West Virginia’s education system and its student outcomes have consistently ranked among the lowest in the country for decades. If the state of West Virginia is to move forward and find a positive path to prosperity, improving our education system is a must. If what we’ve done for so long has put us last in performance, then we only have one direction to go: up.

I believe we must invest in our public school system to bring them to a place where they are thriving. The students, parents, and teachers within our public schools deserve this.

Education choice is also a critical piece of reforming West Virginia’s education system. We must empower parents and students and offer them options in their education, so they can choose the model of learning that best fits their needs.

Education choice isn’t just about choice for parents and kids… it’s about teacher choice, as well. In the Eastern Panhandle we’ve had teacher choice for decades, but the choice hasn’t been a battle between Berkeley and Jefferson or Musselman and Martinsburg; It’s been a battle against Loudoun, Washington, Clarke and Frederick Counties. We’ve lost too many great teachers to counties right across the border in Virginia and Maryland. We need to keep our teaching talent at home and be able to recruit more teachers by making our pay and benefits more competitive. Which is why I am advocating for another pay raise for our public school teachers. We also must allow teachers to do what they love to do… teach, rather than burdening them with bureaucratic red tape that does little to nothing for the betterment of our students.

West Virginia is on the right path forward in the education reform we’ve enacted to date. As your state senator, I will work to improve upon these important reforms and to put the opportunity for our kids, parents, and teachers first.