May 2015

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May 4, 2015

State BOE member responds to standardized testing “opt outs”
By Carrie Hodousek in News | May 04, 2015 at 12:01AM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A state Board of Education member said “opting out” is not an option for West Virginia students when it comes to the new Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium testing implemented this year.

Lloyd Jackson, state board member and former West Virginia state senator and Senate Education Committee chairman, said it’s “...

May 4, 2015

Charles McElwee: Common core repeal would be impulsive, political, unconstitutional
By Charles McElwee

No bill relating to public education received as much attention in the 2015 regular session of the Legislature as did H.B. 2934.

The Bill directed the West Virginia Board of Education to repeal its Common Core Standards and subsequent Next Generation Content Standards.

Fortunately for our public-school students, the Bill died in the Senate.

May 4, 2015

Standards are important — especially in education
Editorial - Exponent Telegram

As primary and secondary schools across the region head into the final month of classes, significant discussion and debate surround the practice of standardized testing.
For part of the next few weeks, students will take Smarter Balance tests, which help to gauge how each individual student and the school system are performing.

In parts of the country, including...

May 4, 2015

Editorial: Another tax shift?      
Charleston Gazette

New legislative leaders are studying a major realignment of state taxes, through the Joint Senate Select Committee on Tax Reform. A recent meeting offered a glimpse of what lawmakers have in mind, such as further tax cuts and even eliminating the personal income tax.

In coming months, GOP leaders presumably will clarify whether they want their 2015 reform to be “revenue-neutral” — producing the same...

May 5, 2015

Tax reform panel urged to move with caution
By Phil Kabler, The Charleston Gazette

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Administration officials Monday urged a legislative Select Committee on Tax Reform to act cautiously and deliberatively in revamping a tax system they said is competitive with surrounding states and national averages.

“Do not divorce the budget from your deliberations on tax policy,” state Revenue Secretary Bob Kiss told the 16-member legislative interim...

May 6, 2015

Summit focuses on workforce training
By Caitlin Cook, The Charleston Gazette

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and other leaders spoke about the importance of workforce training and retraining programs and partnerships between education and industry at the governor’s first Workforce Summit Tuesday afternoon at BridgeValley Community and Technical College in South Charleston.

Moving forward, the state will continue to develop collaborative efforts between business and...

May 6, 2015

Strong April tax collections should mean balanced budget for WV
By Phil Kabler, The Charleston Gazette

Strong tax collections in April should put the state in line to finish the 2014-15 budget year with a balanced budget, Revenue Secretary Bob Kiss said Tuesday.

“I think we’re on target to come in with a balanced budget without having to do anything drastic,” Kiss said during a monthly media conference on state revenue figures.

With two months...

May 8, 2015

Jim Justice to announce political plans Monday
By Jeff Jenkins, WV MetroNews

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — Greenbrier Resort owner Jim Justice has scheduled an announcement for Monday afternoon concerning his political future.

Justice has said several times in recent weeks that he’s “seriously considering” a run for governor. No specifics have been released about Monday’s announcement but hundreds of friends have been invited to the event, which is...

May 11, 2015

WVSDB struggle for funding solutions after vetoes
By Ashton Marra, West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Lawmakers from the Eastern Panhandle tried two separate times to aid the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind during the 2015 legislative session. The schools are struggling to maintain their buildings, some of which are more than 100 years, and looked to the Legislature this year to begin to help them meet their facilities goals.

Those goals,...

May 11, 2015

Group of Cabell teachers shows support for Common Core
By Lacie Pierson, The Huntington Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON — A typically simple measure for the Cabell County Board of Education became the catalyst for a political debate regarding Common Core standards last week.

A group of teachers, who were part of a textbook selection committee, voiced their support for the standards when the debate boiled up during a discussion about a measure to adopt Reading/...

May 11, 2015

Statehouse Beat: What's behind tax reform push?
By Phil Kabler, The Charleston Gazette

Despite its mandate to “aggressively cut taxes” in order to spur economic growth, the first significant meeting of the legislative Select Committee on Fair Taxation seemed more like a solution in search of a problem.

Citing U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Economic Analysis reports, Deputy Revenue Secretary Mark Muchow noted that West Virginia’s corporate taxes as a...

May 11, 2015

Jim Justice running for governor
By Eric Eyre, The Charleston Gazette

West Virginia billionaire businessman Jim Justice announced today he’s running for governor as a Democrat.

Justice, who owns The Greenbrier, serves as president and CEO of about 50 companies, but he’s never held a political office – or even run for election. Forbes magazine estimates Justice’s net worth at $1.6 billion.

He announced his bid for governor this afternoon during a...