| The Student Success Act, formerly referred to as the Omnibus Education Bill, has passed the West Virginia Senate with a vote of 18 to 15 with 1 person not voting.|
West Virginia Senate Republicans have added a measure to ban teacher strikes to their sweeping education proposal, a move criticized as revenge for high-profile walkouts by educators this year and last.
While the expansive bill has a number of positive items approved by WV teachers, the bill continues to make inroads that would allow the state's first taxpayer funded private Charter Schools.
Promised teachers pay increases have been held hostage.
State wide polling has indicated that 80% of respondents did not approve of Charter Schools.
Fred Albert, president of West Virginia chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, said the move is clearly retribution for previous strikes.
The wide-ranging Republican education plan also would give teachers a pay raise and provide mental health services for students. The GOP is also pushing a separate bill to allow school vouchers called education saving accounts, widely opposed by educators.
The bill will now be sent to the West Virginia House of Delegates.