Student Success Act Overdue, Worth Defending

Led by conservatives in the West Virginia State Senate, the entire legislature passed The Student Success Act that provides much needed reforms to the state’s public education system.

The Student Success Act will help improve outcomes for students all across this state. It gives parents more control over their child’s education, and it gives another pay raise to our hard-working teachers. The Student Success Act also provides more funding for smaller school systems, improves student access to better technology, invests in teaching positions of greatest need like math and science and reading, increases the number of professional health personnel available to our students and much, much more.

Importantly, The Student Success Act did not raise a single tax on the great citizens of this state.

For decades, our school system has not been providing our students with the world-class education they deserve. Our students’ test scores ranked last or nearly last in all the important categories. Conservatives deemed this unacceptable and pledged to the citizens that education reform was a top priority to move our state forward.

Unfortunately, big union bosses who helped create this education catastrophe, stood in the way of improving student education.

Even after the Senate, House of Delegates and governor passed The Student Success Act into law, these same union bosses are threatening to continue their fight against a better education system. Recently, union boss Dale Lee said he plans to turn to his personal injury lawyer buddies and sue the state of West Virginia to prevent the reforms from becoming law. There is no doubt Lee is desperately searching for a liberal judge to take the case.

Meanwhile, this will cost the taxpayers of West Virginia thousands upon thousands of dollars. But this is what liberal extremists and union bosses do. They shut down government, close the doors of our schools on our children, and clog our courts with junk lawsuits. They will do everything they can to force their liberal ideals down the throats of taxpayers. They accept having our children rank last in the nation in education so long as they get to keep their cushy jobs and powerful positions.

This Axis of Last will no longer prevail. The days of a failing education system being controlled by liberals and union bosses in Charleston are over. That strategy has failed our students, their parents, their teachers and the taxpayers of West Virginia for far too long.

The state of West Virginia will vigorously defend itself against this lawsuit by Dale Lee and his personal injury lawyer buddies. West Virginia students deserve better than last place, and that is a goal worth defending.

Blair is chairman of the state Senate Committee of the Whole and of the Finance Committee. He also is vice-chair of several committees, including that on education.

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