In a discussion of eliminating seniority as the primary criteria in determining a teacher's placement, board member Lowell Johnson, a former head of a teachers' union, said: "Taking out the seniority provision of the hiring law would make the teachers' union go crazy."
Priscilla Haden, also a board member at that time, said, "Given the union's influence, I wouldn't touch it."
According to news reports, Johnson ultimately persuaded the board to write a vague response to the audit's recommendation on seniority.
The audit was also critical of the prohibition of charter schools in West Virginia. It also did not approve of the state being unable to hire teachers with the Teach For America organization.
This national organization places teachers in the classroom who, through their education and real life experiences, have been found to be very effective teachers in other states.
Deem, owner of J. Frank Deem Oil & Gas in Parkersburg, served 30 years in the Legislature.