CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) took no action today during its monthly meeting to reinstate local control in Mingo County schools. The WVBE intervened in Mingo County in 1998 and again in 2005.
The Office of Education Performance Audits (OEPA) conducted a review of the Mingo County School System in March 2013 to assess the system’s progress in improving issues which resulted in a re-intervention in 2005.
During today’s meeting, the OEPA cited improvements in curriculum development, instructional programs and the school calendar. The OEPA report noted that problems still exist in the areas of finance, personnel, facilities, transportation and policy development.
“I want to congratulate the county superintendent and county educators for embracing innovative programs and opportunities to engage students and get them excited about school,” said Gayle Manchin, WVBE president. “While we are encouraged to see the progress made by the Mingo County School System, there is more work left to be done. We want Mingo County to know that the state board is here to provide guidance, resources and support.”
The WVBE will ask the West Virginia School Board Association (WVSBA) to provide leadership and capacity training to all members of the Mingo County Board of Education. The state board will also ask the WVSBA to develop the capacity of the county board to ensure it adheres to West Virginia Code and West Virginia Board of Education policies. Finally, the local board will receive guidance on conducting meetings according to open governmental proceedings.
The OEPA is expected to revisit the Mingo County School System in one year to assess progress. The WVBE first intervened in Mingo County in 1998 as a result of budget deficits, low student achievement and a lack of leadership. Mingo County regained control in 2002 when leadership was restored. The 2005 audit report indicated Mingo County again was operating in a confused and dysfunctional manner prompting the intervention.
For more information, contact Liza Cordeiro in the WVDE Communication Office at 304-558-2699.