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November 2015

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November 2, 2015

Monongalia, Ohio county school test scores best in state
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

Monongalia and Ohio were the top-scoring counties, and Barbour, Logan and McDowell were the bottom-scoring counties in math and English/language arts last school year on West Virginia’s new Common Core-aligned standardized test.

Kanawha County ranked No. 14 in math and No. 27 in English, while Putnam County ranked third in math and seventh in English. A...

November 2, 2015

Boone County looks to close one-third of its elementary schools
By Jeff Jenkins, MetroNews

MADISON, W.Va. — Three small elementary schools in Boone County will be the subject of separate school closing hearings this month.

Plans are to close Wharton, Nellis and Jeffrey-Spencer schools because of an eroding tax base and reduced enrollment, Boone County School Superintendent John Hudson said.

Most of the financial problems are connected to the...

November 2, 2015

PEIA mess took a long time to create
By Phil Kabler, WV Gazette-Mail

As the Public Employees Insurance Agency embarks on a series of what are sure to be contentious public hearings this month over plans to cut insuree benefits by more than $120 million, a number of readers have asked how the state-run health insurance plan got in such a mess.

Suffice to say, it didn’t happen overnight.

PEIA hasn’t had a premium increase since the 2012-13 budget...

November 3, 2015

PEIA Holds Public Meeting, Proposed Benefit Cuts Have People Upset
Written by Ryan Petrovich

It was a jammed packed house for the Public Employees Insurance Agencies' Finance Board public meeting. Hundreds of people gathered to hear the proposed plans and voice their concerns. 

State law prevents PEIA from raising premiums for active employees, so deductibles will rise. It will be a $...

November 3, 2015

Teens Spend 'Astounding' Nine Hours a Day in Front of Screens: Researchers
BY MAGGIE FOX AND ERIKA EDWARDS

American teenagers spend an "astounding" nine hours a day with digital technology, entertaining themselves with streaming video, listening to music and playing games, researchers reported Tuesday.

And "tweens" aged 8 to 12 are spending six hours with media, the non-profit group Common Sense Media reports.

That's is in addition to using digital...

November 4, 2015

Educators frustrated with changes in Wetzel County
By Lauren Matthews, Wetzel Chronicle

Tensions were high Monday night as several Wetzel County educators spoke out against the board of education regarding changes recently made in system.

The educators' frustrations came to a head after a recent petition, filed by concerned Wetzel County parent Christina Coulter, called for the board's removal of new superintendent Leatha Williams.

The petition has...

November 5, 2015

Crowd vents frustrations at Martinsburg PEIA hearing
By Samantha Cronk, The Journal

MARTINSBURG -- Heated opinions were exchanged Tuesday as more than 300 residents attended a public hearing on proposed changes to the Public Employees Insurance Agency, which affects any state-employed worker, such as teachers and school service personnel.

The PEIA finance board hosted a public hearing presentation on the proposed $120 million in cuts to benefits, totaling...

November 6, 2015

Kessler says WV needs more tax money
By David Gutman, Political Reporter SAM OWENS | Gazette-Mail

Jeff Kessler, Democratic candidate for governor of West Virginia, talks to members of the Charleston Gazette-Mail editorial board Thursday in the newsroom. Kessler is the minority leader of the state Senate and previously served as Senate president and chairman of that chamber’s Judiciary Committee.

It’s going to take increased state spending and investment...

November 6, 2015

Teachers union laments drastic cuts in PEIA
By Chris Lawrence, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — One educator in Berkeley County summed it up when he told the PEIA Finance Board during a public hearing in Martinsburg he planned to consider a career change.  The speaker said he would have to go to work for his father in the construction business...

November 9, 2015

Randolph County Education Levy Fails
Written by Lauren McMillen

The Randolph County schools levy did not pass on Saturday night, despite a close race.

According to unofficial results, 2,152 voted for the levy, while 2,694 voted against it.

County officials said nearly 30% of residents in the county cast their votes. The special election brought out a lot of early voters and strong opinions. Those of you for the levy said it's important for education.

...

November 9, 2015

Large, angry crowd expected for PEIA rate hike hearing Tuesday
By Phil Kabler, Statehouse Reporter, WV Gazette-Mail

Statewide public hearings on the proposed $120 million in benefits cuts for Public Employees Insurance Agency coverage come to Charleston Tuesday evening, where a large and angry crowd can be expected, based on the first two hearings last week.

With no increase in the state’s funding of $422.4 million for PEIA employer premiums, and no...

November 10, 2015

WV to accept general science teaching endorsements for new course
By Ryan Quinn, Education Reporter, WV Gazette-Mail

West Virginia instructors with general science endorsements, including those currently teaching ninth-grade physical science, will be considered certified to teach the required new ninth-grade science course coming to Mountain State schools next year.

Michele Blatt, the state Department of Education’s chief accountability officer, said a...

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