SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The eight education forums put on by the West Virginia Department of Education are over but the education conversation is not.
Thursday night at South Charleston Middle School the Kanawha County Education Association (KCEA), an affiliate of the West Virginia Education Association (WVEA), hosted an education stakeholder meeting.
“We want everyone to give their honest opinion,” Dinah Adkins, the co-president of the KCEA said. “We are trying to stay neutral so that we give accurate information to the legislators and that is what we have wanted to do all along.”
Adkins said the forum gave the opportunity to teachers, service professionals, community members, to come in and give their feelings on certain topics, while also welcoming new information.
She said the results to the answers given would then be put to use.
“We are going to take this information, tally it and take it back to WVEA who will then give that information to our legislators,” Adkins said.
“Hopefully they can understand, as the governor wanted them to, what the community and the educators in our state feel about the changes in the legislation that is proposed.”
Gov. Jim Justice called for a special session on education to happen this summer.
On the heels of the session will be a large report of information gathered by the WVDOE from its eight forums and given out to legislators and the governor.
Adkins said while the data being gathered from those forums are not official, the opposition of educational savings accounts and charter schools has stood out in discussions amongst her peers.
Another topic that has been widely discussed during the education betterment period has been emotional support for students.
Adkins agreed with that subject.
“I think we see a great need for counselors and emotional support for students who are traumatized or have a home life that deals with opioid addiction,” she said.
“I think that most educators would say we do need additional help with social workers, counselors and possibly alternative settings that will help us deal with these situations so that children can be successful in the public school.”