The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

March 11, 2013

Chamber: Education rankings ‘deplorable’

CHARLESTON — The West Virginia Chamber of Commerce last week called the state’s national education rankings deplorable and a threat to the economic future of generations to come. The state’s largest business organization called upon the Legislature, state Board of Education, the business community, teacher organizations, organized labor and other interested parties to rally behind Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s education reform bill.

According to West Virginia Chamber President Steve Roberts, “Unfortunately, our standing among the other 49 states is just plain deplorable. For the sake of future generations, immediate and comprehensive reforms have to be enacted to address the problem. No longer can we say we’ll take care of it next year. The time is now, all groups need to work through their objections and lend their support to the Governor’s education reform bill.”

Roberts reiterated the Chamber’s longtime challenge to policymakers, “In good conscience how can we continue year after year to see the state’s education quality be rated among the lowest in the country, yet rank among the highest states in terms of funding for our education system? It’s not fair to the state’s taxpayers, or to the true victims … our children.”

The Chamber believes the Governor’s education reform bill will ensure all West Virginia school children will be taught in a style most suited to their learning abilities, which will ensure upon high school graduation they are ready for the future.

The West Virginia Chamber of Commerce is the state’s largest business advocacy organization, representing members in all 55 counties who employ over half of the state’s workforce.