Public Education

Teacher Pay
3:33 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Senate Alters Governor's Pay Increase for Teachers

The West Virginia Senate Education Committee is proposing a sweeping $1,000 pay raise for teachers.
The bill originally proposed a 2 percent raise.
Committee Chair Bob Plymale says they hope the raise will begin to attract highly qualified teachers.
He says many teachers across the state are nearing retirement and the committee wants to compete for new teachers nationally.
While the committee doesn't feel an across-the-board raise of $1,000 is competitive enough, Plymale says it's a start.

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Water Concerns
5:00 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Kanawha Co. Schools Pulling Brand of Bottled Water from Circulation

Credit Kanawha County Schools

Test results show bottled water provided to Kanawha County Schools do not contain coliform after a health official discontinued its use Wednesday.

The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department ran tests for coliform, an indicator of bacteria, after complaints that the water had a musty smell and an issue with taste.

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2:11 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

W.Va. to Get Funding for Low-Performing Schools

West Virginia will receive $3.2 million in federal funding for continued efforts to help low-performing schools.
     The U.S. Department of Education announced more than $38 million in school improvement grants for West Virginia and five other states Friday. Education agencies in each state will dole out the funding to districts that demonstrate the greatest need for the funds.

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4:10 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Senate Passes Bill Requiring CPR Training for High School Students

Credit Ashton Marra

The upper chamber passed four bills Monday. They include:

Senate Bill 267

The bill ensure that state courts have jurisdiction over prosecuting unauthorized or fraudulent uses of state purchasing cards when used out of state. Penalties include 1-5 years of imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

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Inside Appalachia
7:00 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Disposing of Frack Waste, Clean Water Education in Virginia, The Pink Teepee, and More

The natural gas boom begs the question: what do you do with the waste?

A Virginia learning center focuses on good water stewardship.

3-D printers help Marshall University students learn human evolution.

And…what is that pink, teepee-shaped building in Pocahontas County, W.Va., anyway?

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Water Crisis
5:22 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Tests Show Presence of MCHM at Five W.Va. Schools

Credit Kanawha County Schools

Tests conducted more than two weeks after a chemical spill tainted the water supply for 300,000 West Virginians show the presence of the chemical remains in five schools.
     The state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management on Friday released the results of water samples taken at 83 schools in five counties.

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Childhood Obesity
1:32 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Teachers Support Senate Bill to Get Students Moving

Senate Majority Leader John Unger
Credit WV Legislature

With the Success of the Feed to Achieve Act last year, Senate Majority Leader John Unger is now looking to take on childhood obesity with new legislation. He introduced the Move to Improve Act into the Senate Thursday.

“Move to Improve goes into our middle schools and our elementary schools and really tries to instill in our students the importance of good nutrition and physical activity,” Unger said.

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11:43 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Harrison Board Names Mark Manchin as Schools Chief

Credit School Building Authority of West Virginia

West Virginia School Building Authority executive director Mark Manchin has been named schools superintendent in Harrison County.
 The Harrison County Board of Education approved a three-year contract for Manchin on Wednesday. He will begin his new job on July 1.

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West Virginia Morning
11:26 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Is Formaldehyde in Charleston's Water?, Snow Days Pile Up, & More

Reactions to reports of formaldehyde in Charleston's water come after Dr. Scott Simonton of Marshall University and the Environmental Quality Board found the chemical in Vandalia Grill's water, the House rejects a resolution that would allow active-duty personnel to vote in the legislature, and researchers from Downstream Strategies raise more questions about this months chemical spill. Also, many county school systems struggle to make 180 days of classroom education.

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9:31 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Harrison Co. Expected to Name Mark Manchin as Superintendent

Mark A. Manchin
Credit School Building Authority of West Virginia

West Virginia School Building Authority executive director Mark Manchin says he plans to step down to become Harrison County's school superintendent.
     The county Board of Education has scheduled a special meeting Wednesday to vote on a proposed contract. School board president David Sturm tells media outlets that he expects the board to approve the contract.
     Manchin says he will accept the job if it's offered.

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Public Education
9:39 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Union Leader Says 2 Percent a Start in Teacher Pay Raise

West Virginia Education Association President Dale Lee
Credit WVEA

Governor Tomblin announced a 2 percent pay raise for teachers during his State of the State Address, but union representatives say the state needs more to keep quality teachers in the classrooms.

West Virginia Education Association President Dale Lee said he was glad to hear education is still a top priority for the governor this legislative session, but thinks more can be done for teacher pay.

“We will continue to work with the House and Senate to see if we can improve on that two percent realizing that it’s a starting point,” he said Wednesday.

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Ed Fund
3:43 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Kessler Wants Part of Natural Gas Tax for Education

WV Senate Pres. Jeffrey Kessler wants to create a future fund for education despite current budget woes.
Credit WV Legislature

WV Senate President Jeff Kessler says he thinks he has the support of Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and WV House Speaker Tim Miley to create a future fund for education and other needs, despite budget woes.

Kessler says the plan would set aside a portion of the severance tax on the state's natural gas industry for the fund. But it wouldn't impose any higher tax rates or affect current government programs.

The plan could infuse more money for future teacher pay raises, infrastructure and other needs.

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West Virginia Morning
8:42 am
Mon January 6, 2014

West Virginia's Teacher of the Year & County Courthouses Are 'Living Monuments'

Berkeley County 5th grade teacher Erin Sponaugle is West Virginia's Teacher of the Year and a new book highlights the history of the state's county courthouses.

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3:38 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

W.Va. Board Cites Progress on Education Priorities

Credit West Virginia Department of Education

West Virginia education officials they've made progress on the governor's education priorities but more needs to be done.

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3:16 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Reconnecting McDowell Board Approves Location for Teacher Village

The Reconnecting McDowell board of directors approved a plan today to purchase property in downtown Welch, W.Va., on which to build much-needed, affordable housing for teachers and other professionals.

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1:57 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Raleigh County Head Start Awarded One Million Plus

Preschool children and their families benefit from Head Start education and health programs.
Credit Clark Davis

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded $1,121,678 to Raleigh County Community Action Association in Beckley to continue its Head Start program.

The program serves pre-school aged children at eight sites throughout the county.

Head Start is a national program for low-income pre-school children that prepares them for elementary school. The program provides comprehensive education activities in classrooms. It also provides social, nutritional, health and mental health, and transportation services for children and their families.

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Public Education
10:27 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Lawmakers Get an Education on Career Opportunities for Students

Assistant State Superintendent of Schools with the West Virginia Department of Education, Division of Technical and Adult Education Services, Dr. Kathy D'Antoni.
Credit WVDE

The Governor’s Education Reform Bill passed through the legislature and was signed into law earlier this year. That bill was seen as a major overall to the state’s public education system which critics said was failing West Virginia students, but was only meant to be the first step in reform.

From preschool to college and beyond, legislators have spent the past nine months hearing from the state Department of Education and the Higher Education Policy Commission about how they’re working to expand their reach and improve the quality of education students’ are receiving.

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2:06 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Industry Says Students Need Soft Skills to Succeed

Karen Price, president of the West Virginia Manufacturer's Association, told legislators more middle skill jobs will be available in the coming years, but the state needs more technically trained employees to fill those positions.
Credit Ashton Marra

More than 42,000 West Virginians are employed by the manufacturing industry and state lawmakers were told that number is expected to grow in the coming years, but industry leaders say the state needs to focus on educating those workers now.

President of the West Virginia Manufacturer’s Association Karen Price said the problem with the state’s manufacturing industry is not a job shortage, but a labor shortage.

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Privacy in Schools
10:34 am
Fri November 15, 2013

State Board of Education Acts to Maintain Student Privacy

Credit Cecelia Mason

The West Virginia Board of Education is pledging not to share students' personal information with anyone outside the system.
     The move was codified with a resolution passed at the board's regular meeting this week and will eventually become policy.
     The Charleston Daily Mail reports that the action was taken in large part to appease those are concerned with West Virginia's adoption of the national Common Core standards for education.

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3:14 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

School grades improving but still lagging behind

National report card shows improvements, but students still behind.
Credit Cecelia Mason

The 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress report shows 35 percent of West Virginia's fourth graders scored at or above the proficient level in math.

While that's up from a score of 31 percent in 2011, it's still below the national average. Nationwide, 42 percent of fourth graders are meeting or exceeding proficiency.

At the same time West Virginia’s eight graders show similar improvements and have similar disparities in scores.

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