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Education bill a good start despite politics involved

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  • Business community must raise a voice against status quo

    Business community must raise a voice against status quo

    Friday, August 29 2014 9:00 AM EDT2014-08-29 13:00:23 GMT
    As our state's business leaders gather at The Greenbrier this week for the 2014 West Virginia Business Summit, we hope they have a sense of urgency and realize what they must do to bring this state into the 21st century.
    As our state's business leaders gather at The Greenbrier this week for the 2014 West Virginia Business Summit, we hope they have a sense of urgency and realize what they must do to bring this state into the 21st century.
  • Lesson from Ferguson: Do not lose hope

    Lesson from Ferguson: Do not lose hope

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:00 AM EDT2014-08-22 12:00:24 GMT
    The images from Ferguson, Missouri, look like snapshots from a war zone. We still don't know why city police officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown, but we do know the fallout shines a glaring light on what happens when scores of people are disconnected from the American Dream.
    The images from Ferguson, Missouri, look like snapshots from a war zone. We still don't know why city police officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown, but we do know the fallout shines a glaring light on what happens when scores of people are disconnected from the American Dream.
  • Political bickering overshadows need for change

    Political bickering overshadows need for change

    Friday, August 15 2014 11:39 AM EDT2014-08-15 15:39:41 GMT
    New ideas and ways to move our state and nation forward are in short supply during this election season.
    New ideas and ways to move our state and nation forward are in short supply during this election season.

Senate Bill 359 is officially on its way to the governor's desk. Sponsored and shepherded through both the House of Delegates and Senate by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, this is a good piece of legislation that is a solid first step in what we hope will be a continual process of making certain our kids get the best education they possibly can.

This bill is by no means perfect, but more on that in a moment. By getting this bill through both houses and by both sides coming together to hammer out a deal, our elected leaders have proven they can retreat from political and ideological entrenchment and truly come together.

Education, sadly, has often been the most politicized issue in this state. Teachers unions have long held sway with those in power and used their weight to scuttle any attempt at meaningful change in our schools. Special interests still have undue influence, and parts of this bill certainly attest to that. Their refusals to truly negotiate on the issue of seniority and their outright opposition to bringing in groups like Teach for America to work in some of our most impoverished and needy areas further prove where their loyalties lie.

When this bill is revisited — and it must be revisited often — we hope our elected leaders will further the call to put students first and all others second.