84°F
Sponsored by

Community Meetings Begin at the Morgan County Board of Ed.

Today is the first in a series of meetings being held by the Morgan County Board of Education, as residents speak to school officials about the programs they feel are the most important.
MORGAN COUNTY, W.Va. -- Tuesday was the first in a series of meetings being held by the Morgan County Board of Education. Residents are speaking to school officials about the programs they feel are the most important.  These meetings could help shape the future of the school system after an excess levy was recently voted down.

Keeping good teachers in the district was the number one concern brought up by some residents of Morgan County after 20 educators recently resigned.  Some of the residents feel it's important to have the best teachers, even if means adding to their salaries.

"I don't know how we can do that, I think it is a difficult task to sort out," said Pete Gordon, a Berkeley Springs High School Teacher. "We need to give the teachers the resources they need. I'm not just saying salary benefits, I'm talking about professional development."

The difficult process officially begins for the Morgan County School District as officials will have to decide which activities to keep and which to eliminate after Morgan County voters struck down an excess levy back in May.

"Programs like offering free breakfast or free lunch. Programs like counseling services. There was a debate about whether the school system should take on that role or we should put more pressure on parents to do that," said David Banks, superintendent of Morgan County Schools. "If those basic needs are not met from a student then they are not going to learn."

One resident recommended cutting after-school activities starting with certain sports from the athletic department. 

"It's in the title of it -- extracurricular activities like golf, tennis," says Joe Yost, a Morgan County resident. "I'm not saying cut baseball, basketball -- sports like that have been in schools ever since I was there in the 80's. But if you don't have the money then start cutting stuff like that the extra stuff."

One thing residents and board members agreed on is that the cuts will be tough on everyone.

"Union contracts are tied. Salaries are more or less tied. Maybe cut the school buses from going to all the trips," said Marian Park, a Morgan County Resident.

"We want to make sure we offer that facts out there and let the people make an informed decision," said Banks. "It seems like from the group, the situations we have been involved in, is that there is a lot of information out there but it's not accurate and it gets passed along as it were accurate."  

The Morgan County school board will hold two more community meetings over the next few weeks.  Board members are encouraging residents to attend and voice their opinions of what programs to keep.

From the results of the meetings and a survey, the board of education will decide by February of next year which programs will be voted on during as special levy election in May of 2014. 
Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus

More Headlines