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Randolph Co. board pledges teacher support

ELKINS — Members of the Randolph County Board of Education offered their support to teachers and school service personnel Tuesday.

During Tuesday’s regular board meeting, representatives from several groups addressed BOE members regarding Senate Bill 451, the controversial education reform omnibus package. Represented groups included the West Virginia Education Association for Randolph County, West Virginia School Service Personnel Association for Randolph County and the American Federation of Teachers for Randolph County.

According to a note from the bill’s text, the purpose of the bill is “comprehensive public education reform.” West Virginia Public Broadcasting explains that the bill offers proposals including the establishment of charter schools, education savings accounts, forcing members to sign off annually on the deduction of union dues and denying teachers pay during a strike.

Ellen Shepherd, president of the West Virginia Education Association for Randolph County, said public schools are ” at the heart of the community.”

“Public schools are at the heart of the community well-being,” she said. “Reduction in state financial support will negatively impact our ability to serve the children and families of our community.”

Furthermore, the proclamation said, “To the extent reform to West Virginia’s public education system is needed, such reform should have the goal of increasing student achievement for the most disadvantaged children that do not have he resources, parental guidance and general support to succeed in our current system.”

Following the reading of the proclamation, all members of the board pledged their support to teachers and school service personnel by signing the document.

“The Randolph County Board of Education opposes any and all efforts to use public fund for education reform or make any changes that does not lead to higher student achievement for the most disadvantaged students,” the proclamation read.

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