State board on Wednesday discussed but postponed Boone decision

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State board on Wednesday discussed but postponed Boone decision
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

Audience members left the West Virginia Board of Education meeting Wednesday without knowing whether the board will take over Boone County’s school system and make the severe employee pay and benefits cuts that the state schools superintendent has twice ordered and Boone’s school board has twice refused to follow.

The meeting will continue 9 a.m. Thursday in the same place — Room 353 of Building 6 of the Capitol Complex in Charleston — and state school board President Mike Green said he expects the Boone issues will be taken up early.

The state Department of Education, which state Schools Superintendent Michael Martirano leads and the state board oversees, still hasn’t approved a budget for Boone for the 2016-17 fiscal year, which technically started July 1.

Martirano’s ordered cuts would have included cutting thousands of dollars in pay for each employee and eliminating employer-paid vision and dental insurance coverage.

The education department has said the budget Boone had submitted for the 2016-17 fiscal year undershot and overshot expected revenue and expenses for various items, in some cases by hundreds of thousands of dollars, and would run out of money to fund expenses as early as April 2017.

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