WHEELING — Two members of West Virginia’s Board of Education from the Northern Panhandle say board members have a superb working relationship with the state legislature and that the proposed Constitutional Amendment 4 is pointless within the Nov. 8 vote.
Robert Dunlevy of Wheeling and Dr. Glen Dale’s James Wilson every have over 25 years of expertise in making instructional coverage choices.
Amendment 4, if handed, would require all guidelines launched by the state board to be despatched to the Legislature “for review, approval, modification, or rejection.”
The insurance policies of all different West Virginia state businesses should be submitted to the Legislature for assessment, with the State Board of Education being the only exception.
But Wilson mentioned there may be the Legislative Oversight Committee On Education Accountability (LOCEA), which critiques schooling insurance policies. It consists of members of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Wilson is a retired dentist and has been a board member for 5 years. He additionally served on the Marshall County Board of Education for 20 years.
“I don’t think it’s necessary,” Wilson mentioned of Amendment 4. “We’ve always felt that there is a partnership between the Legislature and the State Board.”
He defined that the insurance policies set by the West Virginia Department of Education are principally created after the Legislature passes laws “directing us to develop a policy.”
He gave the instance of faculty bus security.
“We put the department to work and they delve into all the material that’s available about school bus safety and we use it to create a school bus safety policy,” he mentioned.
The coverage is subsequent despatched to LOCEA. The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives obtain a duplicate for his or her perusal, as do the Chairmen of the House and Senate Education Committees.
At the identical time, most of the people can learn it on-line and provides their ideas and feedback on the way it might be improved.
“I can tell you that although some of those comments are more detailed than others, people in the department are following comments from the Legislature and the public very closely,” Wilson defined.
A latest coverage change resulted in additional than 300 feedback, with 50 corrections to the coverage ultimately being made in consequence of these feedback.
Both your entire Legislature and the Legislative Oversight Committee On Education have a possibility to weigh the coverage, Wilson continued.
“If Amendment 4 goes into effect, the legislature would have the power to review, amend or repeal a policy without input from the State Council or the public,” he mentioned. “To me, that appears to offer supreme energy to the legislature – making their relationship with the Council of State lower than a partnership. The legislature would usurp the political decision-making course of.”
Wilson mentioned he believed the state board had “a pretty good working relationship” with the legislature.
He famous that when a state legislature raised a difficulty, most frequently the board put them in contact with the suitable particular person within the state Department of Education for a solution, or maybe referred them to a county-level official.
“I’ve never seen there be a problem between the legislature and the board,” he mentioned. “Most of the time we’re pretty reasonable about things.”
Dunlevy agreed that the Legislature and State Board are presently working properly collectively.
“I oppose,” he mentioned of Amendment 4. “For one thing, we have nine members on the board who set the rules and regulations for the schools in the state.”
And all members have the data to make these choices, he continued.
“We’ve all been in education, and we’re in a better position to make decisions than legislators,” Dunlevy mentioned. “No disrespect to the legislators, but they shouldn’t be in charge of the education system.”
Second, the West Virginia legislature is a part-time legislature, he famous.
“If we make a policy change … it’s not like they meet every day,” Dunlevy mentioned. “They may not meet it until January or February before they review it and we may need to act faster.”
But Dunlevy believes state lawmakers are “doing the best they can with what they have to work with.”
“I just think they should separate education from the other issues they face,” he added.
Dunlevy is presently within the fourth yr of his second time period on the State Board of Education. He had beforehand been appointed to the board for a five-year time period and has a complete of 9 years of expertise as a state board member.
Before that, Dunlevy served on the Ohio County Board of Education for 20 years.
“In my experience, if they came in front of us and wanted to talk about the policy that they had concerns with, we would sit down and talk about it,” Dunlevy mentioned of the state legislature. “I supported them 100%. Our doors are always open and their doors are always open.”