Common Core

When conservatives and liberals fight about school curriculum, the disagreements aren’t just about science and history. Even math has been a battleground in the culture wars. 

On the Legislature Today, members of the House Finance Committee consider two bills that would help balance the 2018 budget, one to lower the overall sales tax rate while getting rid of some exemptions, the other to capture some dollars from the state's Road Fund and increase the beer barrel tax.

Across the rotunda in a Senate committee, members have advanced a bill to create a medical marijuana program in West Virginia, allowing doctors to prescribe the illegal drug for medicinal use.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Update Friday, March 24, 2017: Senators have approved Senate Bill 18, 18-16, with four Republicans joining their Democratic colleagues to vote against it. 

Senators will vote on a bill Friday that will give lawmakers the authority to approve all change to education standards and aligned standardized testing to be required in West Virginia schools after an amendment to a bill on the chamber floor Thursday.

Stephen Baldwin
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Both the House and Senate are considering bills this year to change the state’s education standards once again. It’s a reoccurring theme at the statehouse since Republican lawmakers took control of the chamber in 2015.

In the Senate, lawmakers have approved a bill that does not replace the current college and career ready standards taught in schools, but calls for a cyclical review of those standards with the input of West Virginia teachers.

In the House, however, the discussion over potential changes is just beginning.

Lawmakers Push Back after Emergency Lantern Lighting

Mar 22, 2017


On The Legislature Today, Gov. Jim Justice says he or members of his staff will be in his “war room” every morning through the end of the legislative session, inviting lawmakers from both parties to join him to work on a budget.

 

This morning was the first of those meetings and while some lawmakers did attend, they were all members of the Democratic Party.

Senate Votes on Symbolic Common Core Repeal

Mar 18, 2017
Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Senators have approved a bill that “puts the final nail in the coffin” on Common Core in West Virginia, according to Senate Education Chair Kenny Mann.

The chamber voted 23-8 Saturday in favor of Senate Bill 524.

On The Legislature Today, Republican leaders this week released their 2018 budget framework and progressed a bill to reform the state's tax system, while Gov. Jim Justice made changes to his budget bill that he says will result in a $54 million surplus next year. 

Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy Executive Director Garrett Ballengee and Senior Policy Analyst for the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy Sean O'Leary discuss the plans.

On The Legislature Today, education is once again debated on the Senate floor, but this time the education chair shares concerns over a bill he’s sponsoring.

In the House, delegates progress a Right-to-Work bill one that makes changes to the current law being challenged in the state’s court system.

And advocates are pushing second chance laws that they say will help felons reintegrate into their communities and keep them out of prison in the future.

Those stories and more on The Legislature Today.

Education Chair: Common Core is Dead in W.Va.

Mar 16, 2017
Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the Senate were supposed to take up a bill Thursday to repeal the Common Core education standards and replace them with Math and English standards written some 20 years ago by California and Massachusetts.

The bill, however, was pushed back for the second day in a row, Thursday after the chamber’s Education chair spoke against it.

On The Legislature Today, education takes the spotlight in both the House and Senate as lawmakers debate bills making major changes in the state’s Pre-K through 12 system.

Senators are set to debate a Common Core repeal on the floor this week, which a Democratic member says is redundant and unnecessary. In the House, members focus on ways to give county school systems more flexibility in light of coming funding cuts.

Patricia Rucker
Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A bill to prohibit any Common Core-based education standards from being taught in West Virginia classrooms was taken up in the Senate’s Education committee Saturday. The standards have been debated for years at the statehouse and now lawmakers are looking at legislation that specifies what can be taught.

Donald Trump
Darron Cummings / Associated Press

What were the top stories in West Virginia from 2016? We searched our archives from the past year and compiled this list of the most popular stories.

The West Virginia College and Career Ready Standards are being implemented for the first time in West Virginia schools this fall and so is a new system to grade the schools themselves.

Lawmakers were updated about the implementation of both the new standards and the accountability system during an interim meeting at the Capitol Monday. The system measures the performance of individual schools and gives them an A through F grade based on a variety of factors.

Hello Mary Lou!

May 21, 2016

Mary Lou Bruner, who made headlines with her wild accusations about President Obama is running for Texas State Board of Education. If elected, she’ll be responsible for guiding the nation’s second largest public school system. Could she influence the content in textbooks used across the nation?

From West Virginia Public Broadcasting, this is "Us & Them" the podcast where we tell stories from America's cultural divides.

Common Core, School Calendar Bills Vetoed

Apr 1, 2016
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has vetoed two education bills, one that would have repealed Common Core aligned standardized test in the state and a second that would have allowed county boards to schedule fewer then 180 days in their school calendars.

Protesters Gather At Capitol To Show Opposition

Mar 14, 2016
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear stories on the 2017 Budget, a voter ID bill which is on its way to the Governor's desk, repealing common core, and a protest of hundreds that formed at the Capitol over the weekend.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Editor's Note: For the latest updates on the final day of the legislative session, be sure to keep checking our live blog.

Updated Saturday, March 12, 2016 at 7:28 p.m.: 

Members of the Senate have concurred in the House amendments to House Bill 4014 after voting 27-4 during a Saturday evening floor session.

With the concurrence and passing vote, the bill now heads to Governor Tomblin for further consideration.

The Legislature Today
West Virginia Public Broadcasting


The Finance Committees in both chambers have approved their versions of the bill, and the Senate as a whole will vote on the budget tomorrow, but it will look very different from the one taken up in the House.

 

Speaker Tim Armstead says his chamber still has a reasonable budget before them, despite the lack of any revenue increasing measures.

W.Va. Senate Advancing Education Standard Review

Mar 7, 2016
Martin Valent / West Virginia Legislative Photography

State Senators have made changes to a bill that, as approved by the House, would repeal the state’s Common Core education standards and aligned standardized tests. 

Senators on the Education Committee accepted amendments to the bill during an evening meeting Monday.

The Legislature Today
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

At a public hearing in the House of Delegates, speakers unanimously favored a bill to allow alcohol sales on Sunday mornings, but the hearing might not fully represent the feelings of West Virginians according to a recent poll.

The chamber's Finance Committee will spend its third day discussing a bill that increases Division of Motor Vehicle Fees and some taxes to fund roads. The bill has already been approved in the Senate.

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