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WVEA comments to W.Va. Board of Education about Boone County

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WVEA comments to W.Va. Board of Education about Boone County
By WVEA Staff

WVEA Government Relations Specialist Davin White addressed the state Board of Education Wednesday regarding the serious financial situation in Boone County. Here are WVEA's comments:

Dr. Martirano, President Green, and members of the board, my name is Davin White and I am here to speak on behalf of the WVEA regarding the budget situation in Boone County.

We ask that you give the local board of education in Boone County time to work through the situation and formulate a plan. Ultimately their plan may have some of the same elements as the directive Dr. Martirano has issued but there needs to be local input and transparency in the process.

Boone County has been devastated by the loss of revenue. Educators have lost employment, local citizens have lost income, county government agencies are struggling and people are leaving the county. No one saw this coming and the people and institutions suffering the financial burden did not create the problem.

This has been very difficult for the entire community. It’s impossible to understand the amount of stress, confusion, and worry the past few weeks have caused the county’s employees and its citizens. When the school year begins next month, those employees who are left will feel like they've been through the wringer. That’s not the way to start a new school year.

Under the proposals we’ve seen from Dr. Martirano, employees will bear the brunt of the cuts and many will see a cut in pay and benefits of 10 to 12%. That’s not an acceptable option. If Dr. Martirano’s proposals are enacted the school system will find itself with another crisis as employees leave the system.

Boone County has a new superintendent and new board members who were given an ultimatum two weeks ago. The least you can do is to give them more time to explore options and involve the community and employees in their discussions and decisions.

Ultimatums and a rush to resolution do nothing to build the trust and cooperation that will be needed to move forward.

WVEA asks that you give the Boone County Board of Education time to explore their options and develop new budget recommendations.

Thank you.