topic. The subcommittee is to be comprised of the following members: Delegate Hamrick, Delegate Kelly, Delegate Kurcaba, Delegate Moye, and Delegate Pushkin. Delegate Duke and Delegate Espinosa will serve as Chair and Vice Chair, respectively.

It looks like the subcommittee is already hard at work!!

A look into next week:
Committee meeting Monday, January 26, 2015 we will be discussing H.B. 2160 and will be hosting guests from the West Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind.


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