“I asked them specifically what is your plan when it comes to student behaviors, because you are going from a small school to a large school there’s going to be more behavioral problems, there’s going to be some drop outs, there’s going to be truancy there’s going to be some other problems, there’s going to be drugs. I specifically asked that, I didn’t get the answer.” That was just one state board member, Miller L. Hall, out of several members who took the stand in court on Tuesday.
After, the West Virginia State Board of Education denied Nicholas county for a second time in their request to consolidate Nicholas county schools. Nicholas county filed a lawsuit against the board and State Superintendent, alleging that the state arbitrarily denied their consolidation plan, that the state board was politically pressured from political figures including Governor Jim Justice to not consolidate the schools and that Superintendent Steve Paine had also misled the State board.
However, state board members stuck to their decision and explained again why they rejected the proposed comprehensive educational facilities plan (CEFP). One State board member, Frank Vitale added, ” I wanted to make sure that I took in to account all of the testimony, all of the facts and it’s my opinion that the county school board did not do enough fact data to justify according to the policy.”
Nicholas county board members also took the stand as well as the Superintendent. Nicholas county Superintendent, Dr. Donna Burge-Tetrick stated, “You have to understand that I feel torn right now, I spent almost thirteen years of my life at the Department of Education, I’ve always believed in the Department of Education. I love the Department of Education, it is a part of me. So, right now I feel very torn that family has supported me through this entire process, so right now it’s been very difficult for me.”
The next court date is scheduled for August 11th where Judge Bloom will then make a decision.