|COMMENT By Bob Weaver|
The West Virginia Legislature, wary of the political power of the state's teacher unions, have continued to pretend they have fixed the 180-day mandated school year, requiring WV students to actually receive that number of instructional days.
Publisher of Spencer Newspapers, David Hedges, wrote last week, "Admist much huffing and puffing, state lawmakers announced they had corrected problems that prevented county school systems from making up days lost to winter weather."
At least 20 West Virginia counties, mostly rural ones, have missed 10 or more days since Dec. 1, according to unofficial state data, including Barbour, Calhoun, Clay, Fayette, Greenbrier, Lewis, McDowell, Mercer, Monroe, Nicholas, Pleasants, Pocahontas, Raleigh, Randolph, Summers, Taylor, Tucker, Tyler, Upshur and Webster.
With current winter weather, it's a repeat of of what the Charleston Daily Mail says is the state's disgusting hypocrisy, pretending from year to year to fix the problem, shorting the education of children who are already dubbed as having among the worst achievement outcomes in the nation.
"Lawmakers regard the 200-day school employee contract as a great holy thing, like it was handed down from Moses," said the Charleston Daily Mail.
Publisher Hedges offered, "The real solution could be to ask employees with 200-day annual contracts to work 200 days."
Hedges indicated in the real world, when you have 10-20 days without showing up to work, you don't get paid.
Hedges said that he doesn't expect such accountability to happen.
With the state spending $3.7 billion on education, the largest slice of the WV budget, Hedges indicates he doesn't expect a surge of accountability.
"They [Legislature] have reneged on the state's promise to students for decades, all the while wringing their hands over the sad state of student achievement. The hypocrisy is disgusting ... It is shame," wrote the Daily Mail.
The losers: students, teachers who want to teach, taxpayers and a state that continues to have among the worse outcomes in the nation.