Education

West Virginia Teachers Still Striking Even After The Bill That Started The Picket Lines Was Struck Down

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Neetu Chandak Education and Politics Reporter

West Virginia teachers continued striking for a second day Wednesday even after a bill that started the picket lines was struck down Tuesday.

State Senate Bill 451 would establish education savings accounts (ESA) for families earning less than $150,000 a year to pay for private school, online programs, instructional material and tutoring. The program would not allow more than 2,500 ESAs at any one time.

Supporters of the bill believe families are given more educational options while unions believe the bill will hurt traditional public schools.

“I think the most important thing is (charter schools) takes funding away, and kids away, from those public schools that need it,” elementary school teacher Christina Rollins said, CNN reported.

The state House of Delegates indefinitely postponed the bill Tuesday. (RELATED: West Virginia Teachers’ Strike Causes All But One School District To Shut Down)

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“For all intents and purposes, this particular bill … is considered dead, except for one exception,” West Virginia Education Association (WVEA) President Dale Lee said, according to CNN. “There’s one scenario in which it can resurface, and that is the 24-hour window in which the motion to be reconsidered.”

That is why teachers are striking for a second day. It is unclear how many districts were shut down Wednesday due to the picket lines.

“We are staying out one more day to make sure that this is a dead bill,” American Federation of Teachers’s (AFT) West Virginia chapter President Fred Albert said, CNN reported.

WVEA, AFT and the West Virginia School Service Personnel Association announced teachers would be striking, at a Monday press conference according to WOWK.

Putnam County Schools (PCS), with 9,536 enrolled students, was the only district out of 55 districts that remained open Tuesday. The state has 265,755 students enrolled in public schools, according to data from the West Virginia Department of Education.

Around 20,000 teachers in all went on strike for nine days between February and March in 2018, according to Rethinking Schools.

The West Virginia Department of Education did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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