State of Emergency in Randolph County

December 10, 2008

CHARLESTON, W.VA. The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBOE) has declared a state of emergency in Randolph County Schools. Board members voted unanimously on Wednesday to place the school system on non-approval status for extraordinary circumstances, including financial discrepancies.

“The report that the board received today from the Office of Education Performance Audits (OEPA) sends up a red flag and we must take swift and immediate action,” said Board President Delores W. Cook. “The board’s key concern is always for the students of West Virginia. The issues in Randolph County must be corrected immediately for their sake.”  

A state of emergency allows the WVBOE to assign an improvement consultant team to develop recommendations to correct the deficiencies noted in the most recent OEPA report. An announced OEPA site visit was conducted at the Randolph County School District on Feb. 25 – 28, 2008.

According to the OEPA report, the Randolph County School System has made limited progress since the last on-site review. Newly emerging non-compliances in personnel and finance coupled with many lingering issues point to the conclusion that the system does not currently have the capacity to correct their deficiencies.
“Declaring a state of emergency in a county school system is not an easy decision,” said state Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine. “We hope that with the help of the improvement consultant team, the county can address personnel and finance issues as well as leadership concerns.”
The improvement consultant team will produce recommendations within 60 days. After the WVBOE approves the recommendations, Randolph County will have six months to show substantial progress in correcting its deficiencies.
“Many of the problems cited in the OEPA report are statutory in nature and cannot be ignored,” said OEPA Director Kenna Seal. “Hopefully, this process will result in Randolph County Schools correcting its issues without further state intervention.”
For more information about the recent Randolph County School System OEPA report, contact Kenna Seal, OEPA Executive Director, at (304) 558-3788.

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