Also Monday, several candidates spoke about a $750,000 audit of West Virginia's Department of Education and K-12 school system.
Ginny Moles, a Democrat running in the 38th District against Lane, said education changes are long overdue.
"We have students who graduate who aren't qualified to work at the Toyota plant [in Putnam County]," Moles said. "Our education system and workforce is not up to speed with other states."
Lane criticized state Board of Education members for worrying about how teachers unions would react to the audit's recommendations -- as reported in recent Gazette articles.
"I haven't seen anybody say, 'I'm worried about the kids,'" Lane said.
Lane said he supports the audit's recommendation to decrease the number of administrators at the Department of Education and at county school board central offices. Those cuts alone would save $45 million -- enough money to hire 600 teachers, Lane said.
"The bureaucracy in education has exploded," he said.
Clint Casto, a Democrat running against Ron Walters in the House 39th District, said teachers and administrators shouldn't always be blamed for the education problems. He said parents also must be responsible for their children's schooling.
Stowers, an assistant principal at Horace Mann Middle School in Charleston, said the state must do more to attract good teachers. One possibility: forgiving college loans for new teachers who work in rural schools.
"Teaching is not a profession people want to go in anymore," Stowers said. "The people applying for jobs are fewer and fewer every year."
Former Delegate Jeff Eldridge also is running as a Democrat in the House 22nd District. He did not attend Monday's interview with Gazette editors.
Reach Eric Eyre at erice...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4869.