LATEST: West Virginia Senate passes education bill

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UPDATE 8:30 p.m. 6/24:

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The West Virginia Senate has passed a sweeping GOP education bill that would allow the state’s first charter schools.

The Republican-controlled chamber approved the proposal Monday. A similar Senate bill had sparked massive teacher protests at the state Capitol. It now goes to Gov. Jim Justice, who supports the measure. The wide-ranging proposal would allow for a staggered implementation of charter schools, limiting the state to three charters until 2023 then letting three more go up every three years after that. It also contains a pay raise for teachers.

The House passed the bill last week.

Teacher unions and Democrats have opposed the charter school effort, saying it’s a move driven by outside interests that will steer money away from public schools. Republicans have pointed to poor test scores as reason to change the education system.

ORIGINAL STORY:

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The West Virginia Senate will return Monday to take up a sweeping education bill that would allow the state’s first charter schools. A Senate spokeswoman made the announcement Friday.

The wide-ranging GOP proposal would allow for a staggered implementation of charter schools, limiting the state to three charters until 2023 then letting three more go up every three years after that.

The House of Delegates passed the bill earlier this week. Republican Senate President Mitch Carmichael has said he wants to pass the bill in its current form.

Teacher unions and Democrats have opposed efforts to install charters as a move driven by outside interests that will steer money away from public schools. Educators have protested against the bill.

Republican Gov. Jim Justice has expressed support for the measure.

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