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Bills to elect West Virginia school board members, let lawmakers reject rules may die


Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — On the night of Feb. 14, the state Senate Judiciary Committee discussed a type of bill that likely hadn’t been seen in a legislative committee since Jan. 26, when the House Judiciary Committee chairman sent a version to a subcommittee that still hasn’t met.

The bills, neither of which has re-emerged in either judiciary committee, would give lawmakers the power to amend and outright reject the state Board of Education’s rules and policies.

The House version (House Joint Resolution 103) would also make state school board members elected. Governors currently appoint them to nine-year terms, and the state Senate votes on whether to confirm them.

Before the Feb. 14 committee meeting ended — with senators tabling the Senate version (Senate Joint Resolution 7) in a divided voice vote — Sen. Charles Clements, R-Wetzel, asked a presenter about the extent of the Legislature’s power compared to the board’s.

“Is there any rule or policy that the state Board of Education could make that we cannot override by statute?” Clements asked Heather Hutchens, the state Department of Education’s general counsel. The state board oversees that department.

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