The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

Local News

March 26, 2014

Meadow Bridge school funding allocation issue clarified

Meadow Bridge — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin did not veto the idea of giving Meadow Bridge High School money, an official says. There was never any money to give due to a mistake in the budget.

“I think a lot of people are under the impression that the governor reduced the line item by $100,000 and singled out Meadow Bridge,” Deputy Chief of Staff Jason Pizatella said Friday. “That was not the case at all.

“The Legislature had intended to increase that appropriation by $100,000 because they put the language in the budget bill that said the extra $100,000 needs to go to Meadow Bridge. They put the language in but they didn’t put the money in.

“It was just an oversight. We couldn’t leave language in the bill without an appropriation for it to correspond to. In other words, if I say, ‘I want you to spend $5 at McDonald’s,’ but I don’t give you the $5, you’re going to tell me to go kick rocks.”

Pizatella says that’s the bad news of the issue, but there is some good news.

“The good news is that the state superintendent is going to work with Meadow Bridge and the Fayette County Board of Education to make this funding happen,” he said. “The governor did not reduce the money. The money was never there.

“It was just an oversight and I know the governor feels terrible about it and he’s been to Meadow Bridge before and he wants to help them. He has asked the superintendent to work with everyone to make sure Meadow Bridge is taken care of.”

The money would have been used to help get Meadow Bridge more funding, a legislator said.

“The money was supposed to be used so the school would be declared an ‘isolation school,’ Delegate David Perry, D-Fayette, said.

“An ‘isolation school’ is a school where access is impaired or very difficult. It would allow them to receive special allocations to keep them functioning and operational.”

— E-mail: cneff@register-herald.com

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