CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State School Superintendent Dr. Steve Paine told members of the House Finance Committee Wednesday things remain on track to dissolve the Regional Education Service Agencies (RESA) on June 30.

The legislature passed a bill last year to eliminate RESAs and replace them with Educational Service Cooperatives between county school systems. The bill, signed into law by Gov. Jim Justice last April, also eliminated the state Office of Education Performance Audits.

A number of jobs associated with both have been eliminated, Paine said Wednesday.

“We’re down 459 employees that were funded through RESAs, both state-funded and grant-funded with federal grants. We’re also down from the Office of Performance Audits, nine employees” Paine said.

The state Department of Education has added 23 staff members to cover some of the work covered by the two programs, Paine said.

“It’s primarily in the (student information system) because there are services that were provided in the RESAs that needed to be absorbed and we’re centrally doing that,” Paine said.

County schools systems are going to be asked to do in the replacing of RESAs, especially in the area of fire service training, according to Paine.

“We’re meeting with six (county) superintendents at the end of this week to ask them if they will serve as fiscal agents for those services that can then be provided through the (school) districts and largely through our Career and Technical Education Centers,” Paine said.

A performance audit from the state Legislative Auditor, released last January, recommended the eight RESAs be eliminated because they weren’t performing in the way they were originally intended.

Eliminating 16 RESA positions, eight executive directors and eight chief financial officers, would save the state more than $1.5 million a year, according to the performance audit.