MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – When West Virginia Academy’s (WVA) application to become the first charter school in West Virginia failed, some thought that was the end of the story, but the saga continues.
WVA petitioned the West Virginia Supreme Court, and now, the court is ordering the Monongalia Co. Board of Education and the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDOE) to defend their decision to reject the application.
Dr. Eddie Campell, superintendent of Monongalia Co. Schools, said WVA was properly vetted, its initial application was reviewed, had many deficiencies, so it was sent back for improvements. The final proposal, ultimately, only fully met one out of seven necessary criteria for approval.
For a school to be approved, it certainly has to meet certain minimum requirements that the local BOE would view as a guarantee that a proper education was going to be provided for students. That’s because these will still be public school students, and they still remain the responsibility of the local school system, so making sure that those applications are vetted and are a proper education and a thorough education is going to be provided is absolutely the purpose of the process that was put into place to vet charter school applications.Dr. Eddie Campbell – Superintendent
Campbell said the vetting process was extensive. They used national consultants, and the county worked closely with the WVDOE to make sure everything was done properly when vetting WVA’s application.
Being the first time, the superintendent said, the county and state made sure to follow all rules and regulations. That is why Campbell said he is not stressing defending the county’s decisions in front of the Supreme Court on May 4.
“I don’t think that we, as a county school system, feel any pressure to defend our position,” he said. “I think we did things the way things were supposed to be done and that really, in essence, is our defense.”