Last year when our teachers were courageous enough to walk out and force the legislature to address their needs and the needs of the children, I was impressed with their resolve. After all was said and done and they received a 5% pay raise, I warned several of the teachers to be ready for the backlash this year. Having made the powers-that-be back down would not come without repercussions. Here we are in 2019 and the sneaky bunch of crooks (legislators) are attempting to ram through an education bill that would be totally raucous to our school system. If the parents who have children do not let their voices be heard, we could take a giant step backwards in West Virginia Education. Everyone needs to call their West Virginia legislative representatives immediately! In addition to larger classes for teachers, the state would begin to promote Charter Schools which I will address in the following paragraph. Although West Virginia has moved a small amount away from the bottom in school performance, we are still near the bottom in many important areas.
There is no doubt that our schools are in disarray and not producing the quality of student we would like but many schools across the nation are facing the same dilemma.. I have written about this issue repeatedly, but the answer is not CHARTER SCHOOLS! In theory the idea of Charter Schools sounds great. Create a school to compete with the public school to force them to get their act together. The truth of the matter is more devious. Charter schools are a way of allowing people of higher means to send their child to a supposedly better school. Let me explain how it works. When you send your child to a Charter School, you are allowed to deduct a large amount of your tuition from your state taxes (not federal) to compensate for the expense. That means that the state will receive less revenue because of the deduction. If you do not make that much money, this may not be a useful deduction. In addition, the public schools will receive less revenue due to students leaving and experience an even greater money crunch. These new Charter Schools will not be built in Hampshire county but in areas where the population is more dense. Also realize that these schools are built to MAKE MONEY! They are meant to be a profitable venture. That means less money to the kids and more money to someone who probably does not even live in the state.
Do you really want to make school better? If you do, read the following short list:
- Pay your teachers a competitive wage so they do not have to leave the state and you attract better teachers
- Give control of the classroom back to the teacher
- Get rid of the excessive testing (this will save millions)
Do these three things and schools will improve quickly. I promise, I have been there.