Auditors claimed that if all of its 50-plus recommendations are implemented, the state could save more than $18.1 million in the first year and more than $115 million over five years. Based on a sample of three county school systems, the audit predicts that the state is looking at a total of $90 million in savings if all the changes are put in place.
In the board's response letter written to Tomblin sent Thursday, Linger commends the governor for his attention to education this session, saying "The board stands ready to help you in any way we can with the adoption of your agenda."
The board promises to "use all of its authority" to ensure that elementary teachers are trained to produce efficient readers and to report back the findings from its soon to be Commission on Small School Systems.
"With a decline of over 26 percent in student enrollment since 1980, there is every reason to review this part of our education governance structure," Linger wrote in the letter.
The board also pledges to "pursue all actions necessary" to maximize the benefits of the RESAs, with a main goal of "redirecting resources to efforts that can have a direct impact on raising student achievement."
"We view your letter and this response as just the beginning of a long-term approach to address the positive agenda you have set for public education," Linger wrote. "The board wants to work with your administration and the Legislature in a cooperative manner to raise student achievement in West Virginia - a goal that none of us can achieve without the support and assistance of the other."
Reach Mackenzie Mays at mackenzie.m...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4814.