CHARLESTON – When I became West Virginia Lieutenant Governor and Senate President, I vowed to make education a priority.
To me, those weren’t just empty political words. I knew in order to move our state forward, we had to abandon the failed policies of the past, end the days of playing politics with our children’s education and commit to passing meaningful reform.
Today, about 2,000 West Virginia students are going to attend community or technical colleges because of the Last Dollar In Program in our state. I was proud to make this bill a priority as the first bill introduced in the legislation session.
Conservatives in the state Senate fought hard to pass this legislation, and the results are starting to show. This legislation is opening college education, and technical and trade skills available to thousands of our students who otherwise would have limited opportunities to continue education beyond high school. This program is a step in the right direction.
Conservatives also passed the Student Success Act this year. That bill reforms the K-12 education system in our state. It works to improve student outcomes, puts more money in areas of critical need such as math and science, provides teachers with the second consecutive largest pay raise in the history and provides more funding for our students’ health and welfare.
The Student Success Act and the Last Dollar In programs are working to create a better education system in our state. But, these are just the first steps.
I am still committed to making sure West Virginia students, their parents and teachers and our taxpayers get the world-class education system they deserve. We will no longer find last place in education acceptable.
The big union bosses – the people who drove our education system into last place and those who profit off of a failed education system – will continue to fight our efforts to place students first. I can assure the taxpayers, students, teachers and parents of this state that conservative legislators will continue fighting for our education system. We are making a difference.
Carmichael (R-Jackson) represents the 4th state Senate District and is president of the state Senate.