The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

January 7, 2013

Focus on education

Legislature must take seriously efforts to improve state system

— Legislature must take seriously efforts to improve state system

As the state legislative session for 2013 draws closer, one topic that will receive a lot of focus is that of education.

In fact, school system reform is imminent.

A newly created nine-member panel is scheduled to research ways to improve West Virginia’s schools and recommend legislation accordingly.

Dave Perry, D-Fayette, a member of the House education committee, will be on the panel.

The panel was birthed from a massive audit of our state’s education system.

The audit recommended more than 50 changes that will not only make educating our children more efficient, but will likely save taxpayers millions of dollars.

Assembling the panel was a great idea, because since the audit was released last January, there has been little action.

Having nine members that can review and convey the best and most appropriate action will be beneficial. Other delegates were expected to review the audit as well, but those members that come from education backgrounds will use these strengths to effect positive change.

We should not have to wait another year for education to improve.

There is no better building block for future success in West Virginia than to invest in our children and their education.

States cannot even think about approaching potential businesses to locate here, unless they have a sound education system that is showing positive results. It’s one of the top things businesses look for — and rightly so. They want an intelligent and educated workforce.

Which works out in other positive ways for our state. With good-paying jobs located here, we keep our best and brightest at home. Our children and grandchildren don’t have to move away for promising career options.

Taking education seriously in this legislative session is of the utmost importance.

Our hope is that much is accomplished with the politics, and who gets credit for positive legislation, set aside.

Our state’s youth deserve that.