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Bobbi Nicholson: The problem with school vouchers, besides their segregationist roots, effects

Let’s be clear: Donald Trump’s choice for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, has never been a teacher or a principal or a superintendent. She’s never run a school or a school district, and if she has any experience with higher education other than having been a student, there’s no record of it.

She did not herself attend either a public school or a public...


Brad Simmons: New A-F grading system fails (Daily Mail)

For years, public schools in West Virginia have been measured objectively and completely by the state Board of Education’s Office of Education Performance Audits.

Audit staff and personnel from peer schools visit and comprehensively evaluate each public school on a four-year schedule. The audit evaluates the school, administration, teachers and support staff on seven comprehensive standards and determines...


Audit recommends shifting authority of RESAs to state 
Ryan Quinn, Charleston Gazette-Mail

A newly publicized legislative audit recommends taking away “all autonomy and independence” from West Virginia’s eight Regional Education Service Agencies — the multi-county organizations that are supposed to aid county public school systems — and transferring the agencies’ power and employees to the state Department of Education.

Officials from RESAs, which help...


PEIA director says big cuts may happen every year
By Phil Kabler, Charleston Gazette-mail

A week after the Public Employees Insurance Agency Finance Board approved about $50 million in benefits cuts for next year for those covered by the health insurance plan, PEIA Executive Director Ted Cheatham told legislators Tuesday that could become the norm.

“We’re going to need $50 [million] to $60 million a year, every year, of new funding,” Cheatham said of...


Casey: Tax hikes should be part of WV’s budget talks
Phil Kabler, Charleston Gazette-mail

West Virginia Gov.-elect Jim Justice’s newly announced chief of staff said that, after a slow start, the transition is in full gear.“I know the transition process is not fits and starts,” Nick Casey said Wednesday. “I can hear it humming.”

Casey, a longtime Charleston lawyer and lobbyist and former chairman of the state Democratic Party, said it is clear the key...