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November 2014

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November 6, 2014

By Jared Hunt 
Charleston Daily Mail

The Republican Party is set to control both houses of the state Legislature for the first time since the Great Depression after Democratic state Sen. Daniel Hall switched his party affiliation Wednesday.

A source close to Hall confirmed he switched to the Republican Party at the Secretary of State’s Office about 5 p.m. Wednesday. A formal announcement is expected today.

The state GOP saw unprecedented gains in Tuesday’s midterm...

November 6, 2014

By Phil Kabler 
The Charleston Gazette

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said he’s confident he’ll be able to work with a predominately Republican Legislature — just as he was able to build consensus between Republicans and Democrats during nearly 17 years as Senate president.

“Ninety percent of the time, or even a greater portion of the time, we’d have 34-0 votes,” Tomblin said. “That didn’t happen by coincidence. We worked both sides of the political aisle, with Democrats and...

November 10, 2014

By Justin Raber 
For The State Journal

Anyone who has a Facebook page has seen the various “Common Core Math” horror stories that try to make us believe that parents with highly technical degrees cannot do this “new math” being taught to our students. We turn on the television and hear some outrageous claim that “Common Core” is forcing kids to do too much. We see stories that state how this “new fuzzy math” should be abandoned and that we should just get back to the basics; how...

November 10, 2014

By Phil Kabler  
The Charleston Gazette  

Reflections on a historic Election Day:

Naturally, the victories could turn out to be a blessing or a curse for Republicans, who for decades have said how they would improve the business climate, cut taxes, reform education and upgrade infrastructure, if only they were in power.
Now that they’re in control, they’re under pressure to deliver on their promises, and they may discover that talk is easy, but governing is hard. If...

November 13, 2014

The Associated Press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Board of Education has hired former Kanawha County educator Susan O’Brien as chief public school auditor.

O’Brien’s appointment as director of the Office of Education Performance Audits was announced Wednesday. She will replace the retiring Gus Penix.

O’Brien currently serves as deputy director of educator quality for the New Mexico Public Education System.

The audit office evaluates the performances of public...

November 13, 2014

By Stephen Huba 
For the Weirton Daily Times

NEW CUMBERLAND - With both houses of the West Virginia Legislature now in Republican hands, public school teachers are looking to Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin for support in their drive to get a pay raise for the second consecutive year.

At Monday's Hancock County Board of Education meeting, Melanie Donofe, president of the Hancock County Education Association, and board President Jerry Durante acknowledged that Republican...

November 13, 2014

By Jeff Jenkins 
WV MetroNews

The state Board of Education decided Wednesday to put out for public comment a report looking at the future of the state’s 55 school districts.

The board’s School District Governance and Administration Commission recently completed its report that recommends keeping all county school districts but using regional education offices to combine some services. Commission chairman and state school board member Tom Campbell said the money saved...

November 15, 2014

By Mackenzie Mays  
The Charleston Gazette  

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State education officials say a new “balanced governance” plan will redirect money back into West Virginia’s classrooms by eliminating positions in school board offices across the state and using that money to directly benefit students.

The five-year plan — proposed by the state Board of Education’s Commission on School District Governance — would make major changes to the way the state’s 55 school districts...

November 16, 2014

By Hoppy Kercheval 
WV MetroNews

Government bureaucracy announcements of plans to reorganize are often met with a fair amount of eye-rolling.  After meetings, studies and more meetings, the deck chairs get rearranged and life goes on pretty much as it was before.

In West Virginia, education reformers have been stonewalled by the “third rail” of education politics—the 55 separate and distinct county school systems.  Communities value the autonomy of the local school board...

November 17, 2014

By Mackenzie Mays 
The Charleston Gazette

Former state schools superintendent Jorea Marple’s lawsuit against the West Virginia Board of Education will move forward.

Kanawha County Circuit Judge James Stucky last week denied the school board’s request for Marple’s wrongful termination case to be dismissed.

Charleston attorney Victor Flanagan, who is representing the school board, asked in a court hearing in September that all charges against the board and former...

November 21, 2014

By Phil Kabler, Staff writer

State employees and retirees vented their displeasure with the Public Employees Insurance Agency’s proposal to cut their health insurance benefits by a total of $40 million during a public hearing Thursday evening at the Charleston Civic Center.

“It is similar to asking us if we want to be in a head-on collision, or get T-boned on the highway,” Joe White, with the West Virginia School Service Personnel Association, said of asking employees which...

November 22, 2014

By WVEA Staff

Early voting begins today in West Virginia and runs through Saturday, Nov. 1. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 4.

This is a pivotal year for our interests. It's important to back candidates who will not only support the Competitive Pay Campaign but will also help us ward off Teach for America, charter schools legislation, weakened seniority rights and much more.

The candidates endorsed in this ...

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