W.Va. Board Returns Full Control of Schools to Grant Co.

October 09, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The Grant County Board of Education regained full control of its schools Wednesday, following a vote by the West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE).

"The moment our state board intervenes in any local county a journey begins to provide guidance, professional development and training in an effort to return local control," said Gayle Manchin, president of the WVBE. "We commend the Grant County School System for its hard work and dedication to making necessary improvements on behalf of the students."

The decision to return full control to the local level was based on recommendations from the Office of Education Performance Audits (OEPA). Previously, the state board returned decision-making powers in curriculum, policies, facilities, transportation and the school calendar. Wednesday's vote restores personnel and financial oversight to the local level.

The state board intervened in Grant County in 2009 after an OEPA review uncovered serious county board leadership problems as well as personnel and curriculum issues. The initial audit described the situation as "bleak" with students being deprived of an adequate educational system.

Since the intervention, the county has worked to address many of the issues, including irregular actions by the county board and violations of state code and state school policy.

As part of the return process, the current Grant County superintendent will remain in place until June 2016 and county board members are required to continue to exhibit good boardmanship.

During the next five years, if any of the original issues which led to intervention in Grant County arise, the board has the option of reinstalling takeover status.

Schools in Fayette, Mingo and Gilmer counties are currently under state intervention. For more information, contact the Office of Communication at 304-558-2699.

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