Latest News, WV Press Videos

Chairman ‘blindsided’ by Dems on charter schools

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Democrats exploited the absence of three Republican senators on Monday by voting down a bill that would have authorized county school boards to form charter schools in West Virginia.

Seeing that Democrats had a majority during Monday’s Senate Finance Committee meeting, Sen. Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, motioned that the bill be postponed indefinitely, a move that all but prevents the piece of legislation from moving forward in the session’s remaining 19 days.

“I had a chance to kill it and I did,” Kessler said.

The vote was split down party lines with eight Democrats supporting the motion and six Republicans against. Senators Jeff Mullins, R-Raleigh, Tom Takubo, R-Kanawha, and Chris Walters, R-Putnam, were absent and did not vote.

“I don’t know where they were,” said Sen. Dave Sypolt, the bill’s sponsor. Sypolt, who also is the Education Committee chairman, voted against Kessler’s motion.

“I don’t have an explanation,” Sypolt continued, visibly shaken. “I don’t know if they were in another meeting, held up somewhere or off campus.”

It was the first meeting Senate Finance Committee members took up the bill. When asked if he expected Democrats to make a move so quickly, Sypolt said he knew there would be opposition but had no idea the motion was coming.

“I was blindsided…

Comments are closed.

West Virginia Press Newspaper Network " "

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

And get our latest content in your inbox

Invalid email address