Education

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has filled two vacancies on the state Board of Education.

Justice announced the appointments this week of Frank Vitale of Morgantown and Jeffrey Flanagan of Charleston.

Stephen Baldwin
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Both the House and Senate are considering bills this year to change the state’s education standards once again. It’s a reoccurring theme at the statehouse since Republican lawmakers took control of the chamber in 2015.

In the Senate, lawmakers have approved a bill that does not replace the current college and career ready standards taught in schools, but calls for a cyclical review of those standards with the input of West Virginia teachers.

In the House, however, the discussion over potential changes is just beginning.

Marshall University and West Virginia University

The presidents of Marshall and West Virginia universities say further state funding cuts to higher education would be devastating.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

At the start of this legislative session, Republican leaders warned that public education could be on the chopping block, seeing reductions that the system has historically been protected from. During a recent press conference, both House Speaker Tim Armstead and Senate President Mitch Carmichael said they’ll work to mitigate the harm to classrooms and teachers, but funding will be reduced. The House’s Education Chairman says with those funding reductions, lawmakers are working to give county school systems more flexibility in how they spend their limited dollars.

Patricia Rucker
Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A bill to prohibit any Common Core-based education standards from being taught in West Virginia classrooms was taken up in the Senate’s Education committee Saturday. The standards have been debated for years at the statehouse and now lawmakers are looking at legislation that specifies what can be taught.

classroom
Arria Belli / Wikimedia Commons

A Nicholas County judge has declined to immediately stop the controversial plan to consolidate five Nicholas County public schools into two schools that share a single campus following a flood last year.

Judge James Rowe on Thursday denied a preliminary injunction that had been requested by supporters of rebuilding Richwood's flood-damaged schools in the Richwood area instead of consolidating them into a single campus near Summersville.

Cathy Justice
Daniel Walker / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

First Lady Cathy Justice spoke at her first solo event Wednesday since her husband’s election. The First Lady helped recognize International Women’s Day at the Capitol, kicking off Women’s History Month.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The House voted on two education-related bills Tuesday – one that would give The West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind access to the School Building Authority and another aimed at giving higher education institutions more control of their own affairs.

WVU Tech in Montgomery, West Virginia
WVU Tech

Some child advocates say a plan by a nonprofit group to convert a southern West Virginia campus into a college specifically for children transitioning out of the foster care system is not a good idea.

Tina Faber is based at West Virginia University in Morgantown and runs a state program called Mentoring with Oversight for Developing Independence with Foster Youth, or MODIFY.

She told the Charleston Gazette-Mail that it's very important for children in foster care to live a normal life and to be with peers who aren't foster children.

Jennifer Garner
Cliff Owen / AP

Actress Jennifer Garner says growing up "surrounded by generational, rural poverty" in West Virginia inspired her to become an advocate for early-childhood education.

Garner spoke at a meeting of the National Governors Association on Saturday about programs that bring educators into the homes of low-income parents to help them get their kids ready for kindergarten. At one point, her microphone was cut off and she said, "It's like the Oscars!"

Perry Bennett / WV Legislative Photography

During both the 2015 and the 2016 state Legislative sessions, the House of Delegates pushed a bill that would make the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind eligible for funding from the West Virginia School Building Authority, or SBA. In 2015, it was vetoed by then-Governor Tomblin, and in 2016, it never made it out of the Senate’s Finance committee. Now, members in the House are trying once again this year, with House Bill 2123.

Glenville State College
Fæ / Wikimedia Commons

Glenville State College is bringing in three presidential finalists for on-campus interviews.

The college says in a news release that each candidate will have two-day visits later this month.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia House and Senate met for the first day of the 2017 regular state Legislative session Wednesday.

 

The first official day of the 83rd West Virginia Legislative session began as House Speaker Tim Armstead and Senate President Mitch Carmichael gaveled in Wednesday.

 

 


Today the Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos as President Trump's education secretary, 51-50.

Newly elected West Virginia Board of Education President Tom Campbell, left, with state Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano, right, during Thursday's meeting.
Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Board of Education has elected a new president and vice president after a string of resignations this week. 

Former Delegate Tom Campbell was elected president of the board during an emergency meeting Thursday. A certified public accountant, Campbell was appointed by Gov. Tomblin in 2012 and after several resignations is now the board’s longest-serving member.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia Senate President Mitch Carmichael says he supports new Gov. Jim Justice's proposal to cut the state government's education bureaucracy.

Carmichael, leader of the Republican-controlled Senate, says it's "encouraging" to see a governor ready to make wholesale changes to the education system, something he says legislators have been trying for.

The West Virginia Board of Education has voted to approve grants to seven schools that will share more than $1.6 million for innovations in education.

Jessica Lilly

In this week’s Inside Appalachia, we take a look at first generation college students.  We’ll hear about challenges that first generation college students are going through, and how some colleges and universities are trying to help these students stay in school.

Cecelia Mason

A new study predicts that West Virginia will see smaller high school graduation class sizes and slightly more racial diversity in the coming years. 

WVU, West Virginia University, Coliseum
Wikimedia Commons

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission reports that more students are entering four-year colleges in West Virginia this year with almost four percent more freshmen than last year while overall enrollment remains steady.

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