Unger asked Linger whether the state board could shift staff from the department to the new board office and still comply with the bill's required 5 percent personnel reduction.
"I assume so," Linger said.
"I can see this now, a position that goes unfilled at the Department of Education, you shift it over to the Board of Education," Unger said. "The department shows a decrease, and you have an increase."
Sen. Robert Plymale, D-Wayne, said the state board needed the extra administrators to handle additional board-related work, such as last year's response to a statewide education efficiency audit.
And Sen. Clark Barnes, R-Randolph, said Linger's hiring plans mirrored what companies do to manage multiple divisions. "I think it's a great idea," Barnes said.
The Senate Finance Committee passed Tomblin's bill by a non-unanimous voice vote. Committee members learned the bill would reduce education costs by $630,000 next year, and $2.1 million the year after that.
"The bill is the first step," said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Roman Prezioso. "It's important we keep the bill moving."
Tomblin's bill next goes to the full Senate.
West Virginia's teachers unions oppose the legislation. The bill would change the way teachers are hired and transferred, and give counties more flexibility in setting the yearly school calendar.Reach Eric Eyre at erice...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4869.