Mason pointed out the bill would not allow teachers to transfer seniority between counties.
She said counties also would not be allowed to throw seniority completely out the window, according to previous rulings by the West Virginia Public Employees Grievance Board.
"It's got to be a reasonable standard," she said.
Still, Brazeau said the revamped hiring process would be a significant improvement over the current system. She said teachers with more seniority are not always the most qualified.
"I just think you have to look at the whole picture," she said.
As personnel director, Brazeau does not personally interview prospective teachers. Her job is to winnow the applications - usually to the top three to five candidates - who then are interviewed by a hiring committee at the school.
While that is the procedure currently prescribed by state law, Hicks said it creates a big problem for schools.
"It limits options," he said. "Quite frankly, under the current system . . . you can decide who's going to be your next teacher without even having an interview. There's nothing in the factors that look at demonstration of knowledge. It's just a checklist."
State teachers unions are vehemently opposed to the measure, however, and have repeatedly asked lawmakers to strike it from the bill.
Dale Lee, president of the West Virginia Education Association, said the state's dual sets of hiring criteria are working.
He said education reform advocates are using seniority transferability as a red herring to garner support for the legislation.
"They play games with it. That's why we have to insist on a weighting system," he said. "They're going to tell you that's a problem because they can't hire a teacher of the year from North Carolina over somebody already in the system.
"That's a rarity. That teacher of the year from North Carolina might not get 'School A,' but you're going to open up a position."
Lee said if the state's current hiring practices are changed, the number of grievances filed against school systems would skyrocket.
But Hicks said the governor's proposed changes do not mean the most senior teachers wouldn't get the positions.
He said the change also would not increase nepotism and cronyism, as some opponents have suggested, because there is much more transparency in the state school system thanks to the Office of Education Performance Audits.
The governor's education reform bill is set to go before the Senate Finance Committee this morning and could reach the full Senate by the end of the week.