The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

Local News

June 19, 2013

Chamber supports school improvement

FAYETTEVILLE — The Fayette County Chamber of Commerce has offered its support to the county Board of Education for improving schools, citing the negative economic impacts of an underperforming school system.

On Tuesday evening, the board heard from Margaret O’Neal, who chairs a new Chamber subcommittee on education and directs the United Way of Southern West Virginia.

“We are looking for your guidance and support. We need you to share with us how we can best support the most positive action for the education of children in this county,” she told board members.

The United Way and the Chamber plan to join together to host several opportunities for Fayette Countians to come together and discuss solutions for the school system’s problems.

“We’re going to pay for it, promote it, and it will be welcome and open to all. (...) Please come to the meetings, bring information, and ask questions,” O’Neal said.

The involvement of a variety of people — parents, older people and everyone in between — is needed, she said. The issue is county-wide and should be addressed with a unified front.

“We’re not antagonistic or out here to do harm. We are here to do good and plead with you to consider the entire county and every child in it,” said O’Neal.

Board Member Leon Ivey was happy to hear of the Chamber’s desire to get involved.

“I’m glad people are getting involved and saying enough is enough,” he said. “Somebody is going to have to start speaking up and saying,  

‘We’re not happy with the status quo.’”

O’Neal says the Chamber started paying closer attention to the education issue because it has become an economic issue in the county.

“We know businesses are not locating here at all because they do not want their staffs’ families to be educated here. The bottom line i that the only way this county is going to grow and succeed and prosper is for us to start down here and fix this system,” said O’Neal.

“Somewhere it got broken. But a group of people on a mission determined to fix it can fix it.”

The West Virginia State Department of Education took over the county system in 2010, citing low student achievement and facilities issues.

Fayette County recently underwent a public input process aimed at finding a way forward for the county’s aging infrastructure.

In the end, a county facilities committee voted not to maintain and repair all of the county’s school buildings. Instead, the county will look back to its Comprehensive Educational Facilities Plan (CEFP), which calls for some consolidation.

The estimated cost of implementing the CEFP rests at $136 million.

O’Neal says the condition of school buildings is not the only important issue, but that the poor condition “reflects the education  

of the children.”

The group also recently addressed the WV Board of Education about the matter.

— Email: cmoore@register-herald.com

1
Text Only
Local News
  • ee 1.jpg Energy Express makes impact on students’ lives

    Energy Express to him, Matt White says, is all about a “different experience.”

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • maurices Fostering Self-Esteem

    The local Maurices is involved in a project aimed at making the school transition a little easier this fall for foster children in the area.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Children’s Health and Safety Fair scheduled for August 1

    Montgomery General Hospital and Dr. Traci Acklin have announced that the 2014 Children’s Health and Safety Fair will be held on Friday, Aug. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the hospital.

    July 21, 2014

  • Theater to hold auditions

    Open auditions are set for Tuesday and Thursday at the Historic Fayette Theater for the comedy/drama “Belongings”. Auditions will be held at the theater in Fayetteville at 7 p.m. each evening.

    July 21, 2014

  • asb carver 25 years and counting

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Taylor Made Free concert series

    The next free public concert in the Lively Family Amphitheater Summer Concert Series is a performance Saturday at 6 p.m. by popular band Taylor Made.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Energy Express open house set

    Energy Express, an award-winning summer reading program serving 35+ children in Fayette County, will host a free open house for members of the Beards Fork SALS community. The event takes place on Thursday, July 24, at 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

    July 17, 2014

  • rhody1.jpg Stages of life

    July 14, 2014 3 Photos

  • thurmond depot.jpg Explore town’s rail heritage

    Discover what life was like in one of the New River Gorge’s most renowned towns as you join National Park Service rangers and Operation Lifesaver on Saturday, July 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to explore the historic railroad town of Thurmond.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • apt bldg1.jpg Demolition and disposal

    July 10, 2014 3 Photos