West Virginia Board of Education's Commission on School District Governance and Administration Want County Boards to Focus on Academics

September 11, 2014

Charleston, W.Va. — The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) during its monthly board meeting in Charleston heard from Dr. Thomas Alsbury about how West Virginia can establish a balanced governance model for its school system.

Alsbury emphasized a vision of restructuring business and management functions to a regional level while maintaining and improving local input into instruction.

Dr. Alsbury, a national expert on school system governance and school board leadership, has been advising the WVBE Commission on School District Governance and Administration. Alsbury is currently working with several states on governance issues including neighboring Kentucky. He also has a great deal of international knowledge on concepts that work or don't work related to local school board regionalization.

The WVBE established the Commission on School District Governance and Administration in March 2013 following a request from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to formally undertake a study of the governance of the 55 county school systems. Members of the commission include school officials and business representatives.

"Commission members are excited to begin collaborating with the WVBE to implement some of these ideas," said Commission Chair and WVBE Member Tom Campbell. "The recommendations will shift the focus of the entire public education system in the Mountain State so the attention is on heightening student achievement. The final report will include several short- and long-term strategies that would allow school systems to largely focus on learning, especially at the site or classroom level."

The commission will meet on September 30, 2014 to vote on final district recommendations that will then be forwarded to the WVBE. The report will also be placed on public comment.

"We were tasked by Governor Tomblin to take a hard look at our educational structure, ask hard questions and, ultimately, make recommendations that are student-centered," said Gayle Manchin, WVBE president. "Some of the final recommendations won't happen overnight but we are committed to our students and nurturing the best education environment."

For more information, contact Liza Cordeiro at the WVDE Communication Office at 304-558-2699.

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