November 2015

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November 10, 2015

State employees decry PEIA benefit cuts in Wheeling
By Linda Comins, Staff Writer, The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING - A West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Agency Finance Board public hearing Monday night drew a large crowd opposed to higher insurance costs for active and retired state workers.

Twenty-one people, out of an audience of about 200, spoke against proposed increases, calling the new rates unaffordable. Many speakers also...

November 10, 2015

Fayette school superintendent drilled with questions during construction project request to SBA

By Carrie Hodousek | WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — What should have been a 15 minute slot for Fayette County School Superintendent Terry George to present the county’s school consolidation plan to members of the state School Building Authority Tuesday resulted in over an hour of questions that drilled George on the plan.

George was the...

November 11, 2015

PEIA hearing in Charleston sees large disgruntled crowd
By Matt Maccaro, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Public Employee’s Insurance Agency’s public hearing at Charleston Civic Center saw a large crowd Tuesday night, as members came out to express their disapproval with the agency’s plan to raise insurance deductibles.

In a $120 million hole, the PEIA is proposing a $500 increase for workers on an individual plan and $1,000 for those with a family...

November 11, 2015

Raucous crowd in Charleston tells Legislature to adequately fund PEIA
By Phil Kabler, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

A large, loud and raucous crowd of teachers, public employees and retirees had a clear message Tuesday for the Legislature: Come up with adequate funding for their health insurance coverage.

Tuesday’s public hearing of the Public Employees Insurance Agency Finance Board at the Civic Center Little Theater was the fourth of six scheduled...

November 11, 2015

State Supreme Court throws out Jorea Marple's lawsuit against WVBE
By Kate White, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

The West Virginia Supreme Court on Tuesday threw out a lawsuit filed by ousted state schools superintendent Jorea Marple against the state Board of Education and its former president, after she was abruptly fired in 2012.

The opinion reversed Kanawha Circuit Judge James Stucky’s decision. Stucky had ruled last year that the school board and former...

November 12, 2015

Mike Hall: PEIA conversation starts with Tomblin
By Phil Kabler, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

Teachers, public employees and retirees made clear at Tuesday’s Public Employees Insurance Agency Finance Board public hearing that they want the Legislature to increase funding for PEIA to alleviate a planned $120 million in benefit cuts.

However, Senate Finance Chairman Mike Hall, R-Putnam, said Wednesday that any decision to increase state funding for PEIA...

November 12, 2015

State board to consider Common Core standards revisions, testing reductions
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

The West Virginia Department of Education is recommending that the state Board of Education take previous reductions in science and social studies standardized testing and make them permanent, while still determining what to do with the Common Core-based math and English language arts standards.

Clayton Burch, the department’s chief...

November 13, 2015

Public employees rally against PEIA cuts in Beckley
By Lindsay Oliver, WVVA Multimedia Journalist

BECKLEY (WVVA) - Hundreds of public employees flooded Beckley Thursday night to fight against an increase in health care insurance costs.

Representatives from West Virginia's Public Employees Insurance Agency, or PEIA, held a public hearing to discuss cuts to the program.

PEIA is a non-profit state agency that told the crowd that they have no choice...

November 15, 2015

Statehouse Beat: Level of anger at PEIA hearing new
By Phil Kabler, WV Gazette-Mail

 I’ve covered many Public Employees Insurance Agency public hearings over the years, but I’ve never seen this level of anger and frustration among teachers, public employees and retirees over the proposed $120 million of benefits cuts — which doesn’t bode well for the Legislature.

Many of the speakers at the Charleston hearing, particularly those representing teachers’...

November 16, 2015

Martirano, state board recommend repeal of Next Gen/Common Core
By Jeff Jenkins | Metronews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Board of Education voted Friday to put out for a 30-day public comment period new academic standards that would replace the controversial West Virginia Next Generation Standards tied to Common Core along with recommending significant changes in standardized testing.

State School Superintendent Dr. Michael...

November 16, 2015

Lawmakers Skeptical of Superintendent's Common Core Repeal
House Speaker Tim Armstead said he was surprised to hear West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Martirano had proposed repealing the state's Common Core-based education standards, but is skeptical of the new set of standards backed by the schools chief.

Martirano proposed a repeal during a West Virginia Board of Education meeting Friday...

November 16, 2015

Legislature doing side-by-side comparison of new academic standards
By Jeff Jenkins | MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State Senate President Bill Cole says the state Board of Education has sent a “great signal” that it’s willing to work with the legislature on finding the best academic standards FOR reading, language arts and math for the state’s public school students.

The state board is proposing repealing and replacing the Next Generation/Common Core...