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State Superintendent Issues Statement on Boone County

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June 30, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (June 30, 2016) – West Virginia State Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano today issued a statement following the directives concerning Boone County’s FY17 budget. The directives will be discussed at a Boone County Board of Education meeting today:

“Due to the unprecedented decline in property tax revenue as a result of recent various coal company bankruptcy filings in Boone County, the West Virginia legislature provided the county with a $2.17 million supplemental appropriation to ensure the county was able to meet its payroll obligation to its employees for FY16.

Boone County submitted its FY17 budget to the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) May 31, 2016. According to West Virginia Code §18-9B-7, WVDE is obligated to review and assess every county budget prior to the start of each fiscal year. County boards are statutorily obligated to budget sufficient funds to assure that the specified minimum employment and instructional terms are provided.

Upon review of Boone County’s proposed FY17 budget, WVDE found it to be insufficient to maintain the proposed educational programs as well as other financial obligations of the county board of education for FY17.

As such, WVDE is directing the Boone County Board of Education to make certain reductions to its proposed FY17 budget as a condition to the approval of that budget. WVDE has been in regular, near daily communication with Boone County’s central office throughout the month of June to discuss these directives.

I am optimistic if the directives outlined are implemented, the county will have sufficient funds to meet its obligations for FY17.

Boone County’s budget outlook is extraordinary and unprecedented. No other county that has been faced with a deficit has reported cash flow concerns that would hinder their ability to meet payroll obligations to its employees.

While I empathize with the situation Boone County is facing, this set of circumstances is unprecedented and leaves me with no other option but to consider the directives our staff has outlined. Aside from the directives outlined, Boone County has no other form of relief to meet its budget obligations for the upcoming fiscal year. Reducing the county supplement and eliminating positions are always a last resort, but are required in this situation in order for the county to continue operations for the 2016-2017 school year for its students.”

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