Community outrage at Marion County Board of Education Meeting

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RACHEL, W.Va. – Community members gathered at North Marion High School Monday evening to share their concerns regarding the proposed amendment to the current ‘Title I’ program in Marion County.

In response to Superintendent Randy Farley discussing the “revision” of the current Title I program last week, community members flooded the Board of Education meeting with public comment on why it should be left alone.

Teachers, AFT Representatives, and parents of ‘Title I’ students, addressed board members from 6-8:30 p.m. providing statistics on improvements the current program has had.

Parents pleaded with board members to keep the program as is explaining the reading improvements their children have made by having a one-on-one connection with their ‘Title I’ teacher.

Farley stated in the meeting that he would like to see ‘Title I’ resources spread among all 19 Marion County Schools, rather than the seven schools the program currently serves.

If Farley’s proposal is accepted, schools will have to share the current funds that the county already receives through the federal program.

“It scares me for my daughter, she started out the year reading ten words per minute and she’s already up to ninety-four. Honestly, I don’t know what would happen if she didn’t have that extra support and it’s scary for her and for the other kids that would potentially not have that opportunity,” said Morgan Dillon, Jayenne Elementary Parent.

Following public comment, board members had the chance to respond, Richard Pellegrin and Donna Costello both publicly stated they will not support any amendments to the current ‘Title I’ program. Farley stuck by his original statement saying, he’s still looking for a compromise “to help as many schools and students as possible”.

“Each school does their strategic plan, whatever funding they have in their strategic plan they figure out how they’re going to use that. If they put it in their plan with the funding they have, that they want to keep their ‘Title I’ teacher, I guess that’s what they’ll do. I would like to see what compromise and what give and take they’re willing to work with so that hopefully we can provide some services students in schools who don’t have that opportunity because all of our funding is tied up in these seven schools,” said Superintendent Randy Farley.

The next Marion County Board of Education meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 2, 2020.

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