Rucker Has Important Ideas for School Reform

State Senator Patricia Rucker (R-Jefferson) is set to become the Chairwoman of the West Virginia State Senate Education Committee in January of 2019. Under Senator Rucker’s leadership, I expect our state’s education system to make giant strides in a new and positive direction. I applaud Senate President Mitch Carmichael and all of our conservative senators for appointing such a talented and capable woman to this important position.

Senator Rucker is a former school teacher and mother of five wonderful children. She is one of the most compassionate and thoughtful individuals in our legislature. She cares about the children of our state and truly wants to improve the overall education they receive.

She is a strong supporter of teachers and has supported legislation which increased their pay for the first time in many, many years. She believes for our education system to work, we have to give parents a stronger voice in their children’s education. She is only the second woman ever to be named chair of the powerful education committee and the first woman since the mid 1990’s.

West Virginia spends more tax dollars on education than most other states in the country. However, even though we spend all this money, our students still rank near the bottom in terms of overall success and achievement. This is strong indication our education system is broken and not serving the people it is designed to benefit, our children.

Senator Rucker believes this is unfair to students, teachers, parents and taxpayers. Senator Rucker is bringing exciting new reforms to our education system. Her reforms will direct more of our hard-earned tax dollars to the classrooms and teachers across this state and end the wasteful spending of bureaucrats in Charleston. She promises to give more decision making authority to our local schools, teachers and parents and take politics out of education.

She doesn’t subscribe to the old way of thinking of many career politicians. She and the conservative leaders in our state Senate, want to invest in teachers, improve our schools and the technology they use, empower parents and make sure our children are well-rounded and ready to find great jobs in the future.

Our education system has been bogged down in bureaucratic red-tape and the policies of yesteryear and our children are the ones who have suffered the most. It’s time for that to end, and I believe working with parents, students, teachers and local principals, Senator Rucker is exactly the right person to lead efforts to improve education.

Senator Rucker isn’t part of the good-old boy political club where backroom deals have been more important than classroom success. Some of those good-old boys have been critical of Rucker even before she has had one day in her new role. That smacks of the same kind of partisan politics that got our education system off-track. I believe we should all give Senator Rucker a chance in her new role and work with her to move West Virginia forward.

Our school children, and every West Virginian, deserves our best when it comes to education.

Potter, of South Charleston, is state Republican Party chairwoman and a small business owner.

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