WV state school board approves closing three Brooke schools
By Ryan Quinn, Charleston Gazette-Mail
HUNTINGTON — The West Virginia Board of Education approved Tuesday closing three of Brooke County’s seven public elementary schools.
The state school board, meeting at Marshall University’s Memorial Student Center, also heard that the state’s four-year high school graduation rate for last school year was 89.4 percent, about the same as the prior school year.
The five-year graduation rate, according to state Department of Education officials, did rise to about 90.4 percent, up from 87.4 percent the prior year.
No nays were heard in the state board’s voice vote to approve closing Brooke’s Beech Bottom, Colliers and Lauretta B. Millsop primary schools. The state Department of Education agreed with the Brooke Board of Education’s recommendation to close the schools.
State board President Tom Campbell was the only member who didn’t attend the meeting. Board members Jeff Flanagan, Scott Rotruck and Frank Vitale attended but were on teleconference during the Brooke vote, so it was unclear which participated in the vote.
“As enrollment continues to decline, it is evident that we can no longer afford the luxury of being spread throughout seven elementary schools,” Brooke schools Superintendent Toni Shute told the state board.
Shute said Brooke’s total public school enrollment is about 2,800. That’s down more than 400 students since the 2009-10 school year.