Final Mediation Report on Nicholas County Schools Controvery

CHARLESTON (WOWK) - A final report is released by the company responsible for mediating the Nicholas county school controversy. The Consensus Building Institute (CBI), has completed dozens of school configuration mediations across the country. Now they've laid the framework for Nicholas county and the state Boards of Education to come up with a final solution. 

CBI estimates it will take 3-6 months for all parties to agree on a plan. The CBI report outlines the conflicting views of "pro" and "anti" consolidation when it comes to what each side thinks is best for all students in Nicholas county.

So CBI is recommending the governor and a neutral mediator host a mediation process where the state and Nicholas county superintendents, along with 1-2 board members each, huddle for discussions. The group would decide which FEMA program to use and where to rebuild flooded schools. Meanwhile CBI says FEMA will need to approve a deadline extension. Then the county board should promise to hold off on a bond election to pay for consolidated schools, while the state board should promise to hold off on a county take-over.

CBI is also recommending technical advisors from FEMA, the School Building Authority and other relevant agencies be involved. Then once the negotiating team is making headway, CBI suggests holding public workshops to share ideas and get feedback from the community.

The group says this formula will allow for an open, honest decision-making process that everyone can be a part of.


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