West Virginia Republicans just passed bill to …

West Virginia Republicans just passed bill to dismantle Department of Education and Arts:


In a petulant and vengeful move after their defeat at the hands of a state full of angry striking teachers fighting for a living wage and affordable health benefits, the West Virginia state legislature has voted to eliminate the state’s Department of Education and the Arts to pay for the 5% raise that the teachers finally won.

According to the West Virginia Metro News, the bill passed the legislature yesterday and will head to Republican Governor Jim Justice’s office for final approval. The bill not only dismantles the agency by spinning off some offices to other divisions of the state government, but it effectively eliminates the job of state secretary for Education and the Arts, a $95,000 per-year position currently held by Gayle Manchin, wife of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).

West Virginia Democrats, who opposed the plan, see it as a sick form of revenge for the failure of the Republican legislature to break the nine-day strike by teachers in the state who held out for a long-overdue raise rather than return to the classroom under pressure from the tight-fisted Republicans who preferred to continue their policy of cutting taxes for the wealthy rather than properly funding education in the state.