WV Board of Ed. discuss three counties that have not returned to in-person learning

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CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Most West Virginia school districts have returned to in-person learning, no matter what color they are on the state’s COVID-19 map. But not all of them have… which is getting attention from the State Board of Education.

Out of 55 West Virginia counties, seven did not confirm offering in-person learning which began Tuesday.

As of today, Berkley, Jefferson, Monongalia, and Harrison counties decided to offer in-person learning to families.

“While I am pleased that the vast majority of county boards will provide an in-person learning option, there are three county boards of education that have made the determination not to provide this option to students. These counties include Gilmer County, Marrion County, and Taylor County,” said Clayton Burch, Superintendent of Schools.

State board of Education members are frustrated with those counties decisions.

“And you look at the map right now, these three schools on here. Now two of these schools… one is in green and one is in yellow. And you’re going to tell me why they can’t be in school,” said Miller Hall, West Virginia Board of Education President.

Many board members agreed that giving families the option for in-person learning is a fundamental constitutional right and that they have provided many options for those families who choose to decline.

Counties are still able to provide the options of virtual, hybrid, and blended learning. But the State Board of Education says all counties must offer the option of in-person classes.

“One county says…and the county is on here, we are not going to do what the governor says…we are not going to do what the state board says, we are going to do ABC. And they are not going to do it that way. It is not going to happen,” said Hall.

Members spoke about legal ramifications that could be put into place if these counties do not comply with the board’s decision. One of which includes withholding state aid payments.

“These three counties here…need to be able to adapt,” said Hall.

The board did not make a decision today about these three counties…but they will reconvene on Tuesday.

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