CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — The Mountain State’s education unions, and the Democratic nominee for governor continue to express concerns that schools and teachers are not ready to open. The governor and his staff beg to differ.
A lot of the dispute centers around a color-coded map that shows counties in the “orange” warning category, where all sports competitions have been halted. the governor said all games in matches could go forward Friday, if all involved got tested, but the counties said no.
“We thought that this was the very best move for our schools, to give them the opportunity for our kids to go and compete. And absolutely a way we could learn so much more,” said Gov. Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia.
Ben Salango, the governor’s Democratic opponent in November says the plan to let schools from counties with COVID problems compete, was ill-conceived.
“The problem is the governor had not had any communication with local leaders. He had not had any communication with local superintendents in those orange counties. All of the orange counties rejected his proposal,” said Commissioner Ben Salango, (D) Nominee for WV Governor.
But State Superintendent of Schools Clayton Burch, says that is simply not true, and he’s been in constant contact.
“I have 55 superintendents. I’ve got over 600 schools, and principals. I have to talk to them. I have to listen to them and I trust them,” said Clayton Burch, West Virginia Superintendent of Schools.
The West Virginia National Guard says the state has a stockpile of two million face masks and other emergency supplies and schools will be prepared.
“In this memo obtained from FEMA, the federal agency says it will no longer reimburse states for things such as face masks and cleaning supplies, when they are used in non-emergency situations like schools and elections. But the governor said today not to worry, the state still has enough federal aid in the bank to keep paying for those supplies,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.\