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Legislation would preempt five-day preschool rule

Exponent Telegram photo by Darlene J. Swiger Joyce Stalnaker, teacher assistant at Glen Elk Head Start, plays in the sandbox with preschoolers Jeniffer Ruble, left, and Kiara Ellis.
Exponent Telegram photo by Darlene J. Swiger
Joyce Stalnaker, teacher assistant at Glen Elk Head Start, plays in the sandbox with preschoolers Jeniffer Ruble, left, and Kiara Ellis.

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — Starting next school year, preschool students across the state will attend classes four days a week, resulting in 146 instruction days versus 180 in some counties at the present time.

Bills that passed in both the state Senate and House of Delegates last week also would require at least 1,200 minutes of instruction per week.

Del. Dave Perry, D-Fayette and minority chair of the House Education Committee, believes it would be cost-effective because some counties have a five-day program now.

“We want that to be more uniform across the state,” Perry said. “It gives them flexibility to schedule their programs.”

This would pre-empt the West Virginia Department of Education policy that would have taken effect in the 2016-17 school year, changing pre-kindergarten to five days a week, he said.

Liza Cordeiro, Department of Education spokeswoman, said the current proposed legislation reverts back to the original early education structure.

“When the legislation becomes law, the West Virginia Department of Education will update its policy…

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