State votes to take over in Boone
By Bill Frye, Register-Herald Reporter
After discussing budgetary issues swirling around Boone County Schools, the West Virginia State Board of Education voted Thursday to take over the school system.
After twice failing to submit a balanced budget to the state, State Superintendent Michael Martirano had warned Boone that it was at risk of a state takeover. Thursday’s 6-1 vote makes that a reality unless Boone can meet in emergency session, pass and submit a budget before Monday, July 18.
Tom Campbell cast the lone dissenting vote against intervention.
State board members “were left with no option except to intervene because the county did not submit a budget that would guarantee operations for the entirety of the 2016-17 school year,” a press release from the state department of education stated.
“The state board has no desire to intervene in Boone County,” said State BOE President Mike Green. “The Boone County Board of Education left the state board with no other option but to intervene to provide a mechanism that allows a full instructional term for our students and ensures sufficient funds to pay employees for the entire school year.”
According to the state, all West Virginia county boards are “statutorily obligated to budget sufficient funds to assure that the specified minimum employment and instructional terms are provided.”
“I cannot, in good conscience or by operation of law, approve a budget that does not ensure that the Boone County Board of Education can provide students with a full instructional term and pay teachers for a full 200 days of employment,” Martirano said. “We cannot ignore the economic realities faced by Boone County and we must act now to ensure the students of Boone County are in school and teachers are paid for the entirety of the 2016-2017 school year.”
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