June 2015

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June 1, 2015

Public colleges across W.Va. raising tuition — again
By Ryan Quinn, Staff writer

All but one of West Virginia’s public four-year colleges intend to raise in-state tuition and fees next academic year — most by about 5 percent, and several by more. That’s according to information reviewed Friday by the state Higher Education Policy Commission, which, in separate action at its meeting at Shepherd University, approved the first new higher education institution to...

June 1, 2015

Cole to announce political plans Tuesday
By Jeff Jenkins, WV MetroNews

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — State Senate President Bill Cole has scheduled a pair of media events for Tuesday in which the Mercer County Republican is expected to announce a run for governor in 2016.

“He will make his intentions for 2016 clear when he participates in events in Charleston and Bluefield tomorrow,” Kent Gates, Republican consultant working with the Cole campaign told MetroNews...

June 1, 2015

Martirano: Students will work through 180th day
By Carrie Houdosek, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Summer break for some West Virginia schools began last week, but other students won’t be getting out until mid-June because of the state law requiring 180 instructional days.

“We have to maximize the instructional time,” said state Superintendent Michael Martirano. “So making certain kids are in school every day, that we’re maximizing the time on task, is...

June 2, 2015

Senate president Cole officially enters race for governor
By Joel Ebert, Charleston Daily Mail

State Senate president Bill Cole officially entered West Virginia’s 2016 gubernatorial race on Tuesday.

Cole announced his decision on MetroNews prior to holding a press conference inside his Bluefield Nissan dealership.

“I think we’re at a unique time in our state’s history — a tipping point in which we’ll either return to the back of the pack or advance...

June 3, 2015

Most Kanawha students tested despite opt out movement
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Despite reports of students refusing to take Common Core-related standardized tests in other states and other West Virginia counties, the Mountain State’s largest school district hasn’t seen many students do so.

Jon Duffy, Kanawha County Schools’ director of counseling and testing, said that as of Tuesday about 60 percent of the district’s...

June 4, 2015

State officials: Delegate’s Common Core lawsuit should be thrown out
By Eric Eyre, Staff writer

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and schools Superintendent Michael Martirano want a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Berkeley County Delegate Michael Folk, who’s seeking the repeal Common Core educational standards being taught in public schools.

In court filings, Tomblin’s attorney said Folk, a Republican, is trying to...

June 5, 2015

When It Comes to Education, W.Va. and Ky. Have Plenty to Talk About

On Wednesday, members of the West Virginia Board of Education traveled to Frankfort, Kentucky, to meet with their education counterparts and watch as the Kentucky BOE conducted their monthly meeting. Thursday West Virginia Board President Gayle Manchin said the two states have plenty in common.

It starts with standards. Kentucky and West Virginia are just two of forty four states...

June 5, 2015

W.Va. tax collection shortage worse than it appears
By Phil Kabler, Staff writer

Weak tax collections in May were actually worse than they appear, state Department of Revenue officials said Thursday.May tax collections of $280.7 million fell nearly $4.8 million, or 2 percent, below estimates.

However, as Deputy Revenue Secretary Mark Muchow explained, those figures were propped up by the transfer of $15.6 million from the state’s Income Tax Reserve Fund...

June 8, 2015

High-def camera pilot program catches faces of motorists illegally passing school buses
By Marcus Constantino, Multimedia reporter, Charleston Daily Mail

When people illegally pass school buses in West Virginia, they’re rarely brought to justice because state law doesn’t allow police to ticket offenders solely based on a license plate number.

Kanawha transportation officials are trying out new technology that can positively identify who’s behind the wheel...

June 8, 2015

Legislature Once Again Poised to Consider Common Core Repeal
By Ashton Marra

The battle over Common Core continued at the statehouse Sunday during the Legislature’s June interim meetings. The national education standards were once again the topic of discussion for the Joint Education Committee.

It started with presentations by two Common Core opponents, Susan Summers, head of West Virginians Against Common Core, and Bonnie Henthorn, a member of the Tyler...

June 8, 2015

W.Va. superintendent defends Common Core to Legislature
By Phil Kabler, Staff writer

State Superintendent of Schools Michael Martirano defended West Virginia’s Common Core-based educational standards, telling legislators Sunday that the standards are critical to assure all students in the state are prepared for college or the workforce when they graduate.

“The goal of the new West Virginia educational standards is college and workforce readiness for all...

June 9, 2015

Drug testing public assistance recipients under discussion at WV legislative interims
By Lexi Browning, Daily Mail Staff

The half decade-long debate on drug testing public assistance recipients has resurfaced. The West Virginia Joint Committee on Health and Human Resources Accountability discussed the issue during a meeting Monday at the state Capitol.

Rochelle Finzel, director of the National Conference of State Legislators, said most states were nudging...