CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — West Virginians voted on four constitutional amendments on Election Day Tuesday, including Amendment 4, the Education Accountability Amendment.
Amendment 4 failed on the ballots on Nov. 8 with 57.82% voting against it as of 11:19 p.m. when 75% of precincts were reporting.
Had the amendment passed, any rules and policies promulgated by the State Board of Education would have had to be submitted to the Legislature for review, approval, amendment, or rejection.
The failure of Amendment 4 keeps the Board of Education process the same, meaning that the Department of Education does not have to submit new rules and regulations each year to lawmakers for final approval.
The State Board of Education is the only government agency in West Virginia that does not have to have changes approved by the state legislature. It includes nine citizens appointed by the governor—not elected—and three non-voting ex-officio members: the state superintendent of schools, the chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, the chancellor of Community and Technical College Education. No more than five citizen members may belong to the same political party.
Supporters like State Sen. Charles Trump (R – Morgan, 15) said that the amendment is all about accountability.
“The laws and rules under which we have to live in a free society must be crafted ultimately by people who are accountable to the citizens of our state through our elections,” Sen. Trump told the Cardinal Institute.
The West Virginia Association of School Administrators came out against Amendment 4, saying it believes that education decisions are best left to experts, not politicians.
This comes at a time when politics in the classroom has become a hot-button issue nationally, and in West Virginia, with students in Morgantown holding a walk-out over a Monongalia County Schools policy barring political symbols in classrooms that led to a pride flag getting taken down.
You can see the results for all four amendments that were on the General Election ballot below: