Lee didn't think planning periods were an issue anymore, but the revised bill still says the allotted time must be at least 30 minutes. He wanted that number bumped up to 45 minutes, while others want it increased further.
The name "Teach For America" is no longer in the bill. Replaced by "national teaching corps," the section still would allow the organization to enter the state on a broader scale.
Teach For America is a private, nonprofit organization that places high-achieving college graduates in under-served schools nationwide.
Participants would be required to take 18 credit hours of training specific to West Virginia schools under the revised bill. They also could be placed only in middle schools or high schools. They already were required to pass an exam for the subject they were expected to teach.
Whispers of more changes, mostly in the union's favor, amounted to little more than rumor.
Plymale and union leadership agreed they met last Thursday night to discuss the bill, but talks "fell apart" when it came to hiring practices, Plymale said.
Both Lee and Hale thought they had assurances of an agreement, only to see changes after that meeting.
"Actually, (state Superintendent Jim) Phares was in the meeting and agreed to a change on the teacher hiring practices and shook hands on it," Hale said Tuesday morning.
"Then he called at 7 o'clock on Friday morning and said, 'I renege on what I agreed to yesterday.' And so the bill just kind of fell apart from there."
Phares and Plymale both said that was inaccurate. There was never any agreement to Plymale's knowledge, and Phares doesn't have any legislative power anyway, Plymale said.
"I think a couple of comments that I've made may have upset them," Phares said in an interview Tuesday.
"They said that Dr. Phares said, 'No retreat, no surrender.' You're absolutely right, I did say that, and I said it because of this -- we're in support of the governor's bill. We have been. It makes sense. It's good for kids."
There was little discussion of the bill among committee members during Tuesday's meeting.
Sens. Dan Hall, D-Wyoming, and Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, each proposed changes.
Hall wanted to eliminate the provision that allowed Teach For America; to extend the 43-week contract period to 46 weeks; and to state specifically that seniority should have equal weight among the hiring criteria.
All three suggestions were rejected.
Carmichael proposed a change that related to planning periods. It also was quickly rejected.
Hall, along with Sens. Bob Beach, D-Monongalia, Truman Chafin, D-Mingo, and John Unger, D-Berkeley, voted against the bill. Beach and Unger had voiced concerns with the bill before Tuesday's meeting.
The measure now goes to the Senate Finance Committee. Although a family emergency meant Finance Chairman Roman Prezioso, D-Marion, had to return to his home in Fairmont Tuesday, he pledged to be back in Charleston this week.
The bill will come up for a vote when his committee meets at 3 p.m. Thursday, Prezioso said. He believes it will pass.
Unions are preparing to shift their focus to the House Education Committee. While Lee said it's important to stay in touch with senators because they get final approval of the measure before it goes to the governor's desk, Hale said she's moving full steam ahead with the House.
The AFT and WVEA staged an "informational picket" Tuesday morning outside the Capitol to protest the bill. They're planning one for today's meeting of the state Board of Education as well.