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The West Virginia Board of Education is requesting feedback from Randolph County residents regarding the audit of the Randolph County School system in May and this is the address to which comments should be sent. Feedback is being requested immediately. The state board meets during the second week of November and it needs the information before this next meeting.
While talking with concerned county residents, I learned that the state board will, or at least everyone hopes, do what is right by the residents and school children of our county. Each, however, emphasized the importance of the citizenry letting the state board know what they think regarding the audit. Everyone seemed to think that the board would rest easier with its decision if people know that the action it may take has the backing of everyone concerned and not simply action taken as a result of their unilateral evaluations. Each mentioned the importance of having good schools as the centerpiece for any community's economic development.
Lest you have forgotten what the audit revealed, the series of articles written from May 16 through May 22 are accessible in the online version of The Inter-Mountain newspaper. Log on to www.theintermountain.com. When the page comes up, go to the search line and click on "local news," then go to the elongated box to the right of the word "Web" and type in "School Audits" and the articles will come up.
After talking to some of our residentss and rereading those articles, it is no wonder the citizenry, especially the parents, were so taken aback and angered. I think it can be surmised from the series of articles mentioned that the residents of the county believe that they do not have and are not getting what they expect from their education tax dollars.
Here are some excerpts from a few of the comments sent to the county Board of Education as the articles were being read by the public. On May 22, a concerned parent wrote, "Wouldn't you think that the state would place competent people in the BOE? What in the world would happen if our hospitals, law enforcement (state, county, game wardens) were run like this?"
Another wrote, "I understand that there is a shortage of money available for our schools, why did these reports not come about until after the election? Maybe the levy would have passed. We need to come together as a community and demand more for our children. We need to organize a community concert for the kids with all the money going towards our school. We need to take back the control and do what is best for our children because they (the school board) do not have our children's best interests at heart."
Yet another wrote: "After reading this article, it reminds me of a bunch of bumbling idiots who hasn't a clue of what's going on within the county schools. Board members who don't have a clue what was done or not done. All (are) out of touch with each other and everyone ... coming to work and drawing a paycheck for doing nothing! It is my opinion that the Randolph County BOE be scrapped from the Supt (sic) down to the bottom! It is rotten to the core, out of touch, out of tune, compliance and everything else imaginable. Plus they are suckin' (sic) up tax money. BOE employees should be removed from office for cause and retirements be revoked. Anything they paid (should) be given back and they (should) be given a pink slip ... go pound sand or work somewhere else. Maybe flag traffic this summer for the state."
These are but a few of the comments that are available for reading on the Internet.
If you have concerns with the county school board, now is your chance to voice them. As the person in the letter quoted above said, the residents need to band together for the betterment of our children's education - now's the time to do it.
"What's a little snow?" Joel Wolpert who oversees the Farmers' Market said last week concerning today's market.
Today is the last market day of the year. It is our last chance for garden grown lettuce, hot and sweet peppers, potatoes, homecooked sourdough bread and many handcrafted items. Wolpert said freshly baked bread, fresh peanut butter candy and maybe even some apple dumplings might also be available.
"Thanks for your support and patronage this growing season," he said. "We're happy with how things went and are hopeful for a provident growing season next year. If we don't see you on this last day of the market season, we'll see you in the spring."