December 2015

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December 1, 2015

Teacher shortages and inadequate resources fail special needs students in W.Va
By Robert Devitt, Logan Helfferich and Kayla Kesselman | The Daily Anthenaeum

Roy Stevens, a 17-year-old with Down syndrome, wasn’t receiving adequate special education services at his high school in Hundred, West Virginia, so the local school board required him to attend another school about an hour away from his home.

Because the Wetzel County Board of...

December 2, 2015

County officials say they weren't contacted by TFA
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

Officials from two of the three West Virginia counties that a Teach For America leader said the group plans to serve say they haven’t been contacted by the organization, and one official said his county likely won’t need the program.

“I have had no contact with anyone from Teach for America, and if I had, I have a feeling their plans would have been altered,”...

December 3, 2015

Graduation rate rises in West Virginia high schools
By MetroNews Staff

More students in West Virginia are graduating from high school, according to data released Wednesday by the West Virginia Department of Education.

West Virginia saw a 2 percent increase from 84.5 percent in 2013-14 to 86.5 percent in 2014-15 in four-year graduation rates.

The graduation rate statewide has increased throughout the last five years, increasing nearly 20 percentage...

December 3, 2015

House easily passes NCLB rewrite
By Jennifer C. Kerr, The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - After years of failed efforts, the House voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to sharply scale back the federal role in American education. But the bill would retain the testing requirement in the 2002 No Child Left Behind law that many parents, teachers and school districts abhor.

The legislation, approved 359-64, would return to the states the decision-making power...

December 3, 2015

Delegates plan to introduce bill to change school calendar
By Pamela Pritt, The Register-Herald

The number of school days will be fewer for students, but teachers will have an extra five days of staff development if a bill proposed by Fayette County Delegate Dave Perry is passed in the upcoming legislative session.

Instructional days would be reduced to 175, including three inclement weather days, but teachers would still have 200 days of employment,...

December 4, 2015

Vote on PEIA cuts postponed
By Phil Kabler, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

A vote to cut health insurance benefits for more than 200,000 public employees and retirees by more than $120 million next year was postponed Thursday — not by a last-minute reprieve, but by a clerical error.

Members of the Public Employees Insurance Agency Finance Board were poised to proceed with approval of what PEIA Executive Director Ted Cheatham has called draconian cuts, but...

December 7, 2015

State budget problems continue to grow
By Jeff Jenkins, WV MetroNews

State Revenue Secretary Bob Kiss said Friday the state’s budget problems are going to continue to grow following another month of missing the mark on revenue collections.

The state collected $290 million in taxes in November, which was $22.9 million below estimates. Following four months of the fiscal year, the state is $114.5 million below where it thought it would be, Kiss said.

December 7, 2015

Congress set to pass wide-ranging schools bill
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

Following the U.S. House of Representatives’ overwhelming bipartisan vote in support, the Senate is expected to vote this week on a bill that would eliminate federal mandates regarding teacher evaluations and increase flexibility in how states hold their schools accountable.

The Every Student Succeeds Act, which includes many more national education changes, is a...

December 8, 2015

WVBE member files ethics complaint against board president
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

As an expected decision on funding Fayette County’s controversial school consolidation plan nears, a West Virginia Board of Education member has filed an ethics complaint against the board’s president regarding related issues.

State school board member Bill White said he signed a complaint Thursday against board President Mike Green, alleging that a state...

December 9, 2015

Nomination deadline nears for teacher achievement awards
The Charleston Gazette-Mail

The nomination deadline is approaching for the 2015-2016 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards Program.

The program is the longest-running privately sponsored teacher recognition program in the state. The deadline for nominations is Jan. 4, 2016.

Each nominated teacher will be required to complete a rigorous application focusing on the teaching profession and their...

December 9, 2015

Martirano cites poor facilities as WVBE calls for priority funding for Fayette
By Pamela Pritt, The Register-Herald

CHARLESTON— State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Martirano has visited all 55 counties in West Virginia, but in none of them has seen the number of schools as badly in need of repair or replacement as those in Fayette County.

After the West Virginia Board of Education's 6-2 vote Tuesday to recommend the School Building Authority give...

December 9, 2015

SBA staff concerned with Fayette consolidation plan
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

Alongside endorsements of other counties’ proposed projects, state School Building Authority employees have expressed concerns with Fayette County’s controversial high school consolidation plan.

That’s according to staff comments attached to an agenda for the SBA board’s meeting Monday, when the board is expected to choose which school construction and...