6:00: Morning News

State BOE extends state of emergency for Lincoln County Schools another 6 months

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Board of Education is extending a state of emergency for Lincoln County Schools for an additional six months.

The board voted last week to keep the state of emergency in place. It originally took effect in in 2020 after the county failed to comply with several policies.

Jeff Kelley

The state review has focused on a number of areas including finances, overtime, transportation, special education and personnel.

Even though the state of the emergency was extended, board member Debra Sullivan told Lincoln County Schools Superintendent Jeff Kelley they’re happy with the steps the district has taken to make improvements.

“Impressive progress has been made thus far in all areas including special ed. We want to do all we can to ensure continuity of this progress to benefit the children of Lincoln County,” Sullivan said.

Kelley said continuing the state of emergency isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Miller Hall

“We knew from the beginning this would be an uphill hike and it continues to be an uphill hike,” he told the board. “I think our numbers show growth, but compared to everybody else, I don’t know what that looks like just yet, so we’ll spend the next week or two diving into that.”

State BOE President Miller Hall told Kelley he’s proud of the progress he’s seen so far.

“We knew it was going to be tough, but you know what I like about what you’re doing and your board? You’re making strides,” he said.

Lincoln County School Board President David Bell told the board he favors the state board’s oversight because it has allowed the district to grow.

“I want you all to continue involvement because I want you to help us,” Bell said.

Matt Hicks

Matt Hicks, state Department of Education accountability director, told the state board there’s still progress that needs to be made.

“He’s provided a clear direction for the country,” Hicks said of Superintendent Kelley. “I’m not saying that everything has been fixed. There’s still improvement that needs to be made in Lincoln County,” he said.

An update on Lincoln County Schools will be provided to the state school board next month.

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