State Department of Education Refuses to Reimburse County for Underfunding

The Webster County Board of Education was informed at Tuesday’s meeting that the state department of education will not reimburse the county nearly $300-thousand dollars that the county was underfunded through the state aid formula since 2008.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported the underfunding on September 13th. Statewide, several counties were underfunded a total of nearly $30-million dollars since 2008. Meanwhile, other counties were overfunded. The Webster County BOE was informed that the state will not make up the difference for underfunded counties and overfunded counties will not be forced to reimburse the state. The state department of education continues to state that they have committed no wrongdoing and contend the under and overfunding is due to interpretation of what they refer to as a law ‘that is not clearly written.’

State department of education officials say they are working with legislators and the governor to clarify the law to ensure this doesn’t happen again. You can contact your legislators and the governor about this issue to voice your displeasure here. $300-thousand dollars equals approximately six classroom teachers, even more service personnel, additional learning tools, technology, facilities enhancements, and more that could have went to help Webster County students.

In other BOE news, the board approved posting for an extracurricular math interventionist funded through GEARUP to work during the school day with students at Webster County High School. The board was also informed that the county’s school bus fleet has had a string of bad luck and the county currently has no spare buses. Several school buses are in various stages of repair and should be back and running within a couple weeks. The state legislature and Governor Tomblin slashed school transportation budgets 30-percent last year which has played havoc with the county’s bus replacement and maintenance schedule.