Bill puts W.Va. teachers back on edge a year after strike

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia teachers are back on edge after the introduction of a bill aimed at revamping the state’s education system took aim at unions less than a year after a lengthy strike resulted in better pay.

The Senate education committee on Thursday discussed a draft version of the bill, which has yet to be introduced.

Among the draft bill’s proposals are public charter schools, increasing elementary school class sizes and requiring the prior authorization of union due payments.

Senate President Mitch Carmichael says the current education system “is not serving the needs of our children.”

West Virginia Education Association President Dale Lee says unrelated items in the bill should be voted on separately.

West Virginia teachers won a 5 percent pay raise after a nine-day strike last year. Another 5 percent increase is included in the current draft bill.

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