CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A bill that would require more documentation of the teacher hiring process passed the House of Delegates Friday with a 70-25 vote, and will now head to the state Senate.
The state chapter of the American Federation of Teachers has strongly supported the bill (HB4394), saying it increases transparency and could provide the organization something to look to when grievances are filed about unfair hiring procedures.
Last year, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's education reform bill -- which also de-emphasized seniority in the hiring process -- gave teachers the ability to weigh in on hiring decisions at their school alongside principals. But if a school's faculty senate and principal agree on the same candidate, they don't have to provide documentation on the hiring process.
The new version of the bill requires documentation no matter what -- not just if school staff disagrees on a new hire.
Dale Lee, president of the West Virginia Education Association, said he also supports the bill's push for transparency.
"I think the amendment they made was a good amendment. It doesn't alter the hiring practice, it simply requires documentation, which, in most cases is being done right now anyway," Lee said.