CHARLESTON, W.Va. — After nearly two hours of debate, the state Senate passed a bill that will enable public charter schools in West Virginia. The vote fell exactly along party lines, 18-16.
Charter schools draw public funds from county-run schools, as the money follows the student. Students are chosen by a “lottery” method in typical charter schools; however, Democrats on the Committee on Education were able to amend the bill so that every student is “opted in” to a charter school.
Proponents of the bill says charter schools give parents a choice in their child’s education.
While Democrats were on the losing end of this vote, it didn’t stop them from voicing opposition to the bill in hopes of swaying a GOP vote.
Former chair of the Education Committee, Bob Plymale, D-Wayne, said he believes charter schools will ultimately become private institutions.
Plymale said schools in his district are using the Innovation Zone, a change to state education just enacted by the Legislature two years ago.
“We should be allowed to go through the process…