WV Senate Finance Committee delays action on $79M education funding cut
Ryan Quinn, WV Gazette-Mail
Amid criticism from Democrats and questions about the bill’s constitutionality, West Virginia’s Senate Finance Committee postponed Saturday taking action on a bill that would cut state funding to public education next fiscal year by about $79 million.
Senate Bill 609 would also newly authorize county school boards to raise regular levy property-tax rates if they want no funding loss. Amy Willard, executive director of the state Office of School Finance, provided numbers on what each county public school system would lose if SB 609 passed and the county school board didn’t raise tax rates at all: Kanawha would lose about $9.3 million, Monongalia would lose $5 million, Putnam would lose $2.7 million, Logan would lose $1.3 million, Wayne would lose $1.1 million and Boone would lose $900,000.
Willard said if school boards raise their regular levy tax rates to the new maximum allowed under the bill, they would effectively have no funding change next fiscal year.