WV House Votes to End State Depts of Ed and Arts

House sends bill to dismantle Department of Education and the Arts to Senate

WEST VIRGINIA

After a little more than an hour of debate, the West Virginia House of Delegates voted Wednesday to eliminate the position of the secretary of the Education and Arts and to divvy up agencies and programs under its purview.

Proponents of House Bill 4006 said the measure would make the state’s education system more efficient and would save the state close to $750,000.

However, opponents said they feared that eliminating the Cabinet Secretary Gayle Manchin’s position would eliminate an advocate for the arts. They also said they were concerned about programs under the division and an uncertainty whether those programs would flourish in the future.

The bill passed 60-36.

The bill would transfer the Division of Culture and History and the Division of Rehabilitation Services to the Department of Commerce. The Center for Professional Development would be moved under the Department of Education.

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