CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- House of Delegates members questioned state school officials Tuesday about a section in Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's education reform bill that removes the state superintendent's $175,000 salary cap and strips down the post's minimum qualifications.
Those questions, though, didn't derail the legislation. The House Education Committee unanimously advanced Tomblin's bill (SB359) Tuesday. The committee made no changes.
The full House is expected to take a final vote Friday.
Tomblin's bill would allow state school board members to pay the superintendent whatever they deem appropriate. State law now limits the superintendent's salary to $175,000.
State law also requires that the superintendent have a master's degree in education administration. Tomblin's bill -- at the request of the state school board -- would require a master's degree in any subject.
House members said it doesn't make sense for the state to lower the superintendent's qualifications in a bill designed to increase student achievement.
"I feel educators in this state would expect certain education qualifications," said Delegate Ron Fragale, D-Harrison.
State school board President Wade Linger said board members want to widen the pool of people who can apply for the superintendent post.
"We're not trying to lower the bar," he said. "We just want to widen the number of people eligible for the job."
Linger said the master's in education administration requirement was "restrictive."