December 2016

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December 13, 2016

First projects in Fayette consolidation plan funded
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

The state School Building Authority’s board voted Monday to provide $22.6 million for the first two major projects of Fayette County’s possibly decade-long school consolidation plan: building a new Collins Middle for that school’s displaced students and a new prekindergarten-through second-grade school in the Oak Hill area.

The SBA board’s vote puts it and the...

December 13, 2016

SBA board approves 15 of 18 county requests
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

Out of the 18 county public school systems that requested money in this year’s state School Building Authority “needs” grant funding cycle, only Cabell, Ohio and Wood didn’t get any funding.

The 18 school systems had asked for a combined roughly $94.7 million in this year’s funding cycle, though Fayette County said it was open to receiving funding over two years if not...

December 13, 2016

Fayette will get part of $48 million in SBA funding
By Shauna Johnson, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state School Building Authority will put $48.8 million into school construction projects in West Virginia in the coming year, including $12.6 million for the first of a multi-year construction schedule in Fayette County.

“We don’t feel relieved. What we feel is that we were very fortunate to collaborate with the School Building Authority staff and...

December 14, 2016

Vouchers Dubious plan
Gazette editorial – Charleston Gazette-Mail

Conservatives who control the Legislature are pondering school vouchers — a strategy designed partly to funnel tax money to churches or segregated schools.

This effort is intensified by incoming President Trump’s choice of Betsy DeVos — a longtime foe of public schools — to be his education secretary.

Marshall University professor Bobbi Nicholson explained in a Gazette-Mail...

December 15, 2016

Gilmer freed from state takeover if it agrees to stipulations
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

Gilmer County’s public school system can be freed from a half-decade of state takeover if its locally elected school board members agree to keep their state-appointed superintendent — who opposed returning local control and with whom local board members have fought — through June 30.

The West Virginia Board of Education decided Wednesday to offer the...

December 15, 2016

Chuck Todd, host of ‘Meet the Press,’ comes to W.Va. to meet the voters
By Brad McElhinny, WV MetroNews

The host of “Meet the Press” says political reporters talked a lot about the candidates during the past presidential election, but they didn’t do enough to meet the voters.

So Chuck Todd came to Charleston.

He and a crew were at Black Sheep Burrito on Wednesday afternoon, talking to West Virginia voters and to Senators Shelley Moore Capito and...

December 16, 2016

Justice meets with transition committees in Charleston
By Andrew Brown, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

Jim Justice met with seven private committees made up of a long list of hand-picked transition advisers Thursday, as the governor-elect continues to plan his incoming administration.

Justice previously had appointed the more than 280 people to policy groups covering education, infrastructure, tourism, health care, economic development, energy and the...

December 19, 2016

State BOE to discuss superintendent search in the new year
By Carrie Hodousek, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Board of Education plans to discuss the search for a new state school superintendent in the New Year.

Mike Green, president of the state school board, told MetroNews the board will meet soon to discuss those plans following the resignation of current Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano.

“We’ll surely be meeting over the...

December 22, 2016

Audit: Wayne school system broke policies, faces budget issues 
By Ryan Quinn, Charleston Gazette-Mail

Wayne County’s school board president and its former public schools treasurer are each suggesting the other is trying to deflect scrutiny in the wake of a state Office of Education Performance Audit that says the public school system violated state Board of Education finance policies and saw the cost of its locally funded employees increase more than $1.4...

December 22, 2016

WVU expert believes state’s out-migration has hit bottom
By Jeff Jenkins, WV Metronews

The director of the WVU Bureau of Business and Economic Research believes the significant out-migration of West Virginia residents has bottomed out.

During an appearance Wednesday on MetroNews “Talkline,” John Deskins predicted the population decline is coming to an end.

“The numbers indicate the severe recession that we suffered 2015 through early 2016 has ended...