CHARLESTON -- On behalf of the residents of Mingo County who have grown frustrated at the state Board of Education’s insistence on maintaining control of the county school system despite still not producing the desired improvements, Delegate Justin Marcum has introduced a bill to remedy the situation.
“Mingo County schools have not been treated fairly by the state Board of Education,” Delegate Marcum said. “I want to ensure that in the future, the Mingo County Schools receives due process. If the State Board cannot do the job, let’s give the control to the elected members of our local school board.”
House Bill 4336 gives the State Board of Education no more than five years to improve any school or school system under its control. If the state board seeks to take control of the school or school system again with three years of control being relinquished, the bill requires that a public hearing be held.
“Over the course of the past 15 years, the State Board has seized control of our local school system twice, but has been unable to provide proof of true improvements,” Marcum said.
House Majority Leader Harry Keith White, also of Mingo County, co-sponsored this legislation.
“Mingo County citizens deserve to have their voices heard by the members of the local board we all elect,” the Majority Leader said. “It is important we have local leaders moving Mingo County Schools forward.”
HB4336, which will be applicable to all counties in the state, is also sponsored by House Education Chair Mary Poling and Education Vice Chair David Perry, and Delegates Mike Ferro, David Pethtel, Clif Moore, Doug Reynolds, Mike Caputo, John Pino and Jason Barrett.
Delegate Marcum said the bill is generating a lot of interest at the Capitol because so many counties have experienced the same problem.
“We can’t even buy a pencil without state approval, and that is simply unfair and unjust,” Marcum said.
The bill, which has been referred to the House Education Committee, can be viewed by going to www.legis.state.wv.us , clicking on “Bill Status” and entering 4336.