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CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Manufacturers Association is optimistic about public education in the Mountain State’s following full legislative passage of a comprehensive reform package.

The West Virginia Senate and House of Delegates have approved a compromise bill, House Bill 206, that provides pay raises and other financial incentives for teachers along with paving the way for a more localized approach to delivering public education and providing additional school choice options.

“Our county school boards are being given the reins to direct public education in the best way they see fit for their local students, and that alone is a transformative change for West Virginia,” WVMA President Rebecca McPhail said. “In addition to giving parents innovative school choice options and boosting funds to counties, House Bill 206 gives our hard-working teachers their second major pay raise in just two years in addition to providing more funds for their classrooms. The WVMA is encouraged by this major first step towards modernizing how we educate our students in West Virginia.”

McPhail said the WMVA membership long has supported overhauling West Virginia’s public education system and hopes HB206 is the beginning of a continual dialogue about how to ensure positive outcomes for school children.

“Our test results and other performance measures have been at or near the bottom of the country for far too long,” she said. “We applaud the legislative leadership for pursuing this path of reform, and we encourage Gov. Jim Justice to sign HB206.”