April 7, 2014 - Volume 34 Issue 18

Teachers' seniority must be downplayed in layoff decisions during budget cuts under a bill advancing in the South Carolina Senate. The bill requires the guidelines to be part of districts' policies beginning in 2016-17. (The Associated Press, April 3).


“What we hope ever to do with ease, we must learn first to do with diligence.” - Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), Samuel Johnson, often referred to as Dr Johnson, was an English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer.


“Determine what services that you want delivered. Don’t decide to set up the governance first and then the services, because if you do, you just keep the model we have.” – WVSBA Executive Director Howard O’Cull with advice for how members of the Commission on School District Governance and Administration should approach their work

“If we stay bold, we’ll get their attention. Maybe we can get the legislature to move on some of these things.” – Tom Campbell, chairman of the commission

“The system isn’t working.” – Newt Thomas, member of the commission

“Most people think that their school is fine, but the rest of the education system is all screwed up.” – Dave Mohr, senior analyst for the House Education Committee

“Flexibility almost always lends itself to being more efficient.” – Tina Combs, commission member and state school board member

“The most important difference is on the timing of the population decline.” – Unk Christiadi, chief demographer at West Virginia University, predicting that the state’s projected population decline will begin sooner than had been expected

“You guys are dealing with real problems.” – Christiadi’s parting words to the commission

“We’ve got to look at a thorough and efficient system of public schools, a system that determines what the districts are supposed to do and try to provide it most efficiently.” – Newt Thomas

. “We have too many residents relative to the size of our economy.” – Mark Muchow, deputy secretary of the Department of Revenue

“Every time we talk about a cost to general revenue, it’s a cost to education.” – Tom Campbell

“If you want to save real money, you got to adjust the School Aid Formula.” – Mike McKown

“The issue is that the system needs to look different in different parts of the state.” – Howard O’Cull

“I foresee in the next eight to 10 years…small counties not having the manpower to do what needs to be done, and it’s going to force the small counties into…a dilemma.” – Doug Lambert, commission member and superintendent of the Pendleton County schools

“I think some of the factors have changed now that maybe make a statewide excess levy a little more palatable.” – Joe Panetta, assistant state superintendent in the Division of Student Support Services

“We could pull this amount from the workers’ comp liability fund and not hurt that repayment schedule at all and be able to give our teachers what they deserve.” – Delegate Amanda Pasdon on her proposal to give teachers $1,500 across-the-board pay raises

“Is it right to say that those are the kinds of things that have been done in the past that caused us to have this long-term payoff?” – House Education Chairwoman Mary Poling, questioning Pasdon’s proposal

“The Common Core doesn’t address teaching practices; they address student learning.” – Carrie Heath Phillips, program director for Common Core State Standards for the Council of Chief State School Officers

“The U.S. standards were a mile wide and an inch deep, and instead, the Common Core is trying to go a mile deep and an inch wide.” – Carrie Heath Phillips

“And teachers are loving it. We hear such wonderful things from our teachers… They’re feeling really good about that.” – Heidi Griffith, secondary curriculum coordinator for Harrison County schools, which have fully implemented the Common Core

“The states actually won this battle against the federal bureaucracy, and somehow it’s been turned around in certain elements in the press to be the opposite.” – Wade Linger of the state school board on the Common Core

“You still have 20 years of payments on the Teachers Retirement System, so if you take $15 [million] out, that’s $15 million times 20 years. That’s $300 million. It would certainly affect it.” – State Budget Director Mike McKown on the effects of underfunding the payoff of the liability in the Teachers Retirement System to use that money to give teachers’ raises, as proposed by Pasdon

“Realizing the tight budget situation we’re in, I think the number one thing we need to do is to prioritize our spending. Teachers should be at the top of that priority list, not at the bottom of the priority list.” – Delegate Jim Butler

“If you look at our state, one size does not fit all. Particularly in some of the growth areas of our state, we’re just having a very difficult time not only attracting but retaining educators when they can go a very short distance over the border to surrounding states and be able to teach at significantly higher salaries.” – Delegate Paul Espinosa on his proposal to supplement the pay of teachers in districts with high housing costs, such as in the Eastern Panhandle

“I’m not against a multi-year pay package for professional personnel and service personnel, but just like I spoke on the other two amendments, you got to find a way to pay for it. Are you going to be willing to raise revenue to pay for this, because that’s really what you’re talking about?” – Delegate David Pethtel on a proposal to give raises to teachers of $6,000 over three years and service personnel $3,000 over three years

“What this says is that you will still have IEP meetings, parent conferences and those things during teachers’ planning periods, but it will be at their decision to do that rather than a principal coming to you and saying, ‘You have to do this during this time.’” – Dale Lee of the WVEA on a bill regulating teachers’ planning periods.





The Legislature is published by the West Virginia School Board Association. It provides county board of education members, state policymakers, school administrators and the education community information and opinions regarding West Virginia legislative issues. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect official opinion or policies of the WVSBA, unless specifically stated.

West Virginia School Board Association PO Box 1008 Charleston, WV 25324 Phone (304) 346-0571 • Fax (304) 346-0572 WVSBA.ORG

Jim J. Crawford Sr. (Kanawha).

Howard M. O’Cull, Ed. D., Executive Director, Editor Shirley M. Davidson, Administrative Assistant, Production and Circulation

Vincit omnia veritas “Truth conquers all”