CHARLESTON, W.Va. – It’s time for West Virginia school systems to ask for a helping hand as the state School Building Authority prepares to hear from 19 counties looking to get a piece of school construction funds.

County school board presidents and superintendents will be in Charleston Monday and Tuesday seeking money for new school construction, major renovations and HVAC units.

“We give them 10 minutes to tell us about their projects, the worthiness of their projects and allow the authority to ask questions,” said SBA Executive Director Mark Manchin.

This year’s requests add up to $160 million, but the SBA has just $45 million to dole out.

“We have to say no (to some projects), and it’s basically saying no to children,” Manchin said.

Manchin stressed the agency must choose the highest priority projects and ask some counties to come back next year to re-pitch their projects.

“There’s not enough money to address everybody’s needs, but we’re going to do everything we can to address the most pressing needs,” said Manchin.

During the next month, SBA members will consider the requests before reconvening April 28 to distribute the funds. The SBA often helps counties who help themselves.

“We really encourage counties to participate and, where possible, ask the voters to partner with the School Building Authority and let’s build schools.”

Wayne and Brooke counties are floating bonds this year in hopes of receiving matching money from the SBA.

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Comments

  • Wondering West Virginian

    Didn't Mark Manchin go to Harrison County -- as the superintendent?
    How many positions are the Manchins entitled to?

  • Gary

    You have money for teachers raise but a drop in the bucket to improve and give the kids a better education. Teacher raises do nothing to improve the schools.

    • Time to Fix the Teacher Whining

      +100

    • herman

      Yeah lets wait until we are the least highest paid state for teachers and nobody qualified is in the classroom. Maybe all of WV population can be on welfare at that point.

      • Tired of Teacher Whining

        Give all the teachers a $20,000 raise ( even the non-performers) and implement year round school. Make them take leave for snow days. No more summer Christmas, Thanksgiving or summer vacations. Work all year just like the rest of us. Then start random drug testing them like the rest of us that work important jobs and are in direct contacts with kids every day. Tired of the whining bunch of teachers. Give them the raise and make them live up to the standards and requirements associated with a real full-time job. And that also means an 8 hour workday with no paid lunch.

  • Uncle Tom

    I heard Wood County wants to tear PHS down and start over. It would be a good move.

  • Tired of paying others bills

    Metronews or Hoppy, please publish the county assessment rates so we know who is paying what rate and who is living off everyone else that pays the maximum rate.

  • Tired of paying others bills

    Well if every county was mandated to pay the maximum property tax rate there would be more money. But since so many counties charge property owners a lot less than the allowable amount there is never enough money. I only know of two counties that assess property at the maximum rate and that is Berkeley and Jefferson. However every county enjoys these counties maximum rate by getting their portion from the state. While the majority of the assessed monies stay within the specific county, some still goes to Charleston to be given out. That's BS in my book. If a respective county isn't charging the maximum rate, then they shouldn't get squat!! So you counties who aren't charging the maximum assessment rate shouldn't get a penny from the state.

  • In da stickes

    Don't forget the schools for the deaf and the blind are looking for 20 million as well.

  • Wv forever

    It's nice to have new schools. But if they would really take care of what they have we wouldn't need new ones.

    • ViennaGuy

      Wv forever, I cannot agree with you more! This is one of the things about county school boards that really burns me up.

      Unfortunately, it's easier for county school boards to put a bond levy on the ballot, or go to the SBA and beg for money, than it is to make tough budget decisions and **properly** fund building maintenance. If I went to my supervisor at work and demanded a pay increase so I could add an HVAC system or install a roof on my house, I'd be told, "You should have budgeted for it. Why didn't you budget for it?" County school boards don't think that way because they can always demand another bond levy; spending money on facilities maintenance does not get board members re-elected, so maintenance continually gets kicked down the road. Please note that I am not talking about the times when a building is outgrown and needs an addition or replaced. I'm talking about basic maintenance that any building needs(roofs, windows, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and so forth).

      It's disgusting, and it's no way to run something which such a heavy capital investment in buildings and grounds.

      • wvrefugee

        People like you that don't vote and pass operating levy's in their county's and then complain about school up keep! Exactly why WV has become the worst school system in the country!

        • ViennaGuy

          - People like you that don't vote and pass operating levy's in their county's and then complain about school up keep! -

          I vote in every election, bar none, including special elections.

          Looks like I ruffled some feathers here ... good.

      • wvnation

        Obviously you don't understand government budgets. Levi's and state funds make up 100% of the schools

        • ViennaGuy

          I'm confused as to why you say that, because I do understand how county school systems are funded in West Virginia. Yes, some of the money does comes from Charleston, and yes, some of the money does comes from levies passed at the county level. County school boards also get money directly from county property taxes. My county property tax tickets break down, to the penny, where my taxes go and how much. The lion's share of my property taxes goes to the county school board. I would be happy to show it to you, if I could.

          That being said, where the school funding comes from is no reason or excuse for poor budgeting by school boards when it comes to facilities maintenance.

          • Retired Teacher

            Schools are funded based on the number of students they had at the beginning of the second month from the previous year. The school aid formula determines how much money the local board of education will get. Districts that do not have an excess levy operate on a shoestring--there is basically no money to budget--it all goes to salaries, fuel, and utility bills.