CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said at a one-day education summit Tuesday the state Legislature set the change in motion for improvement in education, now it’s time to take the next step.

“Education is the foundation we’ve got to have if we want to be attractive to continue to draw businesses into our state.”

Tomblin was the keynote speaker at the West Virginia Education Alliance Summit at the Charleston Civic Center.

During this past legislative session lawmakers passed a comprehensive education reform act aimed at improving what’s happening in the classroom. But Tomblin stressed, it’s what happens at home first that sets the tone.

“We’ve got to reach out to those parents to make sure their kids are up in the morning, they’re off to school and ready to learn,” he said.

Once they’re in school, Tomblin said it’s important that everyone be at the table to give West Virginia students the ultimate education.

“We’ve all got to work together from parents to business to community leaders,” said Tomblin. Add in educators, students and faith-based groups and the governor believes the state can improve it’s education standing.

He gives business owners who say there aren’t enough educated graduates to fill jobs in West Virginia a challenge.

“Why don’t you go into the middle schools or the high schools, talk to the educators and tell them what specific skills that you need,” said Tomblin. “I think our education system is flexible enough that they need to hear from businesses who are going to be hiring these students in the next few years.”

Also on hand for Tuesday’s summit was former Gov. Gaston Caperton, as well as members of the West Virginia Board of Education. They wanted to hear from the more than 230 people attending the event on ways to improve and implement change in the classroom.

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