(07/11/2019)
By Bob Weaver

The WV legislatures Omnibus Education Bill consumed most of the time of the 2019 sessions.

There were questions that the bill contained so many items that it could be unconstitutional.

The positive items where mixed and matched against the primary intention of the Republican bill, to launch the state into the Charter School business and to neutralize the state's teacher unions.

Passed was a foot in the door for Charter Schools, private schools funded by taxpayer money.

Recent national studies on the achievement rates of Charter Schools indicates they are not likely better than pubic schools.

The Omnibus Bill did include a section to assists counties with net enrollment below 1,400 by increasing the adjusted net enrollment used to calculate those counties’ basic foundation program under existing code by 10 percent.

It is far short of the long proposed 1400 Rule, which would fund those low enrollment counties under the state's school funding formula as if they had an enrollment of 1400 students.

Calhoun Schools now has an enrollment of less than 1000 students.

Calhoun Superintendent of Schools Kelli Whytsell said the funding change means 11 low-population counties – Pocahontas, Pendleton, Tucker, Gilmer, Webster, Richie, Calhoun, Tyler, Wirt, Pleasants and Doddridge counties – will see a total increase of $5.3 million in funding to help cover the fixed costs of operating their school systems, that amount to be divided between those counties.

Whytsell indicated the funding will help Calhoun a little.

Wednesday the state teacher's union has brought a suit over the Omnibus Bill.


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