Friday, February 13, 2015
Our West Virginia Legislature has been working hard and I am especially encouraged to learn of the House of Representatives recent passing of House Bill 2005.
This exciting bill, which will allow second career subject matter experts to teach in classrooms, also proposes acceptance of Teach for America, an organization that "recruits committed recent college graduates and professionals of all backgrounds to teach for two years in urban and rural public schools."
According to the Charleston Daily Mail, "Of the ten poorest states in the nation, West Virginia is the only one that has shut out Teach for America. The organization sends teachers to rural Missippi and Arkansas, to inner-city Baltimore, to eastern Kentucky." See more at: http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150213/DM04/150219692/1279#sthash.Eapwg28B.dpuf
Not West Virginia! Why? Well, who really knows; but from what I have read it is because of union control over education in our state. (See above story.) However, as a parent and voter in West Virginia, NOW is an exciting opportunity for ALL residents of West Virginia to initiate a change! By letting our elected officials know we support education reform, YOU can help House Bill 2005 pass and become law.
You see, I am currently involved in a project to enrich Morgan County's STEM education with robotic technology. By investing in resources to design, build, and program robotic technology today, we help grow tomorrow's engineers, technicians, and operators. With more Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEaM) available for our students, we (yes! we!) will provide them the hope to achieve life long skills and dreams to achieve careers providing competitive wages.
Our problem is financing with Morgan County, and West Virginia's, limited resources. With the availability of Teach for America here, we can not only fill critical vacancies state wide but also propel our new robotics program to the next phase: hire a county STEM/Robotics Educator and provide a class to ALL students county wide in the related arts rotation. To date, we have been able to fundraise for the technology with the generous support of State Farm Insurance, Tom Seeley Foundation, Gat Creek Furniture, Forum for Arts Science and Technology, and community support. In fact, the partnership with Morgan County Schools and the WVU Extension Office has raised nearly $25,000!
Now, it's YOUR turn to help. Please forward a brief message to our elected officials asking them to pass House Bill 2005. It has already passed in the House at a vote of 60-35. Now, as it proceeds to the Senate and then Governor Tomblin, you can let them know of your support by sending this quick message (provided below, just copy and paste to your email):
To: Governor Tomblin: firstname.lastname@example.org 888-438-2731
Senator Trump: email@example.com 304-357-7980
Senator Blair: firstname.lastname@example.org 304-357-7867
Dear Governor and Senate Representatives:
I support Education Reform in West Virginia. Please vote in favor of House Bill 2005 to allow for alternative teacher certification for second career field experts and authorize Teach for America permission to recruit teachers to fill our state's much needed vacancies.
Thanks for helping our students achieve their dreams!