"We want to make sure there's still autonomy within the school systems to make hiring and firing decisions, and to make sure (the bill) does give back more local control," said Armstead, R-Kanawha. "That's very important to our caucus and I think very important to the state of West Virginia."
Tomblin drafted the bill following a wide-ranging audit that described a public schools system rigid with bureaucracy and laws, but with poor results for students. The governor also plans to issue executive orders and has enlisted the state Board of Education to pursue other measures as part of his quest to overhaul the system.
The Senate also kept language sought by the state board for its quest to conduct a national search for a state schools superintendent. That part of the bill would continue to require a master's degree for that post, but it would no longer have to be in education administration.