Barbour County BOE gets updated on student scores

Superintendent of Barbour County Schools Dr. Joseph Super updated board members about student scores for Advanced Placement Classes at Philip Barbour High School this year during Monday’s Barbour County Board of Education meeting. Super said the percentage of kids passing the test for AP classes in 2011 to 2012 was 15 percent, and in school year 2012 to 2013, that number grew to 42 percent of students that passed with a score of 3 or better.

“That means if a student scores 3 or better, they receive college credit for that class,” Super said. “They will not have to take that course or a related course in college.”

Super said the West Virginia state average was 43 percent.

“Kudos need to go to the folks at the high school who were involved in presenting those AP courses,” Super said. “The kids deserve credit as well for realizing the benefit of those courses. One of the neat things for those kids is our policy is such that if the student takes the exam and passes it, we reimburse them for the cost of that test. So we will be identifying those students and reimbursing them for the exam.”

In other business, Super said that West Virginia State Department of Education Representative Joe Panetta sent out information related to the county board of education free fund balances.

“Our fund balance is favorable,” Super said. “In light of some of the things that have been printed in the past, I think it needs to be noted that ours is favorable – and that perhaps we have been questioned that some investigation should have be done with some of the things we have been doing. Perhaps some investigation should be done on what some other counties are doing.”

Super said he applauds his people for the approval.

“Yet, knowing we are favorable, our free fund balance is dwindling every year,” Super said. “Until something happens it’s going to continue to dwindle. We are looking at ways to keep this county as solvent as possible. And again, I appreciate all of the efforts of all of our staff in working through the budget process during personnel season. We will do whatever we have to make sure we provide the best education we can within an efficient and effective manner related to what the state is telling us to do.”

Board member Eric Ruf said he appreciated Super’s efforts and leadership.

Also, Bob Wilkins, president of the board, asked about the $90,000 discrepancy in the state’s budget figures for the Public Employee Insurance Board. Barbour County Board of Education members learned June 25 of a $90,000 discrepancy in their final approved school system budget. The funding earmarked for state Public Employees Insurance Agency payments for school system employees was underestimated in the budget by $90,000, according to Wilkins.

“Several counties received very low estimates on the PEIA payments,” Wilkins said. “To me, that says someone down there (in Charleston) needs to be answering some questions. Where do we as a board get involved in the process of asking how come the numbers were so far off? How far should we push this or should we just leave it alone?”

Super said that may be a situation to ask the School Board Association when we have the regional meeting on Aug. 17.

Following an executive session of nearly 90 minutes, members voted to deny an extra duty assignment. Board members voted unanimously to deny Super’s recommendation for Charla Reger to be employed as an itinerant special education specialist and coach for up to 30 days depending on need.

No reason for the denial was given by board members.

The next Barbour County Board of Education is scheduled for 6 p.m., Aug. 12 at the Board of Education Office.