Wendy Pannell-Johnson and John Quesenberry represented RCEA and its members at the WVEA Central District Leadership Conference in Summersville July 14.
WVEA Executive Director Kym Randolph presented information on the state constitutional amendments that will be voted on in the November General Election and other attacks on public educaton.
One amendment (proposed amendment #2) would take millions of dollars of funding from public schools, police and fire protection, EMTs, local governments, and libraries by giving the legislature the power to eliminate property taxes that fund these vital services. Another amendment (proposed amendment #4) would give the State Legislature the power to control and overrule any decision made by the State Board of Education and State Department of Education, injecting more politics into school systems and giving politicians control over educational experts and leaders. NEA has been instrumental in providing funding to help fight these attacks on public education and WVEA is working with a multitude of other affected groups to fight these two amendments.
New Director of Field Services and our former ODS (WVEA rep for members in our district) Mike Hennessey led the conference. Groups from counties throughout our district brainstormed ideas on increasing membership, getting more members actively involved, and strengthening public education and the power of our members over their classrooms and schools.
The event closed with remarks from WVEA President Dale Lee who, as always, began by thanking teachers and education service professionals for the work they do every day to improve the lives of their students. President Lee also gave an overview of talks between WVEA and WVAFT on exploring the futures of both organizations and what would be the best ways to represent our members and advocate for our students and public education. Any possible future actions resulting from discussions would be subject to approval from the Delegate Assembly which meets each year and is made up of delegates elected from each local county's members.