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December 2014

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December 2, 2014

By Marla Pisciotta  For The State Journal  

The West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind has not experienced significant capital projects in nearly 40 years, with the last buildings erected in the 1970s.

On top of that, the Romney schools have not experienced significant renovation in nearly 30 years with only one sizable renovation occurring to Seaton Hall in the 1980s.

That situation may change in the near future.

Due to an ongoing push from Delegate...

December 3, 2014

By Sarah Tincher   
The State Journal   

West Virginia University will be furthering its STEM education thanks to a $1.45 million grant from the National Math and Science Initiative, which will allow the school to establish a UTeach program, a unique teacher-training program for secondary science, technology, engineering and mathematics teachers.

The rigorous UTeach program attracts high-performing undergraduate students majoring in STEM fields to the teaching field and...

December 3, 2014

By Shauna Johnson  
WV MetroNews  

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – November was a “very good month” for tax collections in West Virginia, according to state Revenue Secretary Bob Kiss.

Overall, tax officials said collections were more than $30 million ahead of estimates for November or 11 percent better than projections. Compared with Nov. 2013, revenue collections were up by almost 15 percent.

“Obviously, we’ve still got seven months left, so we’ve got long ways to go,” Kiss...

December 4, 2014

By Shauna Johnson, WV Metronews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Roughly $40 million in benefit cuts have been made to the health insurance plan that covers West Virginia’s state workers.

During a Thursday meeting, members of the Public Employees Insurance Agency’s Finance Board approved the changes that will take effect on July 1, 2015.

“Nobody wants any cuts. Nobody wants any changes, but we do have a fiscal responsibility to the taxpayers and to the government of West Virginia to...

December 4, 2014

By Ryan Quinn  
The Charleston Gazette  

Members of a state school board commission considered Wednesday altering the map of Regional Education Service Agencies, but got held up on something people have been asking for years — what are RESAs supposed to do?

The Commission on School District Governance and Administration eventually decided to recommend that the state school board, at its meeting this month, delay altering RESAs’ roles and stick with the current map of...

December 5, 2014

By WVEA Staff

Sixty-nine West Virginia teachers received National Board Certification for the first time in 2013-2014. Sixteen of them are members of the West Virginia Education Association.

Across the country, more than 4,000 teachers achieved National Board Certification in 2013-2014 through a performance-based, peer-review process.

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan, non-governmental organization. Its...

December 5, 2014

By Phil Kabler 
The Charleston Gazette

State and public school employees and retirees in West Virginia will pay about $40 million more for health care next year, after the Public Employees Insurance Agency Finance Board approved a series of benefit cuts Thursday — primarily involving higher co-pays and deductibles.

After approving the cuts, effective July 1, 2015, board members voted to send a letter to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and all members of the Legislature urging them...

December 8, 2014

By Ryan Quinn, Staff writer 

More West Virginia students failed to hit proficiency marks in the 2013-14 school year, according to the Westest standardized test scores published Friday — several months after the results are normally released.

Fifty-eight percent of students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 failed to show proficiency in math — an increase from 55 percent in the 2012-13 school year and the highest the failure rate has been since the 2009-10 school year, when 58...

December 10, 2014

By Joel Ebert 
The Charleston Daily Mail

Attempts to repeal Common Core once Republicans take control of the state Legislature could be detrimental to the state, say several departing Democratic lawmakers.

“Republicans want to dismantle what is in place and that will truly set West Virginia students back,” said state Sen. Erik Wells, D-Kanawha. Wells served as vice-chairman of the education committee during the 2014 session but was defeated by Republican Ed Gaunch on Nov...

December 11, 2014

By Ryan Quinn 
The Charleston Gazette

Members of the state Board of Education unanimously approved Wednesday a pilot program that will give school districts more flexibility in planning their instructional days.

All 55 county school districts may apply, said Betty Jordan, executive assistant to the state schools superintendent. The few districts accepted at a later board meeting, likely in the spring, will receive permission to break current state education policy...

December 12, 2014

By Ryan Quinn  
The Charleston Gazette 

 
The West Virginia Board of Education is appealing to the state Supreme Court after a lower judge refused to dismiss an ousted state superintendent’s suit against the school board.

Jorea Marple sued the board and individual member Wade Linger in April, arguing that Linger led a “covert agenda,” violating open meetings laws, to get other members to agree to vote to fire her in November 2012. Along with defamation and other...

December 12, 2014

By Samuel Speciale  
The Charleston Daily Mail  

A spokesman for Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said Thursday that a list of potential candidates to fill vacancies on the state Board of Education is still being reviewed, though he could not give a timetable for when an appointment would be made.

Tomblin issued a similar statement in June when asked about the state of his search.

The board has two vacant seats, one of which has been empty since December 2012 when former...

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