Supreme Court grants stay in Nicholas County school consolidation case

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Nicholas County Board of Education won’t be able to take any steps forward on its post-flood school consolidation plan until after the state Supreme Court hands down a ruling on the appeal from the state Board of Education.

The High Court issued a stay Wednesday of two previous orders from Kanawha County Circuit Judge Duke Bloom.

In his Aug. 18 order, Bloom ruled the state BOE had overstepped its authority when it continually denied the local school board’s plan to consolidate schools in Richwood and Summersville at a central location. Bloom’s Sept. 6 order required the state BOE to give conditional approval of the plan or post a $130 million bond while waiting on the Supreme Court to make a ruling on the case.

MORE Read order here

The state BOE gave conditional approval last Friday that would have allowed the Nicholas County board to move ahead with its plan at least initially. The High Court’s stay stops everything until it hears the case and makes a decision.

The High Court will hear oral arguments Oct. 3.

State Department of Education Executive Director of Communications Kristin Anderson issued the following statement Wednesday:

“The State Board of Education and Dr. Paine are appreciative of the action taken by our Supreme Court. The Order issued by the Supreme Court stays the August 18th and September 6th orders of Judge Bloom. As a result, the conditional approval of the Nicholas County CEPF voted upon by the WVBE this past Friday is now void. Going forward, the WVBE and Dr. Paine will focus on preparing for oral argument on October 3, and will thereafter await the ruling of the Supreme Court.”

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