CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The state Board of Education on Wednesday asked the leadership at the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind (WVSDB) to conduct further research on plans to buy property and to expand services.
“We owe it to the children and the taxpayers to research the most efficient and effective ways to support the school,” said Board President Wade Linger. “We trust Dr. Boyer and her ability to provide thorough and thoughtful information and look forward to future discussions.”
The full board gave Lynn Boyer, superintendent of the WVSDB, the authority to begin negotiations on purchasing a property to emphasize independent living. The WVSDB has proposed a model program that would emphasize independent living skills for young adults with hearing and vision problems who have graduated from high school. Participants would continue to have access to literacy and math development, building independent living skills, paid internships, community service, and job development. Young adults across West Virginia would be able to participate even if they have not attended WVSDB. If the state board approves the proposed program and purchase, the WVSDB plans to use gifts and bequest funds to the school to buy real estate to house the model.
Meanwhile, the board placed the WVSDB Legislative Improvement Package on hold until next month. The WVSDB has received $1 million in a 3 percent statewide grant from the School Building Authority to update facilities on the Romney campus. An additional $3.4 million is needed for the full restoration project. The money must be garnered through legislative appropriation to begin Phase I of the WVSDB’s Comprehensive Educational Facility Plan.
“We are determined that children and youth with hearing or vision loss will receive the skills and knowledge necessary to achieve their potential,” Boyer said. “I am grateful to the Board of Education for its thoughtful consideration of our plans and its support to develop programs that put children first.”
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