Today Governor Earl Ray Tomblin released the West Virginia Edge Business Report, documenting the state's economic progress according to West Virginia Department of Commerce. The March 2013 report consisted of state project plans, and announcements from businesses that will help in job creation and will assist in the preservation of existing jobs throughout the state.
In addition, West Virginia sets record export growth rate third year in a row. The state's exports grew by 25 percent since last year. That increase surpasses the national growth of just 4.6 percent; for the third consecutive year, the state has reached a record level. The dominant export bringing in the revenue, coal. Coal exports grew 40 percent, increasing from 5.3 billion dollars in 2011 to 7.4 billion dollars in 2012.
However, my biggest concern is if the state is producing record growth and revenue, how is it the governor cannot afford safer and better working conditions for the miners? With a 25 percent increase, it seems the workers at least deserve the attention and assistance of the government. It is the miners that are carrying the state economically.
Also in March, Governor Tomblin and the states legislatures have accomplished passing an education reform bill. The governor's signature on this education reform act was a joke. A mere start to improvement maybe, but only time will tell. "Monitoring" teachers as the bill put it went into little detail as to whom will do the monitoring or how often. Throwing more money at the school system in order to "audit" teachers is not the answer.
I suggest paying teachers based on their work production. In other words, work production in regards to student improvement. Allocated resources should stay the same across the board, but merit based pay for the teachers should be enacted. Governor Tomblin is clearly attempting to address the "failing" school systems of his state, but at a very slow rate.