Lee predicted that Tomblin's bill would slash teacher planning periods -- particularly in elementary schools -- from an hour to 30 minutes or less each day.
"Teachers need more time for collaboration and planning, not less," Lee said. "If you're going to talk about the things that improve student achievement, it's not the things in this bill."
Lee criticized the governor's bill for proposing changes to the minimum qualifications for West Virginia's schools superintendent.
The state school board requested the change, saying it hopes to broaden the applicant pool when it next starts a national search for a new schools chief.
State law now says the state schools superintendent must have a master's degree in education administration. Tomblin's bill would require a master's in any subject.
"Now, anyone with a master's degree can be state superintendent of schools," Lee said.
According to the governor's office, Tomblin's education reform bill also would:
• Allow public schools to expand pre-school programs and offer full-day instruction by the 2016-17 school year. The programs also would certify preschool teacher aides.
• Require elementary school teachers to complete rigorous reading instruction training programs to ensure more children can read by the third grade.
• Re-establish the state Workforce Planning Council to increase communication between higher education and K-12 schools. Create a Commission on Middle Grades to recommend ways to increase middle school student achievement. Another commission would review county school board administrative costs.
• Decrease the number of teachers who get "bumped" out of jobs when school systems eliminate positions.
• Remove the cap that now reimburses up to 200 teachers a year who secure National Board certification. Tomblin's bill also would pay teachers who renew their certification.
• Expand a teacher scholarship program that forgives loans for teachers who take jobs in subject areas or parts of the state with "critical needs."
• Give county school boards more flexibility with their calendars to ensure schools offer 180 days of instruction.
• Overhaul Regional Education Service Agencies.
• Expand a pilot program designed to improve Charleston elementary schools.
• Require college-readiness standards for high school juniors by the 2014-15 school year.
State Board of Education members and the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce supported Tomblin's bill Monday.
"To us, this looks like a bill all West Virginians should embrace," said Steve Roberts, the chamber's president. "It allows children to learn. It allows teachers to teach. And it encompasses many of the great strengths that are in place in other states."
Reach Eric Eyre at erice...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4869.