CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Red flags are being raised on an education¬†bill pending in the state House of Delegates with less than a month remaining in the 2014 Regular Legislative Session.

The purpose of HB 4394, as stated, is “to improve the process for employing highly qualified professional personnel in the public schools.”

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Del. Paul Espinosa (R-Jefferson, 66)

However, Del. Paul Espinosa (R-Jefferson, 66) said a close reading of the bill showed it could lead to the reversal of provisions in the comprehensive education reform bill the Legislature approved last year dealing with how seniority is weighted in teacher hires, compared with other hiring factors, along with the involvement of teachers and principals in the hiring process.

“It quickly became apparent that this was an attempt to, basically, gut a key provision that really empowered, not only principals and superintendents, but — for the first time — really gave faculty, in their schools, a say in who joins their team,” said Espinosa.

He said a lot of people are concerned about what’s in the bill.

“(I’ve heard) From local superintendents, others involved in the hiring process, educators who are concerned that they finally just got a voice in the hiring process, now it seems like it’s about to be taken away,” said Espinosa on Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

Overall, the proposal would make changes to ensure that positions filled by retirees and not fully qualified teachers are posted statewide so they’re easily available to new graduates and reduction in force teachers who are seeking employment; allow capable teachers to more easily obtain certification in additional content areas; ensure teachers and principals consider certain applicant qualifications for employment; and limit the movement of professional personnel to other counties when the instructional year has started.

The full bill is available here.

The lead sponsor of the bill was Del. Mary Poling (D-Barbour, 47), the chair of the House Education Committee.  The proposal was still pending in the House Education Committee on Monday.

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  • Old School

    The new hiring policy is a farce! IT does nothing to hire the best person for the job, but rather as the old saying goes,,,"not what you know but who"...I am on a hiring committee at present, the persons chosen to interview are hand picked, so the pre-decided person gets the job. I feel that this new policy is detrimental to education in WV!

  • The bookman

    You and I both know that two of the three people you list couldn't comment about Tyler's position as it is a personnel issue. The only person who could comment is Tyler himself, which would be a non starter. If you have an accusation of wrongdoing, you should make it instead of engaging in baseless claims of malfeasance.

    Could you list for us the major improvements this bill provides, as your union position would provide great insight to the rest of us. I will tell you that I have yet to agree with Myron on a single issue, so I already have some concern about the bill. Thanks in advance for any clarification you could provide.

  • Michael

    Don't forget to throw in another Manchin being hired in Harrison County as Superintendent. Wasn't that recent too?

  • Michael

    Hey who wants transparency in hiring for state jobs? Apparently NOT republicans. No one is taking anything away, they just want WHY the decisions are made to be documented.

    Transparency in government is IMPORTANT!!!!

  • Kelly

    If there was ever a more blatant reason as to why public employees, particularly teachers, should be prohibited from holding state or county level public office, this is it.

    Hey Mary, nobody cares about how slighted your teachers feel....we in the real world have what are called bosses. They tell us how things will operate and we either get on board or find other employment.

    For crying out loud, these grown up children never stop whining!

  • Independent View

    Myron--Here is your answer to, "We frequently bring work home at night and work weekends. Who else does that?!" Virtually every professional in the private sector worth their salt! The professionals in the private sector's mantra is, produce or get fired. But, you would not know that since you live in the protective womb of academia, where the worst employees are paid the same as the best--brilliant system for encouraging performance or lack of it.
    If teachers are suffering from a lack of respect it is because more than a few are either incompetent or lazy or both and your unions protect those and therefore, the good teachers are unfortunately lumped into the same catagory. Where is the incentive to do one's best, when the teacher in the next classrom does little or nothing and is paid the same? Fortunately, some teachers care about their students and apply themselves to their jobs.
    Until the teachers shed the yoke of the unions that protect the incompetent and lazy colleagues, you will not get respect.
    Policing you own ranks would be a great place to start.

  • Independent View

    "The lead sponsor of the bill was Del. Mary Poling (D-Barbour, 47), the chair of the House Education Committee." Shock and awe, the chair was a teacher!
    I have a suggestion, teach Johnny and Mary how to read, add and substract instead of allowing and facilitating the teachers' unions to dictate the education system. Now that would be a novel and noteworthy acomplishment in this state!

  • Myron

    Thank you Ms. Poling for looking after the hardest working employees in WV....public school teachers. We will demand respect that we have earned. We frequently bring work home at night and work weekends. Who else does that?!

    • Dee

      You should have gone in on all those snow days and caught up on that work that you have to bring home. Sorry but most of us have to bring home work to do and lots of us are not paid nearly as much as you are.

    • Aaron

      Accountants, lawyers, paralegals, engineers, salesman, operations managers, small-business owners, and on and on and on.

      The difference is these people work year-round Jobs, often times in excess of 2080 hours.

      Teachers on the other handwork a maximum of 200 days a year. Schools start around eight in the morning and end around 330, which is 7.5 hours daily. That time includes planning periods and lunch time.

      You can claim that teachers are remaining in the schools long after students leave but I've seen far too many teachers racing for the doors to beat the buses out.

      That of course is antidotal and by no week mains should anybody believe me. I would suggest that if you want to know what hours teachers really work, Google this subject and find out for yourself.

      My research led me to dad at that states teachers work on average 1625 to 1650 hours per year. The average teacher works about 8 1/2 hours per day. The information used to support that data was taken directly from teacher surveys. By all means though, please do the research yourself. Don't believe me.

      • Teacher

        You mad, bro?

      • Jason412

        I agree with everything Aaron said. As shocking as that is to me.

        All kinds of professions require people to bring work home at night and work weekends, and they don't constantly pat themselves on the back while simultaneously demanding raises despite being some of the worst performing in the nation.

        Reading this message board has caused me to lose a great deal of my respect for WV teachers in general. Keep up the good work, Myron, you're really earning that respect you're so great at demanding. "Hardest working employees in WV" What a laugh.