House Education Passes Senate Bill 130: The Anti-Racism Act of 2023

The Committee on Education meet this afternoon. Several bills advanced from committee.

House Bill 2380 removes and revises obsolete and outdated code relating to the School Board Authority. The bill allows funding directly to the construction fund instead of through school aid formula. The bill states powers and duties of the school building authority to issue revenue bonds, offer education saving plans, and collect rents.

House Bill 2941 extends the sunset date of the State Advisory Council on Postsecondary Attainment Goals to December 31, 2025.

House Bill 2942 adds to the list of charges or convictions the State Superintendent is required to suspend or revoke teaching certificates. The added charges or convictions are maltreatment of a disabled child or battery of disabled child or failing to report child abuse or neglect

House Bill 2279 grant in-state resident status to economic development participants in order to determine the rate of tuition to be charged for attendance at state institutions of higher education.

House Bill 2443 makes service employees with National Association for Pupil Transportation Certification as a Director or Supervisor of Pupil Transportation eligible as candidates for professional employee positions involving supervision of a county transportation department and requiring county boards to consider such candidates.

House Bill 2828 increases the starting salary for teachers from 39,055 to 44,000. Other salaries are based on a formula from starting pay with an increase for degree and years of services. All salaries shifted based on the formula.

House Bill 2598 provides a $900 monthly increase to state school service personnel.

House Bill 2989 increases the number of out-of-state medical students receiving in-state tuition rates who agree to practice for 1-4 years (depending on number of years in program for decreased rates) within West Virginia from two to four program participants per medical school. This increases the total number of students who can be enrolled from six to 12.

Senate Bill 130 or “The Anti-Racism Act of 2023” prohibits a school district, public charter school, the WV Board of Education, the WV Department of Education, or any employees of those entities from requiring or otherwise compelling a student, teacher, administrator, or other employee to affirm, adopt, or adhere to the following concepts: one race is inherently, morally, or intellectually superior to another race; an individual by virtue of the individual’s race is inherently (consciously or unconsciously) racist of oppressive; an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of the individual’s race; an individuals moral character is determined by the individual’s race; or an individual by virtue of the individual’s race bears responsibility for actions committed by other members of the same race.

The bill does not prohibit the discussion of those concepts in theory as a part of the course, discussion or debate regarding race and its impact on historical or current events.

Amendments were offered and rejected.