September 2015

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September 9, 2015

State Board adopts Fayette school plan, SBA is next
By Alex Wiederspiel , MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The State Board of Education voted 6-3 in favor of adopting the Fayette County consolidation plan proposed by Superintendent Terry George, which would eliminate merge four high schools into one in the Oak Hill area.

During a meeting in Fayetteville last night, many expressed support for the school plan, but there was an outcry from Meadow Bridge...

September 10, 2015

Logan Spanish instructor wins W.Va. Teacher of the Year award
Staff reports, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

A Logan County Spanish teacher was named 2016 West Virginia Teacher of the Year during a ceremony and dinner Wednesday night in Charleston.

Andrea Santos, who teaches at Logan High School, was selected by a committee appointed by state Superintendent of Schools Michael Martirano, according to a release issued by the state Department of Education.

September 11, 2015

Teacher equity plans approved for 16 states
By Jennifer C. Kerr, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - To ensure all students, regardless of race, ethnicity or economic background, get equal access to the best teachers, Kentucky plans to enhance mentoring for new teachers. Massachusetts will seek to raise standards for teacher education programs, and Rhode Island and Nevada are looking at financial incentives to attract and retain teachers.

The four are...

September 11, 2015

Common Core town hall meetings lack specific grievances, officials say
By Samuel Speciale, Charleston Gazette-Mail
Through three town hall meetings where members of the public could air their grievances with Common Core, criticism of West Virginia’s controversial math and English standards has so far only dealt in generalities.

The West Virginia Department of Education, which currently is facilitating a comprehensive review of its Common Core-...

September 14, 2015

MetroNews West Virginia Poll shows Common Core faces uphill battle

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The MetroNews West Virginia Poll shows many state residents have heard of Common Core and most don’t like what they’ve heard.

Fifty-three percent of those questioned recently said they’ve either heard a great deal or a fair amount about the controversial teaching standards. Thirty percent of those questioned had heard very little about Common Core while 17 percent had either...

September 14, 2015

Audit: W.Va. Dept. of Education underfunded districts by $30M
By Ryan Quinn, Education Reporter, Charleston Gazette-Mail

A new audit says the West Virginia Department of Education has been miscalculating school district appropriations for the past seven years, underfunding 36 districts by a total of $51.7 million and overfunding 19 by $21.6 million during that time frame.

That means districts statewide were underfunded a net $30.1 million due to the...

September 14, 2015

Education audits will affect grades of WV schools
By Ryan Quinn, Education Reporter, Charleston Gazette-Mail

The West Virginia Department of Education will use standardized testing data to calculate grades for schools under the state’s upcoming annual rating system, but Susan O’Brien’s office has the right to suggest lower marks.

O’Brien is executive director of the Office of Education Performance Audits — an agency separate from the Education Department...

September 14, 2015

Business tax cuts not working as planned
By Phil Kabler, Statehouse Beat, Charleston Gazette-Mail

Revenue Secretary Bob Kiss was being brutally frank recently. He conceded that business tax cuts enacted in 2008 have helped create a “structural imbalance” that is contributing to near-monthly revenue shortfalls that over the past two years have forced severe spending and program cuts just to balance the state budget.

With most agencies and programs at the...

September 15, 2015

State school superintendent says may be time to change aid formula
Jeff Jenkins, MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State School Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano said Tuesday on MetroNews ‘Talkline’ that he’s taking an audit of the state School Aid Formula seriously but he doesn’t believe the department did anything wrong.

A legislative audit released Sunday said allocations to school districts were miscalculated from 2009-2015 and some...

September 16, 2015

Coalition argues for tax changes 'that work'
By Phil Kabler, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

Offering a counterpoint to the ongoing meetings of the legislative Joint Committee on Tax Reform, a coalition of education, faith, labor and community-based organizations called on legislators Tuesday to pursue tax changes that they said would benefit all West Virginians.

Declaring “you can’t cut your way to prosperity,” Rick Wilson of the American Friends Service...

September 16, 2015

State school board seeks Common Core lawsuit dismissal
By Samuel Speciale, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

In a motion to dismiss a lawsuit against the West Virginia Board of Education, attorneys representing the state’s chief school policymakers say one Republican’s attempts to shutter the use of Common Core standards is nothing more than a political campaign.

The Charleston-based law firm Bailey and Glasser is asking the state Supreme Court of Appeals to...

September 16, 2015

Lawmakers study sin taxes in W.Va.
By Phil Kabler, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

West Virginia ranks third in the United States in the percentage of state revenue that comes from so-called “sin taxes,” lawmakers considering ways to revamp the state’s tax system were told Tuesday.

More than 11 percent of the state’s budget is funded by gambling, alcohol and tobacco — and most of that money comes from casino and video lottery revenue, according to a Governing...