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Education bill a good start despite politics involved

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  • OPINIONState Journal EditorialsMore>>

  • Wider lens necessary for effective education

    Wider lens necessary for effective education

    Friday, July 25 2014 6:00 AM EDT2014-07-25 10:00:24 GMT
    We say it often, but if West Virginia is going to reach its enormous potential, we will need a dynamic, robust educational system that challenges and prepares our people for the rigors of life in the 21st century.
    We say it often, but if West Virginia is going to reach its enormous potential, we will need a dynamic, robust educational system that challenges and prepares our people for the rigors of life in the 21st century.
  • Can we be realistic on roads?

    Can we be realistic on roads?

    Friday, July 18 2014 7:00 AM EDT2014-07-18 11:00:54 GMT
    Building and maintaining roads should not be a political issue. In fact, it should be pretty straightforward. Potholes need filled, drainage ditches need cleaned, the highways need striped — while it might be painstaking and expensive, the overall concept is pretty simple.
    Building and maintaining roads should not be a political issue. In fact, it should be pretty straightforward. Potholes need filled, drainage ditches need cleaned, the highways need striped — while it might be painstaking and expensive, the overall concept is pretty simple.
  • Looking the other way perpetuates criminal politics

    Looking the other way perpetuates criminal politics

    Friday, July 11 2014 10:46 AM EDT2014-07-11 14:46:55 GMT
    Former Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks has been sentenced to 12 months in prison for his role in a political scheme that has dominated headlines for nearly a year and shined a bright light on one part of the state’s tangled web of public corruption.
    Former Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks has been sentenced to 12 months in prison for his role in a political scheme that has dominated headlines for nearly a year and shined a bright light on one part of the state’s tangled web of public corruption.

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.