CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia lawmakers gathered Wednesday to put education policy on center stage.
Administrators, teachers and members of local government came together for the Legislators Forum on Education and Economy. They sat down to discuss needs in education. Every item in the agenda was suggested by lawmakers.
“I would like to see legislators come into the classrooms, get involved with us, and know what we face everyday on the good side and the bad side, so that we can work together to find workable solutions to help improve and uplift our students all over the state,” said Jennifer Schwertfeger, West Virginia’s 2018 Teacher of the Year.
During discussion among the first panel, panelist Larry Bailey addressed the future of advanced placement and dual enrollment programs. Representatives from the West Virginia Public Education Collaborative say they want all students to take advantage of post-graduation programs that are available.
“They have many opportunities for dual classes and with the career tech center courses to actually be getting hours to their associate’s degree before they even graduate from high school,” said Gayle Manchin chair of the the West Virginia Education Collaborative.
Also mentioned at the panel was how students can take college courses while in high school at the least amount of cost.
But budgets and policies are not the only piece to the puzzle. Schwertfeger says uplifting teachers is also important.
“One thing I heard last night, and that I thought was really positive was to put teachers on a higher pedestal,” Schwertfeger said. “Make our profession the top. Make us looked up to like doctors and attorneys.”