Audit: Get Rid of RESAs, Keep Services

Dec 6, 2016

A legislative audit of the state’s eight Regional Education Service Agencies says that while many of the services they provide are important, the independent agencies themselves are no longer necessary. 

A map of the eight RESAs in West Virginia.
Credit Department of Education

John Sylvia, Director of the legislative auditor’s Performance Evaluation and Research Division, presented the report during interim meetings Tuesday. 

The audit concludes that while the county-level services the RESAs provide are important, those services can continue without maintaining the agencies themselves.

RESAs are regional extensions of the state Department of Education, but the audit says those agencies operate independently, costing taxpayers millions of dollars.

Sylvia explained the audit recommends restructuring or getting rid of the RESAs altogether.

“The core services should come from regional staff of the DOE, not regional agencies," he said. "Restructuring RESAs in this way would present opportunities to eliminate significant duplication and redundancies.”

The state Department of Education and RESAs were given until January to present a formal response to lawmakers. 

In a written response given to lawmakers Tuesday, the RESAs say the audit was conducted “outside of proper assessment protocol.”