West Virginia House OKs Bill Fought by Teachers’ Unions

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A multi-pronged education bill opposed by West Virginia teachers’ unions has passed the House of Delegates after lengthy debate.

The House voted 71-29 Thursday to endorse a watered down version of the bill passed last week by the Senate.

The hottest debate has been over the establishment of charter schools, whose proponents say it would give parents more school choices. The Senate version would establish charter schools statewide. The House version would limit them to one each in two counties.

Teachers’ unions oppose the plans and call the legislation payback for a nine-day strike last year.

Unlike the Senate bill, the House version does not include education savings accounts for families to pay for private school.

Teachers’ unions have authorized a statewide action, if needed, in response to the legislation.