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    West Virginia senator backs Justice on education overhaul

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    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia Senate President Mitch Carmichael says he supports new Gov. Jim Justice’s proposal to cut the state government’s education bureaucracy.

    Carmichael, leader of the Republican-controlled Senate, says it’s “encouraging” to see a governor ready to make wholesale changes to the education system, something he says legislators have been trying for.

    Justice, elected as a Democrat, said in his inauguration speech Monday that control should return from the state bureaucracy in Charleston to schools locally, questioning why the state bureaucracy has increased exponentially since the 1980s while enrollment has dropped by almost half.

    Carmichael says he has faith in Justice’s skills as a businessman “to weed through a bureaucracy of that size … and make the tough decisions.”

    Justice also said West Virginia’s teachers need to be paid more.

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