West Virginia BOE Endorses Charter School Policy Revisions, Seeks To Drop Extracurricular 2.0 GPA Requirement | VM News
CHARLESTON, Va. (WV News) – Revisions to the state’s charter schools policy and waiver of grade point average requirements for extracurricular activities were among many items discussed at the monthly meeting of the West Virginia Board of Education Wednesday in Charleston.
Complying with updates passed by the West Virginia Legislature during the 2021 regular session, the state’s BOE passed revisions to Policy 3300, Charter Public Schools, allowing an unelected board to approve up to 10 new fully online charter schools every three years.
Among the revisions are adding the West Virginia Professional Charter School Board as a potential authorizer, reclassifying charter schools as their own local education agency, and establishing requirements that would allow authorization. virtual charter schools and more, according to Sarah Stewart, WVDE’s government affairs council.
“In accordance with the legislation, the policy increases the statutory cap on the total number of charter schools that can be licensed from 3 to 10 every three years, with each county being able to license up to one virtual charter school, in addition to The ability of the Professional Charter School Board to license two virtual charter schools statewide, âshe said.
Additionally, the policy notes the maximum number of students who can be enrolled in virtual charter schools, according to Stewart.
At the county level, the maximum allocation for charter school enrollment is 10% of total enrollment and at the state level, each of the two statewide charter schools receives a maximum stipend of 5% of the total workforce statewide.
Other revisions include, but are not limited to:
– Reclassification of charter schools into their own local education agency, rather than being part of the county school board;
– Changes to the renewal and revocation process to align with the law;
– Restructuring of the seniority of employees transferred between a charter school and a county school board;
– Updates to clarify annual reporting requirements, responsibilities and timelines;
– New language concerning the logistics of funding charter schools; and,
– A provision allowing for an appeal process for requests that have been refused by an authorizer.
Superintendent of Schools Clayton Burch said virtual charter schools should not be confused with virtual school programs that are to be offered in every county.
âThe previous law required that virtual school programs be an option in every county, but it’s something that has safeguards where we monitor participation, attendance, and counties and communities have really played a role. role in these programs, âhe said. “They are not the same program as virtual charter schools.”
Board member Stanley Maynard said he had concerns about the changes in the legislation.
“I realize this is a law and something needs to be done, but we spent the last few months of the pandemic looking at the data that determined that virtual schools really weren’t effective. and certainly did not offer the social and emotional support that face-to-face instruction does, âhe said.â Months ago we voted to end the virtual school and now that opens the door to a number of them and we could potentially have them in every county? ”
Maynard also expressed concerns about the risk that students could be exposed to child abuse if they attended a virtual school full-time.
Board member Debra Sullivan said she believes charter schools could be devastating for public schools across the state.
âAlthough people aren’t breaking down our doors to establish them now, I hope that doesn’t happen,â she said. “The legislature did this without our involvement – We did not ask for this.”
Sullivan was the only ânoâ to vote for the policy revisions.
In other cases, board chairman Miller Hall has asked the board to waive the 2.0 grade point average requirement for students participating in extracurricular and athletic practices and training. conditioning this summer, noting the impact of the pandemic on students.
âA lot of our superintendents across the state are sending letters because they find out that even with our summer programs some of our kids haven’t hit a 2.0 average,â he said. . âRecognizing the impact the pandemic has had on the social and emotional needs of our students and the resulting and lingering impact on academic success, I would like the board to order the State Superintendent to develop options for counties to allow students to participate in conditioning. and train in school even if they didn’t get a 2.0 GPA. “
Hall said this would only apply to conditioning and practice in the summer months and would not be a complete waiver of rule 2.0.
At the next meeting, scheduled for August 11 in Charleston, board members will discuss whether to waive the 2.0 requirement for the fall semester, including games, as they have said. done in the spring.
Editor-in-Chief Kailee Kroll can be reached at (304) 626-1439, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at @kaileekroll.