West Virginia education board lifts emergency for county system

The West Virginia Board of Education on Wednesday lifted an emergency declaration for Lincoln County’s school system that was implemented two years ago amid a review of problems in finance and transportation.

The board determined that corrective practices have been implemented in the county school system, although some work remains.

A review had found problems including inadequate purchasing procedures, excessive overtime, inadequate records for bus repairs and maintenance, and a bus maintenance schedule that may have resulted in buses breaking down.

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The West Virginia education board has lifted the emergency for declaration county systems, but work is still neeeded. The board declared this emergency to fix issues with finances and transportation.

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“We are returning the keys to Lincoln County and allowing them to drive the car and govern county operations independently,” said state school board President Paul Hardesty. “However, I caution the County Board of Education to not resort back to the practices that caused State Board action because we will step in again if needed.”

The board also approved a report involving Clay County’s school system following an investigation last year. The report, initiated at the request of state Schools Superintendent David Roach, reviewed central office, board of education and principal leadership, finances and purchasing procedures, school improvement processes, and the operation of federal programs.

Separately, the board also approved flexibility on testing and other requirements for students who are entering the teaching profession.