West Virginia Board of Education member Lloyd Jackson is happy to see Lincoln County regain control of it’s school system once again.
On December 12 the state BOE voted in favor of giving full control back to the county after the school system had been under supervision of the state Department of Education for the past 12 years.
Jackson, a Lincoln County native and former Lincoln County state senator, said the current leadership on the counties board of education played a big role in the state BOE returning control.
“I think that the leadership in the county, our Superintendent, is a dedicated person and she is doing a good job,” said Jackson. “Our board is obviously far less political than it has been in the past and I think they are really positive and really wanting to do the right thing.”
The state department took control of the Lincoln County school system back in 2000 after the local board interfered with employment decisions and tried to influence personnel issues. Student achievement scores were some of the lowest in the state and their facilities were in bad condition.
Jackson said the construction of a new high school in the county along with other facility improvements also played a big part in influencing the BOE’s decision.
“Financially it helped relieve a lot of the issues they had in the county but it also provided a lot of opportunities to the kids,” said Jackson.
Now that the county once again has control of the school system it has to make sure it keeps doing what it’s doing
in order to prevent similar takeovers from happening again.
Jackson said as long as the board stays focused on doing what’s best for the students and not letting overriding considerations regarding personnel matters cloud their judgment, they should have no problem maintaining control down the road.
An October audit on the school system revealed to the state BOE that county finances were in order, test scores were up, new schools replaced worn out buildings and the Lincoln County Board of Education was now a functional body, doing all that was needed to regain full control.