The letter includes 13 portions of the bill that bother the AFT. It cites the portion of the code and why, in the union's opinion, the idea will negatively affect students or teachers. That includes changes to planning periods, not moving professional development to the school level, changes in job requirements for county superintendents and much more, Campbell said.
In particular on Tuesday, the AFT pointed to a portion of the governor's bill concerning paid holidays. The bill takes out the portion of code that allows teachers to be paid for holidays, and Campbell said the provision isn't clearly included in any other section.
Tomblin doesn't want to take away paid holidays, said Hallie Mason, the governor's policy director. To provide more flexibility to schools in creating a calendar, though, the bill needed to clarify that a holiday that falls when teachers aren't in school won't be a paid day, she said.
"The education bill preserves every day of holiday pay the teachers previously had. Under the calendar section of the bill, it still holds seven holiday days for payment, just as it has previously," Mason said.
If a school moves to a balanced, or year-round, schedule, then some holidays might fall when students aren't in school, Mason said. If the code mandates what holidays for which teachers are paid, it might force counties to pay a teacher when he or she wouldn't have been in school anyway, she said.
Campbell and Bob Brown, another AFT executive, said they had seen the portion of code Mason was referencing. Brown said it was still unclear those days would be paid.
Lee shared similar concerns Monday. After sitting through Tuesday's Senate Education Committee meeting, he said he was a little concerned with the committee's "aggressive" timeline. He thinks it could be too fast, and could hurt the ability of everyone to have his or her voice heard.
Both Wade Linger, president of the state Board of Education, and Jim Phares, state superintendent, said Tuesday they supported the vast majority of the bill. Phares likened the measure to 1992 legislation following the Recht decision, which called for greater equality in funding for school districts and lead to the creation of the School Building Authority.
Linger said he had also heard concerns about taking away paid holidays, and echoed Mason's statements.
Both said they would remain actively engaged in speaking with the Legislature about passing the bill.