McElhinny: Legislative focus on fun, fellowship and betterment

COMMENTARY by Brad McElhinny 

As a seemingly endless journey into dystopian jungle, along with the potential for major cost overruns, it might seem like West Virginia’s special session on education is Apocalypse Now.

Brad McElhinny

But as much as West Virginia politics might evoke the smell of napalm in the morning, resist the comparison.

Instead, when the House of Delegates gets back together for a special session on Monday, think of it as something nicer.

Think of it as Vacation Bible School.

The House hopes to do nice things. Delegates want to gather together for a united mission and then break into four groups to consider individual education bills. At the end, they’ll get together to discuss accomplishments.

And what does that sound like? That great summertime tradition for elementary school kids, VBS.

As always, we will use a themed curriculum. Our theme for this summer is “betterment.”

First, delegates will gather in the chapel – I mean… chamber. There will actually be a prayer. Joining hands in song might not hurt. Delegates will talk about common goals. Delegates might tell stories with appropriate symbolism, such as being stuck in the belly of a whale.

After that, the delegates will go to their classrooms – Select Committees A, B, C and D. They’ll probably discuss issues like the state school funding formula, but crafts such as making macaroni necklaces could break up the tedium.

As always, I would advocate for a snack break, preferably vanilla wafers and fruit punch. Everyone can make a tie-dye Tshirt with the word “betterment.”

Each day will follow a similar pattern until the conclusion of the week. Well, the conclusion of the week or the month or until we’ve finally run out of snacks.

If there’s not too much of a fight about education savings accounts, those can be used to fund next year’s Vacation Bible School.

We hope you’ll join us.

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