Teachers in West Virginia warned that they are still united and #55Strong and prepared to renew their walkout if the legislature passes a bill that contains obnoxious provisions that affect their working conditions and charter schools.

Last year every school in the state’s 55 counties closed down and teachers marched on the State Capitol to demand a 5% pay raise. The governor agreed he would not permit charter school legislation.

The legislature, however, passed a bill that authorized both charters and vouchers.

The announcement comes a day after the House Education Committee approved a stripped down strike-and-insert version of Senate Bill 451 — as compared to what was passed earlier this week in the Senate.

The House Education Committee’s version removes many of the provisions opposed by educators and the leaders of their unions, including provisions that would force members to sign off annually on the deduction of union dues, education savings accounts, and withholding pay during a strike. A non-severability clause — which would make the entire measure null and void should any of its provisions be struck down in a court challenge — was also pulled from the committee’s proposal.

Other provisions in the bill — including the establishment of charter schools — have been significantly altered through amendments in the committee.

While union leaders say they are happy with the bill being whittled away, nothing is final until the legislation is signed by Gov. Jim Justice. The House Education Committee’s strike-and-insert amendment is also merely formative until it is adopted on the chamber floor. If approved with any changes to the version passed by the Senate, the bill would be sent back to the upper chamber.

The teachers of West Virginia have the fighting spirit of the coal miners of that state.