Liz McCormick Published

Budget Cuts & Graduation Rates at November Interims


About a dozen education officials from around the state addressed the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability in an interim meeting Monday.

Budget cuts for higher education has been a topic many in the state find frustrating, and this feeling was no different at Monday’s interim meeting.

At least four speakers mentioned their concern over the 4% budget cut to higher education that has affected many programs across the state.

Rachel Harper is the Chair for the Advisory Council of Students. She has three young children and says she’s a non-traditional student at Bridge Valley Community and Technical College.

She says the budget cut is affecting aid and programs many students need.

“Tutoring programs are in jeopardy and even the necessary classes for our fields are being cut to once a year causing us to not finish on time or cut completely causing us to have to switch schools,” Harper said.

Concerns were also heard on cuts to PEIA recipients in education, and officials asked lawmakers to pay close attention to higher education cuts in the upcoming 2016 session.

The graduation rate at higher education institutions in West Virginia was also discussed.

Dr. Neal Holly, the Vice Chancellor for Policy and Planning at the Higher Education Policy Commission announced that in the 2013-2014 school year, Shepherd University and West Liberty University were above average in their peer group median, while the other nine institutions in the state were below.

These peer groups are statistically selected based on enrollment, location, and faculty size as well as other factors.