Monday, March 9, 2015

Holy Hiatus, Batman

Welcome readers, to an extra special multi-week edition of This Week, Last Week, Today, Yesterday, A Little While Ago, and Right Now in House Education!

Before we get started, I feel that I have to get something off my chest. The House Ed Blackboard has been slacking for a few weeks now, for that I am sorry. However, readers, I thought we really had something here. Did you notice my absence? Did you leave worried comments? Did you conduct frequent, frantic Google searches? Alas, the only one who seemed to notice was my mother. She called asking why she couldn't find a new update, then chastised me accordingly for slacking.

Let's put this unacceptable gap behind us, readers. We shall move forward, heads held high into the: 

Chair's Corner

Despite more than a few snowlogged days Chairwoman Pasdon has been able to maintain a full calendar. Here are just a few of her recent appointments:

The Chairwoman has had meetings with members of leadership from both houses

Amanda had some visitors home when representatives Monongalia County Board of Education came down to discuss issues, needs, and flexibility concerns.

Chairwoman Pasdon spent a considerable amount of time working with Delegates Butler and Moffatt to help craft House Bill 2934.

The parents of Leland Brown sat down with Amanda to talk about Leland's Law, named in honor of their late son. The proposed bill focuses on education to recognize sudden cardiac arrest, learn more here.

She made some time to chat with Clarksburg radio host Mike Queen

West Virginians Against Common Core stopped by to speak with Amanda about the Common Core standards

Members of the board of the West Virginia School Service Personnel Association and human resources representatives from Kanawha, Berkeley, and Monongalia counties also come in to discuss legislation with Chairwoman Pasdon

Last, but certainly not least, Jodi Cottrell, Director of The Luke Lee Listening, Language, and Learning Lab came by to share information about the very special preschool founded at Marshall. She left us with a message from Mr. Lee, himself:

Committee Updates

The Committee has also stayed occupied. Since our last post the following bills have been passed through committee:

H.B. 2478 Relating to public school finance
H.B. 2702 Redefining service personnel class titles of early childhood classroom assistant teacher
H.B. 2632 Exempting the procurement of certain instructional materials for use in and in support of public schools from the division of purchasing requirements
H.B. 2669 Relating to compulsory tuberculosis testing
H.B. 2598 Ensuring that teachers of students with disabilities receive complete information about the school's plan for accommodating the child's disabilities
H.B. 2140 Building governance and leadership capacity of county board during period of state intervention
H.B. 2381 Providing a teacher mentoring increment for classroom teachers with national board certification who teach and mentor at certain schools
H.B. 2502 Possessing deadly weapons on school buses or on the premises of educational facilities
H.B. 2674 Making home schooled students eligible for a Promise scholarship without taking the GED test
H.B. 2755 Relating to service and professional employee positions at jointly established schools
H.B. 2780 Enhancing the ability of campus police officers at state institutions of higher education to perform their duties
H.B. 2474 Relating to the compensation of personnel employed at the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind
H.B. 2550 Increasing the number of unexcused absences of a student before action may be taken against the parent
H.B. 2840 Providing an alternative plan to make up lost days of instruction
H.B. 2884 Modifying training and development requirement for certain members of Higher Education Policy Commission, council for community and technical college education and institutional governing boards
H.B. 2934 Repealing the common core standards
H.B. 2793 Relating generally to home schooling
H.B. 2713 Providing taxpayers repaying their own student loans a modification reducing federal adjusted gross in the amount of the interest paid
H.B. 2976 Expanding the eligible master’s and doctoral level programs for which a Nursing Scholarship may be awarded
H.B. 2717 Relating to hiring of public school employees
H.B. 2645 Establishing critical need alternative teaching certificates, and expanding the availability of the Underwood-Smith Teacher Loan Assistance Program
H.B. 2867 Relating to higher education and miscellaneous provisions
H.B. 2892 Authorizing certain legislative rules regarding higher education
H.B. Originating, on Sudden Cardiac Arrest of Student Athletes
H.B. Originating, on Salary Equity
S.B. 14 Creating Public Charter Schools Act of 2015
S.B. 425 Providing WVU, MU and WVSOM more authority to invest asset
S.B. 455 Relating to public higher education procurement and payment of expenses
S.B. 287 Providing posthumous high school diplomas
S.B. 243 Relating to school nutrition standards during state of emergency or preparedness
S.B. 19 Specifying minimum early childhood education program instruction days

SubCommmittee A has continued to meet and since last post, we also have a new subcommittee. SubCommittee B is chaired by Delegate Espinosa and Vice-Chair by Delegate Upson. Delegates Statler, Trecost, and Rodighiero round out the committee. The committee has been reviewing H.B. 2717, in regards to school employee hiring and transfers. 

Legislators for Literacy

Monday March 2 House Ed Committee members headed across town to Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary School to kick off our Legislators for Literacy program. Chairwoman Pasdon, and Delegates Upson, Rowan, Statler, and Pushkin read or in at least one case, performed, to the elementary students.

We will continue to promote this program in the coming months and we are still looking for book donations! If you have any please bring them by the committee room, or leave a comment and we will make arrangements so that they may get in the hands of students across the state.

Cheat Sheet

We celebrated Marshall Day at the Capitol a few weeks. To Melinda's great disappointment, legendary Marshall coach Mathew McConaughey was not in attendance.

Michael Garcia has been nominated to represent West Virginia University for a second year in a row as the Mountaineer mascot. We can't wait to see him again next year!

Action Needed For Better Schools

W.Va. spends too much, is too centralized not to take another look at Common Core

Freshman Delegate and veteran rockstar, Kayla Kessinger was a recent guest on the Tom Roten Morning Show.
When Tom turned the conversation toward education Delegate Kessinger hit a home run! They begin to hit on education about the 12 minute mark

The members of the House Education Committee are doing their very best to make sure that I am not able to dedicate much time to this blog, but I will try to post again ASAP. If you would like to voice grievances about my workload and lack of time to play around on the internet please call the House Ed office. Sharon will be more than happy to take note and pass the message up to the powers that be. 

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