Hampshire County Schools May Soon Return to Local Control

March 14, 2007

CHARLESTON, W.Va. _ The West Virginia Board of Education voted today to grant Hampshire County conditional approval of its educational system. In addition, the Board agreed to begin the process of returning Hampshire County Schools to local control.  

Wednesday’s vote was based on recommendations by the Office of Education Performance Audits, which conducted a follow up review Jan. 18-21.  

The team found that Hampshire County and its schools had made substantial progress and improvement in alleviating most of the original findings of noncompliance and performance.  

The state Board intervened in Hampshire County in 2005 after an OEPA audit discovered questionable financial practices and hiring practices in the county offices.  

Since the intervention, Hampshire County has worked to resolve any financial discrepancies. In addition, no personnel grievances have been filed since the intervention. The county also was able to maintain a more than 600 thousand dollar surplus that rolled over into the 2006–2007 school year.  

“Hampshire County Schools have worked extremely hard to address the problem areas,” said state Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine. “Decisions are being made in the best interest of the students so it is time to begin the process to return the county schools to local control”