West Virginia Board Of Education Orders Audit Of Mingo County Schools

December 17, 2004

Charleston, W.Va. - The West Virginia Board of Education today directed State Superintendent of Schools David Stewart to immediately take all action necessary to implement the Mingo County Comprehensive Educational Facilities Plan (CEFP).  

The plan includes the consolidation of Mingo County's three high schools and restructuring other county schools.  

"The West Virginia Board of Education will not be hampered by what we perceive as bickering and stall tactics currently going on in Mingo County," said Board President Barbara Fish. "Some stakeholders have forgotten the most important part of the CEFP - the students."  

The Board of Education also directed the Office of Education Performance Audits to conduct an audit of the Mingo County school system.  

"The Board did not give me direction to intervene in Mingo County or file a lawsuit. I believe that Mingo County Board members need to fully understand their responsibilities regarding the CEFP," said State Superintendent of Schools David Stewart.  

The Mingo County Board of Education recently voted to stop all action on their CEFP, which was approved by the state Board and funded by the School Building Authority (SBA). The Board also learned today that the SBA may have to reallocate the $17.4 million set aside for Mingo County. In addition, Mingo County Superintendent Brenda Skibo told the Board that she expects the school system to be operating in the red within 12 months if the CEFP does not move forward.  

In 2002, the state Board handed Mingo County back to the local school system following a four-year intervention.