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September 2014

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September 2, 2014

By Mackenzie Mays 
The Charleston Gazette

Colleges across West Virginia are firing employees, eliminating and merging positions and making other cutbacks to compensate for a reduction of more than $42 million in state funding for higher education over the past two years.

At West Virginia University, about 13 employees have been fired as part of a Reduction in Force for this budget year, and more than 100 positions have been left vacant, according to WVU spokesman John...

September 4, 2014

by Marla Pisciotta  
For The State Journal

Child care workers at the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind have been speaking out for months against the administration's decision to re-align their jobs.

They have picketed, traveled to Charleston to speak with the state Board of Education and the governor, and consulted numerous legislators.

Their efforts seem to have paid off.

A meeting was called at 4 p.m. Tuesday in a continuing effort to try...

September 4, 2014

By Mackenzie Mays 
The Charleston Gazette

In a court hearing Wednesday, counsel representing the West Virginia Board of Education asked that all charges filed by former state schools superintendent Jorea Marple regarding her termination be dismissed. Attorneys representing Marple — whose abrupt firing in November 2012 shocked the state — are fighting for a full airing of issues in court and the opportunity to cross examine members of the school board, which is led by Gayle...

September 5, 2014

By Katie Anderson 
WBOY

WEST UNION - In January of 2014 Governor Tomblin announced in his State of the State Address that he wanted the WV Board of Education to develop a grading system for schools. Policy 2320 is now in place, and Doddridge County Schools will be one of the first to be graded.

The emphasis of Policy 2320 is to make it so the public understands how schools are performing.

That's where the grading system comes in. Schools will now be graded on...

September 9, 2014

By Phil Kabler 
The Charleston Gazette

An Internal Revenue Service regulation defining “normal retirement age” as 62 or older probably won’t go into effect until Spring 2016, the executive director of the state Consolidated Public Retirement Board said Monday.

In order to go into effect next year, the revised IRS regulation would have put out for public comment by mid-October, which Jeff Fleck told a legislative interim committee is highly unlikely.

“If the...

September 12, 2014

By Mackenzie Mays

A new state policy will give school districts more power to hold families accountable for student attendance.

The state Board of Education placed Policy 4110 on public comment on Thursday, which will allow school officials to cross county lines in order to pursue truancy charges. 

The policy breaks down barriers that may have allowed a student or guardian to avoid truancy charges if they live in a different county than where they attend school, and...

September 12, 2014

Associated Press 

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah elementary school teacher who was carrying a concealed firearm at school was struck by fragments from a bullet and a porcelain toilet when her gun accidentally fired in a faculty bathroom on Thursday, officials said.

The sixth-grade teacher at Westbrook Elementary School, in the Salt Lake City suburb of Taylorsville, was injured when the bullet struck a toilet and caused it to explode, Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsley...

September 12, 2014

By Mackenzie Mays, 

The West Virginia Board of Education is considering major reform for the state’s school system, which would change the way local school districts operate. 

Education leaders are examining ways to restructure the state’s 55-district school system by putting school management and bookkeeping responsibilities in the hands of an outside entity, allowing local administrators to focus more on student achievement. 

As part of Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s...

September 15, 2014

By The Associated Press 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Initial performance audits of West Virginia schools will begin Monday as part of a new statewide assessment program.

The audits involve onsite visits of all schools by the Office of Education Performance Audits over the next two years. They will provide Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, the state Legislature and the West Virginia Board of Education an overall view of performance.

Among the reasons for the visits are to identify...

September 17, 2014

By Staff reports 
The Charleston Gazette

The state Department of Education has paid more than $63,000 for legal counsel in response to former state superintendent of schools Jorea Marple’s lawsuit, according to documents from the West Virginia Board of Risk and Insurance Management.

A Freedom of Information Act request was made by the West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse last week inquiring about the Department of Education’s fees in Jorea Marple v. West Virginia...

September 19, 2014

By David Gutman 
The Charleston Gazette

More than one in four kids in West Virginia lives in poverty. That’s nearly 100,000 kids.

One in three West Virginia kids under the age of 5 lives in poverty.

Those numbers come from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2013 American Community Survey, which showed a statistically significant increase in child poverty in West Virginia for the first time since at least 2009.

In West Virginia, 27 percent of kids and 33 percent of...

September 21, 2014

By Mackenzie Mays - The Charleston Gazette

Nearly one in three public school students in West Virginia missed at least five days of class last year without an excuse, according to data from the state Department of Education. That marks those students as truant, which could mean fines, court hearings or even jail time for parents.

A handful of school districts in the state had more than half of their students miss at least five unexcused days during the 2013-14 school year, with...

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