If you want an idea of what might have motivated a person to try to get elected into a position of power and influence, take a look at the bills he or she introduces.
For example, Del. Todd Longanacre, R-Greenbrier, has introduced House Bill 2009: Requiring local entities to enforce immigration laws; HB 2386: Ban sanctuary cities in West Virginia; and HB 2622: Relating to no child in the State of West Virginia should be admitted into the general classroom of a public school in WV unless they can speak basic English and meet the same expectations of non-special education students who are native English speakers.
One can’t help but wonder what the Italian, Hungarian, Polish, Austrian, Russian, German, Ukrainian (and many more) immigrants who were building this state just 100 years ago would think of the introduction of a bill that would have kept their own children from public school (where they LEARNED English).
But astute readers will have grasped the general theme.
Another theme is lawmakers thumbing their noses at leadership who practically pleaded with them to get out of teachers’ way this year. Longanacre’s contribution is HB 2580: Requiring an annual test for students to advance to the next grade level.
That joins Senate Bill 93: Prohibiting teaching of divisive acts and critical race theory in public schools; HB 2108: Prohibit parents from being restricted from monitoring virtual public education classrooms; HB 2157: Discontinuing the use of common core standards and assessments in the state; HB 2216: Remove standardized testing in public and private schools; HB 2363: To require a moment of silence at the beginning of school each day in the state; HB 2366: Require cameras in all classrooms; HB 2494: Requiring high school students to pass a test on the U.S. Constitution to graduate from high school.
In an era during which report after report lists West Virginia as one of the worst places in the country to raise a family, start a small business, stay healthy and acquire a good education, some lawmakers can’t stop themselves from trying to make educators’ jobs even harder.
Enough attempts by lawmakers to grab for Charleston control even down to the classroom level will drive teachers away in droves — just as we are in desperate need of attracting and retaining more of them.
Why would they stay working in a state where they live in fear of being reported for teaching and discussing ALL of our history, literature, art and culture? Why would they want to work in a field where lawmakers can’t even decide whether they want to require more testing or eliminate standardized tests entirely?
And why on earth would those we hope to attract and retain want to live in a state where those elected to serve are motivated to actively avoid working on the legislation that would create positive change, growth, economic diversification and uplift ALL who live here?