by Jerry Fekete
One of the top accomplishments of the 2013 West Virginia legislative sessions will likely be the education bill.
While it is significant, it’s just a start. Much more work needs to be done to truly improve public education in West Virginia.
In making education a priority this session, state leaders have merely taken the first step in a process that will be played out in the months and years ahead.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin commended the members of the Legislature for voting to raise student achievement with passage of SB359, calling it “landmark” and “historic” legislation.
He added that it “will provide meaningful reforms ensuring our students receive the best education possible.”
Tomblin said he believes our state’s children “will be better prepared for future opportunities because of this bill.”
If it accomplishes that, it will indeed be of historic proportions.
For far too long, our state has lagged behind in educating our children.
Poorly prepared students don’t have an advantage that better equipped states possess when it comes to higher education options or even being ready to head into the workforce.
What we need to make sure of is that West Virginia remains flexible and willing to quickly adapt in the future, rather than waiting for years to effect meaningful changes.
Although the education bill is a triumph in many ways, we can’t afford to rest on our laurels now.
Let’s commit to giving our children the best opportunities that we can.
Raising our state ranking in education will one day translate into pulling West Virginia from the ranks of 48, 49 and 50 — where we always seem to land in any polls that indicate progress.
We must change that.
And it starts with the kids.
— Distributed by The Associated Press
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