In January, Public Works LLC released an efficiency audit examining the state school system. Armstead said that would be a starting point for reform - he highlighted the report's references to decreasing the number of administrators at the Department of Education and the number of its regulations.
Hale foresees potential problems when it comes to the audit.
"I do think we will have some challenges. I do think based on the audit that different stakeholders will pick out the kinds of things they feel are important, and they will use the audit to ... push their agenda," she said.
Dale Lee, president of the West Virginia Education Association, agreed the audit would be a large part of everyone's education agenda. Like Hale, he said he thinks everyone wants the best for West Virginia students and he's happy to work with Republicans or anyone else to make that happen.
But he admitted the WVEA has a different stance on several issues Armstead mentioned. He doesn't think making student achievement the biggest factor in teacher evaluations is effective.
He's willing to negotiate if Republican are.
"If they want us to have an open mind on some of their concepts, I would want them to have the same open mind," Lee said.
Armstead said he and other Republicans don't have a problem working with unions. But the unions won't have the same capacity to squash discussion about items they don't favor, like charter schools, with the change in the House, he said.
The exact composition of the education committee won't be determined until the start of the legislative session. When it is decided, Democrats still will hold the advantage, said Delegate Brady Paxton, D-Putnam.
"I don't think the constitution's changed, has it, that majority wins?" said Paxton, current vice chairman of the education committee.
He didn't think the change would make a big difference in the committee.
"We have always tried to include unions or associations or any group that will have a direct access to our educational system. It would be crazy not to," Paxton said.
It's too early to predict how the change in the makeup of the House will affect education policy, said Liza Cordeiro, spokeswoman for the state Department of Education. The department will look at any proposed policy changes closely, she said.