READ THE draft Student Success Act online go to: wvlegislature.gov/committees/senate/documents/Draft-Student-Success-Act-5-24-19.pdf
If you want you can read all 144 pages of it, too, by Saturday.
Also study it, determine and propose changes and be ready to vote on it then, too
We know, it’s Thursday already, and this legislation is a blueprint for upending public education in West Virginia.
But if 34 state senators are capable of deciding the future of public education in a matter of days, why not the public.
On Tuesday, state Senate President Mitch Carmichael said he’s reconvening that chamber to vote Saturday on the “Student Success Act.”
Judging by what we read there are variations of this omnibus education bill from SB 451, that was tabled this winter in the House of Delegates.
However, contrary to the wishes of many — on both sides of the aisle in both chambers — this new education bill fails to allow for consideration of individual reforms.
It’s either all or nothing, which undermines the entire deliberative process in the interest of political expediency.
As contentious as some items in this bill are — withholding pay for teachers if a school is closed because of a strike — even bringing this bill to a floor vote appears improbable.
To even begin and complete action on a bill in one day requires a super-majority vote to suspend the rule that requires reading bills on three separate days before passage.
That’s four-fifths of senators — 28 of them — to agree on just this little detail. The state Senate has 20 Republicans and 14 Democrats.
Two of those Republican senators, and all 14 Democrats consistently voted against the last version of an omnibus education bill. That reduced the passage of SB 451 in the Senate to 18-16 votes for passage, one shy of a tie, which automatically kills bills.
How the Senate president expects to get to the super-majority mark is beyond us and probably him, too.
And still more problematic is if the rules are suspended and this legislation passes it advances to the House.
The House is taking a more pragmatic approach to education reform. Delegates are divided into four select subcommittees — 25 members on each — to consider individual bills.
At least 10 individual bills are already on the House’s agenda and many more are expected when this chamber reconvenes in a special session of the entire Legislature.
When you rush through something in a hurried manner you might expect an A. But it’s far more likely you flunk.