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November 2015

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November 20, 2015

Kanawha school board strengthens LGBT employment protections, hears calendar concerns
By Ryan Quinn, Education Reporter, WV Gazette mail

The Kanawha County school board Thursday approved policy changes meant to protect prospective and current LGBT employees from discrimination and heard concerns over a proposed 2016-17 school calendar that some at the board meeting argued doesn’t provide employees enough preparation time before school starts.

The board...

November 20, 2015

Tomblin has 62 percent approval, highest of any Democratic governor
By David Gutman, Political Reporter, WV Gazette Mail

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has the highest approval rating of any Democratic governor in the country, according to a new survey of voters in all 50 states conducted by a Washington-based politics and polling site.

The survey gave Tomblin an approval rating of 62 percent among registered West Virginia voters, compared with a disapproval...

November 23, 2015

Decrease in WV’s public school enrollment speeds up
By Ryan Quinn, Education Reporter, WV Gazette-Mail

West Virginia’s public school student enrollment dropped nearly 2,760 students from last school year to this one, more than double the declines in the past two years, according to data released last week by the state Department of Education.

It’s the biggest one-year decrease in about 15 years, although the establishment of the state’s pre-kindergarten...

November 23, 2015

Statehouse Beat: Shorter interims schedule leaves issues unaddressed
By Phil Kabler, WV Gazette-Mail

I think we can declare the Legislature’s experiment with a sharply truncated schedule of legislative interim meetings an abject failure.

Not only did the new leadership shorten interims from three days a month to one and a half days, but they took May, July and August off entirely. (At the moment, they’re also planning to take December interims off as well...

November 23, 2015

Patterson Tenders Resignation
By Lauren Matthews - Staff Writer, Wetzel Chronicle

Wetzel County Board of Education Vice President Bob Patterson has tendered his resignation, effective today.

In the letter to Board President Mike Blair and Superintendent Leatha Williams, Patterson said he feels he can no longer be an effective member of the board.

"The turmoil in the school system during this time of change in leadership has resulted in animosity,...

November 24, 2015

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Hall discusses PEIA issues

By Matt Maccaro | WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — With the PEIA in a significant financial hole, the heat is on lawmakers to do something to fund the struggling insurance agency.

Putnam County Senator and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Mike Hall says the PEIA is in real trouble.

“There’s no place you can go unless you add more cash, or reduce the benefits,” he said on MetroNews “...

November 24, 2015

Higher PEIA costs weigh on public employees

Hoppy's Commentary | Hoppy Kercheval, MetroNews

Officials with the West Virginia Public Employee Insurance Agency got an earful and more during a recent series of public hearings on planned changes.  Hundreds of plan members turned out to express their displeasure with the proposed $120 million in benefit cuts.

Their angst is understandable since employees on an individual plan will see a $500 increase in their...

November 29, 2015

Teach For America still coming to W.Va., but impact may be limited 
By Ryan Quinn, Education Reporter, WV Gazette-Mail

Teach For America plans to begin providing teachers to West Virginia in August, but the organization will start with only five to 15 educators total in three southern counties, a number expected to grow to only about 30-35 within the next five years.

That’s according to Will Nash, head of Teach For America Appalachia, the part of the...

November 29, 2015

Promise scholars more likely to come from wealthy families
By Samuel Speciale, Education Reporter, WV Gazette-Mail

Promise scholars are more likely to be female and come from wealthy families, says a new report on the state’s financial aid programs

.A recent West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission report, which looked at the state’s merit-based scholarship and need-based grants, found first-year Promise recipients whose parents earn more than $90...

November 30, 2015

Calhoun seeking change to small county school funding
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

Officials from the county school system with the biggest deficit in West Virginia want changes to a part of the state’s school aid funding formula that’s meant to help the lowest-enrollment counties by paying them for students they don’t have.

There are nine counties in the Mountain State with fewer than 1,400 public school students from prekindergarten...

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