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West Virginia Lawmakers Can Unleash Historic Educational Reforms

Jun 19, 2019 by AFP

AFP-West Virginia applauds lawmakers for elevating debate and pursuing significant education policy reform, blasts defenders of the status quo

CHARLESTON, WV – As legislators continue to debate the merits of historic educational reform, Americans for Prosperity-West Virginia (AFP-WV) is committed to working with lawmakers in both the short and long term to make the most significant improvements to K-12 education in West Virginia.

Americans for Prosperity West Virginia State Director Jason Huffman released the following statement:

“Some members of the House have blatantly ignored the broad grassroots movement calling for more educational options. Governor Justice has refused to lead our state toward these critical reforms, putting his own misguided political self-interest over our kids. These two anti-reform factions have weighed down the progress that bold leaders in the Senate and House support, resulting in watering down critical potions of this legislation: namely, the misguided cap on the amount of public charter schools local school boards may pursue, should they so choose. We will hold accountable policymakers who stand in the way of ensuring that the educational needs of every child are met.

“Our kids deserve more than half measures—sold on the promise of expansion at a later date that may never arrive. This moratorium on charter schools sets kids up for failure. AFP is here for the long-term, and we won’t stop working with and supporting bold policy leaders until every kid has the opportunity to go to the best school for them. We look forward to continuing to work closely with policymakers who believe in finally achieving truly transformational reforms that have the potential to help every child succeed.

“All students deserve access to an education that works for them regardless of their ZIP code or income. We are immensely appreciative of our champions in the Senate, like Senate President Carmichael, Senator Rucker and their sixteen colleagues, and their work in passing the Student Success Act and the Education Savings Account Act, which represented a tremendous opportunity to make transformational reform a reality for every child. Similarly, we thank the many House leaders, like Delegates Bibby, Higginbotham, Waxman, Wilson, Summers, Espinosa, Speaker Hanshaw and others, who deeply agree with our vision of bold educational choice, despite a handful of colleagues who seemingly prefer a status quo that is robbing many students of reaching their full potential.

“Lawmakers who have worked closely with us to advance this priority understand that all kids in the Mountain State deserve a shot at a bright future. These champions have proudly pulled educational freedom from the peripherals by making this issue one of the most salient in our state, won the majority of public opinion, and put our state on a positive trajectory to achieve the kind of reform our students and families deserve.

“All options should be on the table that will improve our education system like guaranteed open enrollment, which would give our kids options without boundaries. This includes other education reforms like uncapped charter schools and universal ESAs. These reforms help remove arbitrary limits and barriers on our children and will make West Virginia the gold standard for education reform. Sadly, defenders of the status quo are unwilling to give our students full access to these proven resources. We cannot support the bill with the amended charter provision that amounts to a moratorium on charters, limiting educational options for parents and students.”