CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Some members of the House of Delegates sharply disagreed Friday before approving a bill that would make a change to education reform measures approved by lawmakers last year.

Opponents argue House Bill 4394 rolls back reforms when it comes to the teacher hiring process and puts more weight on seniority than actual qualifications for the job. The bill calls for additional documentation when teachers are hired by committees made up of teachers, principals and superintendents.

Del. Daryl Cowles, R-Morgan, said the documentation that includes how a candidate was weighed on certain criteria does nothing but give fuel for grievances for those who aren’t chosen for the open teaching job.

“This bill simply complicates the process yet again, adding a scoring matrix and other criteria and what it ends up with is a subjective grievance claim,” Cowles said.

Del. David Walker, D-Clay, said the current hiring process, which isn’t even a year old, gives the hiring committee too much power.

“They don’t want to document nothing,” Walker said. “They don’t want the teacher to have a grievance procedure. They want to play God and say, ‘this is who it’s going to be, no questions asked, go on about your merry business,'” Walker said.

Some delegates argued it was too soon to make any adjustments in the reform law that was hailed last year as landmark legislation. Del. Paul Espinosa, R-Jefferson, said the bill was a solution in search of a problem.

But Del. Ricky Moye, D-Raleigh, said the bill would not hurt education reform.

“I would like to see one place in this bill that points out we’re changing hiring practices, they’re the exact same, there is no difference,” Moye said. “All this does bill does is give public transparency, clarity to the process.”

The bill is strongly supported by the West Virginia American Federation of Teachers.

“All we want is documentation so that we can say, ‘This is how the process works and this is why the process works,'” WV-AFT President Christine Campbell said earlier this week on MetroNews Talkline.

The bill passed the House 70-25 and will now head to the state Senate.

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  • sam

    It is no surprise Ricky Moye, of Raleigh county supports it. They have the most corrupt and abusive BOE in the state and the highest turn over rate for teachers. The place is just getting worse and will continue.

  • Pickle Barrel

    Del. David Walker, D-Clay, said the current hiring process, which isn’t even a year old, gives the hiring committee too much power.

    “They don’t want to document nothing,” Walker said.

    Delegate Walker needs a grammar lesson. Proof positive of the fine education West Virginians receive.

    • poolgirl

      Hey, don't blame his bad grammar on the entire education system.. maybe he had a bad day during that lesson, maybe his teacher didn't let him have a redo, maybe he has ADHD or some other acronym that his parents taught him to use as crutch and he simply could not learn because he had said acronym... excuses and sense of entitlement by today's young people... they don't want to work for anything b/c they shouldn't "have" to work for it, it should just be given to them... that, my friend, is learned at HOME, not school.

  • Don't Argue with Professional Idiots

    Until you "work" in somebody's shoes, don't believe everything your hear from friends, family, students or even teachers; or what you read on twitter or in a blog. It only makes you feel that you fully understand and that you need to fill pages of your own literary bs.

    And for the intelligent silent ones, don't argue with professional idiots, you never win.

    • Silentnodoubt

      Interesting observation . Every one that says something is an idiot and everyone that keeps silent is a genius. Based on my observation of human behavior that is the most idiotic thing I have heard in a while. Pot calling the kettle black.

      • Joe


  • Joe

    You see, these annual incremental raises are another dirty little secret that teachers do not want you to know about. Another is the replacement of any pension losses due to market conditions that private workers can only wish for.

    My favorite though is how seniority still reigns supreme within the operations of individual schools where the most experienced (seniority) teachers are assigned the best brightest student sections instead of the lower achieving student sections where their supposed experience would do the most good.

    • WVTeacher

      Wow... what school does that happen in, b/c I would like to teach there...

      • epteacher


        I agree! Never happened for my subject at my school despite having the most training, etc (sorry I was not a coach then I could have had those classes)...

  • Crystal

    A man who says "They don't want to document nothing!" gets a vote on education reform? Unbelievable.

  • Wirerowe

    "They don't want to document nothing". I would hope he paraphrased the line that a teacher from the AFT gave him.

    • Wirerowe

      Actually a double negative turns into a positive. So maybe he must have meant to say " they document everything"

  • jephre

    "The bill is strongly supported by the West Virginia American Federation of Teachers."

    Enough said. There's no doubt who controls this legislature.

  • Paul

    "The bill is strongly supported by the West Virginia American Federation of Teachers."

    That's all anyone needs to know that it's a horrible bill and won't do a dang thing to help the children.

  • Jim mullen

    Teachers unions win again students lose

    • wvu999

      How are the unions winning six students losing?

      As a parent and tax payer in WV I would hope to goodness you would want to ensure the most highly qualified teacher received the job not just some good ole boys club.

      Look to Randolph County and the hiring of Tyler Phares. Yes, the state's superintendent's son.

      It only takes common sense to see this is a good change to the bill. It only takes common sense to see the ONLY ones who votes against this are Republicans. Too bad they don't have common sense.

      • Leroy j Gibbs

        Look at democratic nepotism w Harrison county and the manchins

      • Sameoldsameold

        Transparency give the lawyers a mandated discovery process. They will be able to contest every hiring that the union disagrees with. For good reason no other hiring process in the world is " transparent". This law may well lead to worse outcomes than the pre reform days.

      • Sameoldsameold

        There will be no reform. The union lawyers will work to redefine " most qualified" to " most senior". Grievances or law suits will be filed when the person with most seniority who is not a good teacher doesn't get hired.Qualified is an objective term." Most qualified" is a subjective process. The reform process provides the opportunity for teachers and principals to keep bad teachers out if schools when there is an opening. After one year they will have to go back to the old way and be stuck with them.

        • epteacher

          VERY subjective indeed! It is meant to hire their friends and create positions for coaches...

      • Nobama!!!

        At least we have intelligence and are able to spell.

      • wvu999

        And not six. Typo

    • Paul

      Absolutely right, Jim.

      People need to pay attention to who runs for office. It's not hard to find out what they stand for or their background. Stop voting for teahers to be your political leaders and this kind of nonsense will dry up.