Monday, February 16, 2015


WVU President Gorgon Gee and Chairwoman Pasdon

Last week at the legislature we celebrated Home School Day and WVU Day!

The Mountaineer and Delegate Pushkin

Here in House Ed we were glad to host guests from both groups.

Seven bills were passed through committee this week and Chairwoman Pasdon was bustling about as usual.

Here's a closer look:

Chair's Corner

New and familiar faces came this week to see Amanda to speak about some of the big issues in Education today.

Tom Susman stopped by to speak about higher ed issues that impact regional colleges.

Garnet Bowyer of the West Virginia Professional Educators spoke with Amanda about alternative certification of teachers.

Gale Gaines of the Southern Regional Education Board came in to talk about Public Charter Schools in West Virginia.

Gail Manchin, Michael Martirano, and Paul Hill from the West Virginia Department of Education paid Amanda a visit to discuss Next Generation Standards.

Stephanie Butcher came in to speak about issues important to West Virginia's many homeschoolers.

Mike Donally of the Home School Legal Defense Association came by and brought his whole family of homeschoolers along with him!

Committee Updates

Last week we held three very successful committee meetings! The following bills were passed through the House Education Committee and are on to their next destination:

H.B. 2202 Relating to more equitable disbursement of funds to county boards

H.B. 2139 Relating to employment of retired teachers as substitutes in areas of critical need and shortage for substitutes

H.B. 2441 Reducing the liability of county boards of education for loss or injury from the use of school property made available for unorganized recreation

H.B. 2387 Relating to a framework for initiating comprehensive transformation of school leadership

H.B. 2527 Creating a Task Force on Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Children

H.B. 2545 Relating to reimbursement of certification fee for National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification

H.B. 2391 Authorizing additional annual waiver to full implementation of five full day early education program

Our subcommittee on the public school aid program met once again to hear from Berkeley County Schools Superintendent Manny Arvon and of course, the ever-present Joe Panetta.

Delegate Cooper shares a word with former Delegate, and Education Committee member, Linda Sumner

Cheat Sheet

Our House Bill 2005, pertaining to alternative certification of teachers was passed on to the Senate 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The One Where House Ed Hits It's Stride!

That's right readers we are humming along like never before!

We had our busiest week yet here in House Education, but if you happened to wander back into the House Ed corridor (and somehow managed to sneak past Sharon) you may have hardly noticed.

Chair's Corner

By this point it practically goes without saying, Chairwoman Pasdon had an action-packed week! 
Hera's a peek:
Amanda started the week speaking with Chancellor Paul Hill and Matt Turner from the Higher Education Policy Commission about decreasing duplication of regulatory reporting (Monday morning the alliteration association was heated to hear about the imminent interview) in higher ed.

During Tuesday's Girl's Day at the Legislature, Amanda had the honor of presenting to our many lovely guests from around the state.

Dr. Michael Adelman, President of West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine visited House Ed to convey to Amanda the challenges of rural health care and discuss how the school's ongoing endeavor to engage students to practice medicine in rural Appalachia.

Delegate Tom Fast stopped in stopped in to talk about education needs and issues in Fayette County.

Amelia Courts of the Education Alliance met to talk about partnerships between House Ed and her organization 

State Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Michael Martirano paid Amanda a visit to discuss West Virginia's Next Generation education standards, an important issue that our office took nearly 100 calls on this week! 

Committee Updates

On Monday the committee discussed H.B.2151. Introduced by Delegate Perry, this bill would create a position for the West Virginia state teacher of the year on the West Virginia Board of Education. The bill was passed down to the floor with the recommendation that it do pass, where it was subsequently passed on to the Senate. We hope the Senate is as excited about Delegate Perry's bill as we are!

Next up was a familiar face around House Ed. Joe Panetta presented to the committee on the Public School Support Plan. Despite Mr. Panetta's best efforts our subcommittee has been indefatigable in their effort to learn all they can on the subject in a very short time.

Apple hosted a Lunch and Learn that got the Delegates thinking about technology in the classroom

Wednesday afternoon the committee discussed and passed on House bills 2370 and 2377. We also had our first Senate bill, S.B.7 pass through committee!

Friday morning arrived with guests: Chancellors Paul Hill and James Skidmore of the Higher Education Policy Commission, and the Council for Community and Technical College Education, respectively gave presentations on their organizations. 

Before the committee adjourned Chairwoman Pasdon was thrilled to announce House Ed's newest initiative, Legislators for Literacy. The program will get lawmakers into the classroom reading to Pre-K and elementary age students. We will be kicking off in the Charleston area on Dr. Seuss Day, Monday, March 2nd(the delightful doctor would have been 111 this year). Legislators will be heading into classrooms in their districts as the year progresses.  We would love to be able to leave the books we read in the hands of children. Donations to the program will be greatly appreciated, please leave a comment if you would like to get involved.

Our subcommittee on the Public School Support Plan held its final meeting this week. Joe Panetta wrapped up his in depth explanation of the plan and John Flint, Superintendent of Wood County Schools testified to the subcommittee on his perception of the plan as a county superintendent. 

Follow us on Twitter, @WVHouseEd for frequent updates!