The measure also creates full-day pre-kindergarten statewide. That may help some kids, but it also creates jobs for unions that are losing members as enrollment plummets.
House Majority Leader Brent Boggs called the measure "an outstanding piece of legislation," adding: "It's fair. It's bold. It's innovative."
Mannix Porterfield of the Register-Herald in Beckley wrote that House Speaker Rick Thompson, D-Wayne, praised teachers and school service personnel for working with lawmakers on the measure.
"Their only concern was what was best for our children," Thompson said.
"It's a very comprehensive bill," said House Education Chair Mary Poling, D-Barbour.
Some West Virginians won't see it that way.
They hoped for a bold new day in education. Kids deserve it, and the state's economic future depends on it.
Instead, many will see this session as one in which Democrats once again voted to preserve the status quo politically instead of leading change economically.
That may end up being the wrong move.