"I'm sure there won't be many schools that will want to get an F," Kessler said. "I guarantee it."
Miley said such a grading system would help parents identify good and bad schools. But the ratings could unfairly penalize schools in low-income neighborhoods, he said.
"In theory, it will help you identify low-performing schools," Miley said. "The problem is how many of those poor-performing schools that get rated Cs, Ds and Fs are poor performing because they're in lower socio-economic areas?"
Miley and Kessler said they would likely support Tomblin's plan to use money from West Virginia's Rainy Day Fund to balance the state budget and pay for increased Medicaid costs.
"It's something I'm reluctant to do, but if it has to be done on a limited basis ... one time, two times ... that's what the fund was for," Kessler said. "I don't want to open it up, turn on the spigots and empty the pool."
Republicans and Democrats alike said they would support Tomblin's purchasing reform package. Tomblin wants to tighten competitive bidding rules, after recent audits found that state officials circumvented purchasing laws amid a statewide high-speed Internet expansion project.
"We need to ensure there's a better review process for bids," Armstead said. "We also need more oversight."
Miley said state employees who violate purchasing laws must be held accountable.
"It's our job to make sure purchasing laws are followed, and that there are consequences if they're not followed appropriately," Miley said. "I want to see a more stringent purchasing law so nothing falls through the cracks."
Reach Eric Eyre at erice...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4869.