West Virginia Senate passes broad GOP education bill

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The West Virginia Senate has passed a sweeping Republican education plan that would allow the state’s first charter schools.

Lawmakers in the GOP-controlled chamber approved the proposal 18-15 Monday during their special session on education.

The measure also includes a teacher pay raise, mental health services for students and a provision that allows county boards to fire teachers who strike.

Democrats opposed the bill, saying it’s essentially the same bill that launched a two-day walkout by educators in February.

Teachers unions have also come out hard against the bill and educators have come to the capitol to protest the measure.

Republican Gov. Jim Justice has said it would be better if the broad-based bill was broken up into individual proposals.

The bill now moves to the House of Delegates.

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