CHARLESTON, W.Va. — An education coalition will gather at the state capitol Monday to voice its opposition to the comprehensive education reform bill moving through the state Senate.

A news conference is scheduled for 11 a.m. and according to an announcement it will include school administrators, county school superintendents and employee organizations.

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Sen. John Unger, D-Berkeley

The bill includes things teachers support like pay raises, banking sick leave time and a $250 credit for classroom teachers but it also includes several things the teacher organizations are against like charter schools, education savings accounts and differential pay.

The bill, originated by the Senate Education Committee, passed that committee last Friday evening. It will next be taken up by the Senate Finance Committee.

Senator John Unger, D-Berkeley, voted against the bill. He wanted to have time to discuss the measure with his constituents.

“They’re the experts that I answer to. There are different sections here, PEIA, school levies. I want to talk to the board of education to see if they want to do this,” Unger said in Friday’s meeting.

Craig Blair

But Senate Finance Committee Chairman Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, said there’s a reason to advance the bill quickly.

“There’s an urgency in the state of West Virginia to get education to where our teachers are being paid and unshackle them to where they can do what they need to in the classroom to be able to bring the students performance up,” Blair said.

Monday’s news conference will be held in the Governor’s Cabinet and Conference Room adjacent to the Secretary of State’s office at the state capitol.

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