Better plan needed for education

To the Editor,

I read the Letters of Sunday July 6 with great interest. At one point Mr. Kaczynski commented that “all politicians running for office all promise more money for education” and consequently do nothing about it. As a candidate for the House of Delegates for District 1, I agree that education needs attention, but I am not sure that looking for more money will be the deciding factor for improvement.

An article in the Wall Street 24/7 places West Virginia at number 11 in expenditures per student, while coming in at number 46 in educational achievement. While one can critique how the rankings were determined, it is obvious that something is wrong. I continue to reach out to the local educators who did such a good job teaching my children to find answers.

While I have not come to any conclusions it will be my mission, if elected, to help determine the best way to improve our educational system. We are the number 3 energy producing state in the nation. With the advent of shale gas production, the state will have reasonably inexpensive energy for some time to come. The manufacturing possibilities that inexpensive energy bring will require a skilled workforce. If we do not fix education, the opportunity will be in peril.

By the way, according to the previously referenced article, eight of the top 11 states in academic achievement spend less per student than does West Virginia. There may be good reasons why our spending is at these levels, but should we not expect better performance from the system?

I hope to aid in the improvement in education and, if elected, look forward to working with the new Superintendent of West Virginia Schools.

Mark Zatezalo

Candidate for House of Delegates