CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The president of the West Virginia Education Association said Wednesday Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin evidently doesn’t understand the importance of daily planning periods for teachers.
Dale Lee said the WVEA is disappointed the governor decided to veto SB 477 that would have clarified that teachers are in control of their planning periods.
“We drafted the legislation in an attempt to clarify the planning periods and stop the abuses,” Lee said.
Teachers claim they are asked by school principals to do a lot other things during their planning periods when they should be planning for instruction.
“We’ll just have to have teachers stand up and say, ‘No. My planning period is important to me. I have to prepare my instruction for the kids, to better succeed for the kids,’” Lee said.
In his veto message the governor said he supports the idea that teachers should have planning periods “that are reasonably unburdened by other demands” but the bill would have prevented collaboration between teachers and principals on planning the instructional day and would add costs to “already strained budgets of county boards of education.”
Lee believes the state Board of Education misinformed the governor.
“The state Board apparently had some information that this would increase costs that I just don’t agree with,” he said.
The veto left Lee scratching his head.
“It amazes me that we talked all last session (2013) about empowering teachers and now we want to take the power away from teachers to control their own planning period? That just doesn’t make sense to me,” Lee said.