The Legislative Oversight Committee on Education Accountability met on April 24, 2022. The committee received an update on charter schools. The Professional Charter School Board currently has four members and is waiting on the appointment of the fifth. The board has two non-voting members. There is a requirement that no more than three members may be of the same political party. Currently, there is three republicans and one independent serving on the board. The board estimates 1500 students in the five charter schools this fall. Two of the charter schools are virtual schools. Two of the three in person charter schools have secured property. One school has 90 days prior to the start of the school year to notify the board of property securement. Each school has a 5-year contract (2027) and each can be renewed if requirements are met. Executive Director of the Professional Charter School Board will be announced soon.
The State Board of Education has four rule updates opened for public discussion. Policy 2419 – Regulations for the Education of Students with Exceptionalities – is updated about every five years. It mirrors the federal law for special education requirements. Policy 2315 – Comprehensive School Counseling Model – corrects duplicative definitions. Policy 2340 – West Virginia Measures of Academic Progress – provides the framework to administer effective and efficient statewide assessment program and procedures to protect the integrity of test data. Policy 5500 – Professional Learning for West Virginia Educators – provides guidelines for the coordination and delivery of high-quality professional learning experiences for WV educators.
The committee also heard from the Higher Education Policy Commission and Community and Technical College Council about deferred maintenance on college campuses. Deferred maintenance is repairs to existing structures such as roof repair, HVAC, ADA requirements, door and lock replacements, sewage repairs, updating bathrooms, elevator repairs, and more. Tuition and fees often cover these capital improvements. However, many schools feel as if they cannot currently raise tuition or fees. The industry accepted practice for deferred maintenance repairs is 20% of total insurance value. The WV HEPC and CTCC total insurance value is $6.7 billion. The total cost for CTC deferred maintenance is $22.5 million. The total cost for 4-year institutions more than $354 million in deferred maintenance.