|By Bob Weaver|
Calhoun Schools, according to the WV Department of Education, remains on the state's financial watch list, with Grant, Greenbrier, Pendleton, Randolph, Upshur, Webster and Brooke counties.
It was learned that Calhoun Schools had a deficit of $1.8 million dollars from 2011, causing critical concern for educators and county citizens.
Calhoun is still the only county with a deficit.
Now Calhoun has lots of company with financial problems, mostly rural schools with declining enrollment and no supporting school bond. Calhoun now has less than 1000 students.
Calhoun School superintendent Kelli Whytsell said that $1.8 million dollar deficit has dropped by $500,000, audited in 2017, with the school system is still suffering major shortfalls to keep the system running.
The WV legislature will not change the school funding formula to fund those schools, all of which have fixed mandated criteria for basic operation.
The requested rule change for a decade has been to fund those rural schools as if they had 1400 students.
(Read Whytsells story about the 1400 Rule)
Eight counties are no longer on the state Department of Education’s Financial Watch List because of improvements in each system’s financial situation.
The department announced that boards of education in Boone, Clay, Hampshire, Hardy, Lewis, Pocahontas, Summers and Tucker counties have improved their general expense fund balances. State officials also considered the number of personnel paid through local funds regarding removal.