Ashton Marra Published

Tomblin Approves Two Minor Education Bills


Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed two education bills Thursday, one meant to give some teachers a pay raise and another to put some restrictions on the state Board of Education when they take over a county school system.

House Bill 2381 gives pay raises to about 135 teachers across West Virginia. The bill affects educators who are certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, a rigorous national training program.

Those teachers must also teach at a low-performing school in West Virginia and serve as mentors for fellow educators.

The bill gives the small group of teachers a one-time $2,000 pay raise beginning in July of this year. When fully implemented, the raises will cost the state about $272,000.

Tomblin also signed House Bill 2140 which is specific to take over counties, or county school systems in which the state Board of Education intervenes because of low student performance, poor finances, or a variety of other deficiencies.

The bill requires any county board of education taken over by the state establish goals and an action plan to improve performance within five years, subject to the state Board of Education’s approval.  

The state Office of Education and Performance Audits is required under the bill to review the county board’s progress each year and report back to the state Board. After five years, the state must hold a public hearing on the county’s progress and if they remain in the county, must hold a public hearing every three years.

“Much of the work laid out in HB 2140 is occurring at some level,” West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Michael Martirano said in a written statement. “We look forward to continuing the progress. Ultimately, the students of intervention counties are the benefactors.” 

Currently, the state Board of Education is in full control of Fayette County Schools, which it took over in February 2010. The state has also been in control of Gilmer County Schools since June 2011, but returned partial control in December 2013.

The bill goes into effect on June 11.