Education

Members of the Joint Committee on Tax Reform continued their work at the Capitol this week reviewing the state's current tax code and looking for ways to improve it. The Monday session brought national policy and tax experts to Charleston to review what other states have done in the areas of reform.

Shay Maunz / West Virginia Focus

During the 2015 Legislative session lawmakers approved, and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed, a bill allowing alternative training methods for teachers who head West Virginia classrooms.

While the bill sets forth specific requirements for those teachers, like having a bachelor's degree and setting up a work agreement with the county school system, what it essentially does is allow the controversial program Teach for America to operate in the state.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Lawmakers from the Eastern Panhandle tried two separate times to aid the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind during the 2015 legislative session. The schools are struggling to maintain their buildings, some of which are more than 100 years, and looked to the Legislature this year to begin to help them meet their facilities goals. 

Those goals, contained in the schools' 10 year Comprehensive Education Facilities Plan, including closing and demolishing some buildings on campus to create a "stronger sense of community," according to Superintendent Dr. Lynn Boyer. 

The plan includes updated housing for residential students, increased building security and the installation of fire and sprinkler systems suitable for deaf and hearing impaired and blind and visually impaired students and teachers. The plan, however, comes with a $42 million price tag.


Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A new program through the West Virginia Department of Education is taking state government issued computers and turning them into training tools for students of all ages.

The WVDE introduced the program Friday called Second Launch WV, a partnership with the West Virginia Office of Technology.

Second Launch takes computers that are being cycled out of use at state agencies, like the Department of Corrections or Division of Highways, cleans out their databases and places the refurbished desktops in classrooms across the state.

Teams of 8th grade students from around West Virginia will face off Tuesday in an academic bowl competition that focuses on West Virginia history, literature, arts, architecture, geography and culture.

The questions for the history bowl are largely drawn from questions found in the Archives and History Quick Quizzes and Daily Trivia.

West Liberty University / via Facebook

West Liberty University's Faculty Senate has voted no confidence in another administrator.

The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register reports the Faculty Senate approved the no confidence vote in chief financial officer Jack Wright on Wednesday during a closed meeting.

Golden Horseshoe
West Virginia Division of Culture and History

More than 220 eighth graders are being honored as winners of the Golden Horseshoe Award for their knowledge of West Virginia history and culture.   

A ceremony is set for Friday at the state Culture Center in Charleston to recognize the top-scoring students in each county.

Wikipedia / en.wikipedia.org

Marshall University is simplifying its tuition and fee structure.

The university Board of Governors on announced the move Wednesday.

Chief Financial Officer Mary Ellen Heuton says Marshall will eliminate all off-campus and regional campus fees and most fees for courses and labs. Instead, fees will be based on their specific degree programs.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Groundbreaking for the new Proctor & Gamble Company in Berkeley County is expected to be this fall.

Stephen Christian is the executive director of the Berkeley County Development Authority. In a speech to the community Friday, Christian said negotiations for what became the plans to bring Proctor & Gamble into the county began in fall of 2012.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

“I have promised my children that I will do everything in my power to fix this and I believe that we finally with this bond have a chance to do that.” -Shauna Starks

Fayette County parents like Shauna Starks spoke during the West Virginia Board of Education's April meeting in favor of the county's upcoming $66.5 million bond vote.

Megan Bacorn, Fifth Grade Teacher Union Elementary School, Buckhannon, West Virginia Edit | Remove

Sweetness46 at en.wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

  Ohio County Board of Education members want to change a policy that would limit the ability of board members to teleconference into meetings. Currently, the policy allows members to call in from wherever they are. The five-member board is set to discuss whether or not meeting participation is overly restricted by distance and technology, at the next board meeting.


Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Board of Education voted 6-2 Thursday to adopt an amended set of science standards for West Virginia schools. The amendments came at the request of Board member and previous Board President Wade Linger.

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West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Martirano announced Thursday the state Department of Education will take on a full review of the state’s Next Generation Content Standards for English and math.


Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Board of Education and State Superintendent of Schools have denied the requests of nearly 30 counties to waive their 180 instructional day requirement.

West Virginia University

A lab in West Virginia University Hospitals' Health Sciences Building has temporarily closed following the discovery of asbestos in dust.

WVU Hospitals risk management and safety director Roger Osbourn tells The Dominion Post that the asbestos is an isolated incident. He says it most likely resulted when a pipe was bumped during renovations on the floor above the lab.

West Virginia students will take a new online standardized test this year that's based on the national Common Core standards.

The testing window for the Smarter Balanced Assessment begins next week and runs through June 24. Counties and schools will set their own testing schedules.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed two education bills Thursday, one meant to give some teachers a pay raise and another to put some restrictions on the state Board of Education when they take over a county school system.

Slick-o-bot / wikimedia Commons

A report says one-third of West Virginia schoolchildren under age 6 live in poor households and are at risk of falling significantly behind their classmates' achievements.

The West Virginia KIDS COUNT's annual report on children's wellbeing says the vocabularies of children as young as 18 months from low-income families are already several months behind their peers, and that continues throughout their educations.

http://westliberty.edu/

Former West Liberty University President Robin Capehart will earn the same salary in his new role as a legislative liaison and consultant.

Capehart resigned last week following an ethics complaint and a vote of no confidence by the faculty senate. He will remain with the university through 2015.

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