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January 2015

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January 5, 2015

By Ryan Quinn 
The Sunday Gazette-Mail

Groups that support teaching students about the evidence showing that humans are contributing to a global rise in temperatures are speaking out against West Virginia’s changes to the state’s new K-12 science education standards.

At the request of state school board member Wade Linger, who said he doesn’t believe human-influenced climate change is a “foregone conclusion,” the teaching requirements concerning climate change were...

January 5, 2015

By Bobbi Nicholson 
The Sunday Gazette-Mail

Mark Twain is credited with saying, “In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards.” That seems an uncharitable assessment, and perhaps an insulting one (at least to the genuine idiots among us).

On the other hand, recent decisions by some esteemed members of the West Virginia Board of Education do call into question their judgment and the intellectual caliber that underlies it. That...

January 6, 2015

By Jeff Jenkins
WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The positive news that surfaced following November tax collections in West Virginia took an about-face Monday when the revenue figures for December were released. State Revenue Secretary Bob Kiss said collections missed estimates by $27 million.

Kiss said that probably means the state government hiring freeze will remain in effect for the rest of the fiscal year.

“Our hope was that (the freeze) may not have to be in...

January 7, 2015

By Hoppy Kercheval
WV MetroNews

NEW YORK, NY – Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will propose using $85 million from the state’s Rainy Day reserve fund to balance the 2016 fiscal year budget, according to Fitch Ratings. If approved by the Legislature it will make the second year in a row the state has had to tap into savings to balance the budget.

Last year, the state needed $100 million from the emergency account to achieve a balanced budget. Even after the withdrawal, the state...

January 8, 2015

By Jessica Farrish
The Register-Herald
 
West Virginia Board of Education members made national news Monday, the result of a vote at a December meeting to alter references to human-driven climate change in the latest state science curriculum standards.
 
WVBOE members made the changes to the Next Generation Science Standards blueprint for the 2016-2017 school year in an effort to create debate on whether greenhouse gas emissions by human activity is changing the...

January 8, 2015

By Ryan Quinn

The Charleston Gazette

The West Virginia Board of Education’s president said the board will discuss the state’s controversial alterations to climate change science education standards at the start of next week’s meeting.

Gayle Manchin, who said she trusts the state Department of Education staff’s assertion that the altered standards are sound, said she’s requested that the item be placed on the school board’s agenda under new business, which usually comes...

January 12, 2015

By Ryan Quinn
The Charleston Gazette 

The West Virginia Science Teachers Association is criticizing the state Board of Education’s controversial changes to K-12 education standards on climate change, saying the changes compromise and misrepresent the science.

“Climate change will be addressed in West Virginia classrooms, and teachers will continue to provide students with the data and skills they need to be informed West Virginia...

January 12, 2015

By Shauna Johnson
WV MetroNews 

The next state Senate President says Republican leaders are trying to look at “the whole picture” when it comes to the state’s budget.

“I can promise you we’re going to dig deep,” said Sen. Bill Cole (R-Mercer) ahead of the start of the 2015 Regular Legislative Session on Wednesday.

Budget talk is expected to again dominate the session, one Republicans will lead in the state Senate and state House of Delegates for the first time in...

January 13, 2015

By Eric Eyre
The Charleston Gazette

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Incoming West Virginia Senate leaders gave a glimpse into their legislative agenda Monday, saying they plan to push through bills that reform the state’s legal system, but they expect to put off comprehensive tax reform measures until next year.

Senate President-to-be Bill Cole, R-Mercer, said lawmakers’ tort reform package would include restrictions on class-action lawsuits and jury awards.

On Wednesday,...

January 13, 2015

By John Schwartz
The New York Times 

West Virginia joined 25 other states several years ago to help develop a set of standards for teaching science across the United States. Among other topics, the standards acknowledge the overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is real and has been profoundly affected by human activity.

And last month, the West Virginia Board of Education announced that it was among the first 13 states and...

January 14, 2015

By Eric Eyre
The Charleston Gazette

A former high-ranking administrator at the West Virginia Department of Education misused public funds and falsified travel records while working at a similar post in Virginia, according to a report released this week.

The Virginia State Inspector General’s report revealed that Tammy McGraw, who worked at the Virginia Department of Education before coming to West Virginia, received an oil painting from a Massachusetts company after...

January 14, 2015

By Annie Moore  
WVVA Multimedia Journalist  

OAK HILL -- On Monday, Fayette County school officials announced that the main building at Collins Middle School would be closed due to unsafe conditions.

Officials said 5th and 6th graders would be staying at the school but in a different building. They also said 7th graders will go to Fayetteville High School on Thursday and 8th graders would go to Oak Hill High School.

But a day after that announcement, WVVA found...

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