Senate OKs bill to protect teacher planning

CHARLESTON (AP) — A bill to allow West Virginia teachers to determine how to use their planning time has passed the Senate Education Committee.

The bill mandates that administrators may not ask a teacher to attend meetings, trainings or any work-related event during a planning period. This includes parent-teacher conferences.

West Virginia Education Association President Dale Lee said Tuesday he would like to see teachers’ contracts extended to allow ample time for important meetings and planning.

State Superintendent Jim Farris said he recognizes the complexity of the issue but believes the bill may conflict with special education laws. Under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, special education teachers are required to attend individualized education program meetings with parents.

The bill has been passed to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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