December 2015

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December 10, 2015

Obama signs Every Student Succeeds Act, replacing NCLB
By The Associated Press/NBC 10 Philadelphia

President Barack Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Thursday, a bipartisan bill that will fix the No Child Left Behind Act to reduce over-testing and one-size-fits-all federal mandates.

"It's a Christmas miracle here, a bipartisan bill," the president said in his remarks before signing the bill into law.

The Senate voted overwhelmingly...

December 11, 2015

PEIA urges Legislature to provide more funding as cuts are approved
By Eric Eyre, The Charleston Gazette-Mail
More than 200,000 public employees and retirees in West Virginia will see “draconian” cuts to their health insurance benefits next year — unless state lawmakers decide to fully fund the program during the upcoming legislative session.

Members of the state’s Public Employees Insurance Agency Finance Board voted unanimously Thursday to...

December 11, 2015

Letter: Vote 'Yes' for the Jefferson school levy
By Eleanor Finn, Shepardstown Chronicle

As a former high school social studies teacher I can attest to the fact that schools and students benefit from having adequate resources.

The school system in Jefferson County has already had to deal with an unexpected mid-year state budget cut and further cuts would have a seriously negative impact.

West Virginia suffers from an undereducated population. If we...

December 11, 2015

Legislative leaders quick to criticize PEIA benefit reduction
By Shauna Johnson, WV MetroNews

Senate President Bill Cole (R-Mercer, 06), is among those moving quickly to criticize the $120 million in benefit reductions members of the Public Employees Insurance Agency’s Finance Board approved this week for state workers and retirees.

With the Thursday vote, Cole, a Republican gubernatorial candidate, said in a statement the board “voted unanimously to...

December 14, 2015

W.Va. lawmakers pushing for more math, ELA standards changes
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

State legislative leaders aren’t fully satisfied with the proposed changes to West Virginia’s K-12 math and English language arts standards, and are meeting Monday with the state Board of Education’s president to suggest additional alterations.

Amanda Pasdon, R-Monongalia and chairwoman of the House Education Committee, wrote in text messages to a...

December 14, 2015

SBA to vote today on needs projects, including Fayette's
By Alex Wiederspiel, WV MetroNews

The School Building Authority will vote Monday on whether or not to provide priority funding to Fayette County and adopt their school consolidation plan as laid out in the Fayette County Comprehensive Educational Facilities Plan (CEFP).

The plan calls for the SBA to provide 39 million dollars to Fayette County over a three-year period with Fayette County providing...

December 14, 2015

SBA denies funding for Fayette consolidations
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

The state School Building Authority’s board chose Monday to deny funding for Fayette County’s controversial consolidation plan.

Of the 11 board members, only State Schools Superintendent Michael Martirano and Tina Combs, who’s also a state school board member, were heard voting against removing Fayette’s proposal from consideration. Peter Markham, the SBA board’s...

December 16, 2015

Alternative funding not yet identified for PEIA
By Phil Kabler, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

While legislative leaders are touting possible alternative funding options to ease $120 million of benefits cuts for West Virginia’s Public Employees Insurance Agency insurees, nothing definitive has been found, officials said.

Shortly after the PEIA Finance Board approved what have been termed “draconian” cuts in benefits for active employees and retirees, House...

December 17, 2015

Lawmakers mum about meeting on Common Core standards
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

State legislative leaders still haven’t said what specific further changes they’d like the West Virginia Board of Education to make to the state’s Common Core-based math and English language arts K-12 standards.

Lawmakers met privately with board President Mike Green Monday, ahead of the board’s expected vote this week to approve standards alterations that it...

December 18, 2015

State BOE adopts new academic standards
By Carrie Hodousek, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Board of Education voted unanimously Thursday to repeal the controversial Common Core/Next Generation teaching standards and adopt a new set of standards called the College and Career Readiness Standards for English, language arts and mathematics, but state lawmakers say the new standards don’t address all the issues that have been raised in recent...

December 21, 2015

W.Va. schools report nearly 600 teacher vacancies statewide

 By Carrie Hodousek  | WV MetroNews

There are nearly 600 teacher vacancies statewide, according to a report finalized by the West Virginia Department of Education this month.

The report states 593.5 positions, including part-time jobs, included teachers, substitutes and those without full certifications to teach certain subjects.

The largest amount of vacancies are in special education at...

December 21, 2015

Board aims to educate lawmaker on school system
By James Blankenship | Posted: Saturday, December 19, 2015 5:00 am

PRINCETON — When the West Virginia Legislature reconvenes on Jan. 13, 2016, representatives including West Virginia Senate President and gubernatorial candidate Senator Bill Cole will be well-educated on the issues that weigh heavy on the minds of the Mercer County Board of Education.

A legislative panel met with the board ahead of the...