"Part of what the state board has to do in order to maintain its credibility throughout this process is maintain open dialogue," Linger said.
"We are not going to surprise anybody with anything," he continued.
Others asked about extra certification required in the bill for pre-kindergarten aides. The state will pay for the training - nine hours of online coursework -- and the work comes with a pay increase, Superintendent Jim Phares said.
Committee Chairwoman Mary Poling, D-Barbour, thought the questions were thoughtful and said she "accepts" the bill. She personally isn't a fan of some parts of it, particularly those that deal with changes in testing.
However, she thought Phares' assurances the testing would become a part of the current system and not increase the number of assessments was reassuring.
Before the session, critics thought the House Education Committee could trip up any type of reform. Others thought the influx of Republicans into the House -- with 46 seats, the GOP has its largest presence in decades -- might play a role as well.
With all 13 Democrats and all 11 Republicans on the education committee voting for the bill, Stowers thought it could foreshadow how the rest of the House feels about the measure.
"If it's indication as to the feeling of the House, we have a very bi-partisan committee ... and the fact that there were no amendments and no 'no' voice votes, I think that shows we have found a very balanced bill that everyone can agree on that moves the West Virginia education system forward," Stowers said.
House Speaker Rick Thompson, D-Wayne, decided to have a split session Tuesday: the House recessed after its morning session until 5 p.m. so that it could get a jump start on measures discussed during the day.
That includes the education bill, received by the House Tuesday evening. Split sessions are common as the end of the legislative period draws near, but Thompson said it provided an opportunity to move forward with the education measure.
"I wanted to try to complete the action on the bill this week but I didn't want to speed up the process," Thompson said. "I wanted to go through the normal process ... I just wanted to go through the regular process."
The regular process involves the House "reading." or being presented with, a bill three times. The first reading is set for today, with final approval slated for Friday.