The vast majority of talks on bill revisions have taken place behind closed doors. Although copies of the governor's bill with changes were floating around the Capitol Thursday, few had seen the document.
"I haven't seen it, and as far as I know, no one else has seen it either," said Sen. Truman Chafin, D-Mingo, a member of the panel.
Chafin wasn't surprised that apart from Plymale and committee vice chair Erik Wells, D-Kanawha, the majority of senators have been left in the dark.
He offered a baseball metaphor about the process the bill must follow.
The Senate Education Committee represents the second or third inning of a game. The bill must make it through seven more innings - the full Senate, the House Education Committee, the full House and then the full Senate again - before it can become law.
"That's the way the game is played," Chafin said.
However, Chafin, a longtime senator who lost his leadership position a couple of years ago, said he was surprised the Senate was extensively revising the bill. He had figured his chamber would let the House of Delegates tackle the bigger changes.
"I thought they would put some sort of a shell out so the House can do some of the heavy lifting," he said.
Heavy lifting is planned for the weekend.
Alsop, Plymale and Hale all think the bill's chances are good when the committee meets again.
Of the many areas of disagreement, Plymale said, "I think we've worked through the majority of them, and we're getting close to consensus, but we're not there yet."
Chafin thinks Plymale may not have had enough votes on the committee to get the bill passed on Thursday.
It would be "a disaster" to put a governor's bill up for a vote and have it die in the Senate Education Committee, Chafin said.
Plymale said he hopes to bring the revised bill to the committee when it meets Tuesday.