CHARLESTON, W.Va. _ The West Virginia Board of Education on Thursday approved its Legislative agenda for the session that begins in January. Key points of the board’s improvement package include raising the compulsory attendance age as well as seeking funding for alternative schools, the state’s Virtual School, technology tools and professional development and foreign languages.
“Members of the West Virginia Board of Education have included areas they believe are most important to moving forward with our 21st Century Skills initiative,” said West Virginia Board of Education President Delores W. Cook. “West Virginia is leading the nation in incorporating rigor and 21st century skills into the classroom but our goals can only be accomplished if we work side-by-side with the Legislature to make sure they are funded.”
The state board members want to provide every child in the West Virginia public school system with the opportunity to take at least one course through the Virtual School. They also are seeking funding to provide teachers with 21st century technology tools and the necessary professional development to know how to use them. Board members hope to expand foreign language instruction in elementary schools, obtain funding for alternative schools for disruptive youth as well as increase the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 18.
The largest percentage of money requested would be used to address student per computer ratios, purchase professional development software, expand infrastructure and offer technical support.
“We are grateful to the Legislature for supporting our priorities in the past,” Cook said. “We are now asking for additional financial support to continue our efforts to prepare children for today’s global economy.”
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