WCHS Eyewitness News Home Charleston Eyewitness Newsroom Charleston Storm Team Weather Sports News TV Program Schedule Community Mobile: Smartphone,Tablet and SMS text Get Connected SMS Text Facebook Twitter See-It,Shoot-It RSS News Feed Email List Tumblr

State Schools Audit
Findings Show Taxpayers Are Getting Bad Return
February 7, 2013

C L I C K   T O   P L A Y
A recent audit of the state school system found ways to save taxpayers more than a $100 million over the course of five years.

A fourth of those savings comes from salaries of employees within the West Virginia Department of Education.

With that said, the audit shows West Virginians are getting a bad return on their investment as scores in the classroom aren't adding up.

The audit found when you compare the number of administrative staff members to students West Virginia ranks second, only behind Alaska.

In West Virginia, there is one agency staff member for every 419 students. Surrounding states function with far fewer staff, one for every 2,100 in Kentucky and one for every 3,100 in Ohio. In Virginia, its school system has only one staff member for every 4,600 students.

"We have to change the culture of the WVDE," Superintendent Jim Phares said. "It has been a bureaucracy and one that talks about shalls and shall nots with gates that some systems can move through and some cannot. We have to change that mindset here at the department."

Phares said education officials are working to repurpose the department and reduce the number of employees at the Department of Education.

The West Virginia Department of Education spends nearly $21 million on salaries for staff members each year, that doesn't include anyone within actual schools.

No teachers, no principals, no one on the county level -- that much could be saved in five years by eliminating 53 high level positions.

Phares said he has started an outreach program and plans to visit local school boards and isn't opposed to giving them more control, but said even bigger changes need to be made to ensure children are getting the education they need to succeed.

The audit took several factors into consideration, such as the rural nature of West Virginia, the population and the fact that the state has the most regulated education system in the nation.

Even with those factors, the size of the Department of Education couldn't be justified.
Phares said Department of Education officials are in a bit of a holding pattern right now, until they see what comes out of the legislative session this year.

Advertise on WCHS-TV Online


More Waste Watch Stories

Waste Watch July 15, 2014
Missing SC Meetings
Council President A No-Show At City Hall Waste Watch Video

Waste Watch July 8, 2014
State Superintendent Salary
West Virginia's New Top Educator Carries High Expectations And A High Salary Waste Watch

Waste Watch May 8, 2014
Big Money Mailers
House Democrats Send Out Thousands Of Letters As Election Looms Waste Watch

Waste Watch May 7, 2014
School Board Lawsuits
Lawsuits Against School Systems Eat Up Hundreds Of Thousands Waste Watch

Waste Watch April 24, 2014
Special Prosecutor
Kanawha County Spending $200 An Hour On Post Waste Watch

Waste Watch February 25, 2014
Armored Vehicle Flap
Armored Vehicle Purchase By Huntington Police Considered Waste By Some Waste Watch

Waste Watch February 14, 2014
State BOE Hires
New Staffers Will Make More Than $250,000 In Salary Waste Watch

Waste Watch November 21, 2013
Judge William Watkins
Disgraced Former Putnam County Judge Set To Retire And Receive His Benefits Waste Watch

Waste Watch November 12, 2013
Levy Election Costs
School And Library Question Has $300,000+ Price Tag Waste Watch

Waste Watch November 7, 2013
Cost of Corruption
Mingo County Wrongdoing May Take Millions And Years To Correct Waste Watch

Waste Watch November 5, 2013
Tossed Technology
Critics Claim County Is Wasting Money, Technology Waste Watch

Do you know about wasteful spending? Email Us: EMail news@wchstv.com
Tell us about it Online or call us: 304-346-1147

Fugitive Files Tuesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

West Virginia Wildlife Wednesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

ABC News web site

Send Mail Send email to news@wchstv.com for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2014, WCHS-TV8. Portions are Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.

WCHS ABC 8 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Charleston and nearby towns and communities in the Tri-State area, including Huntington, Dunbar, Marmet, Montgomery, Nitro, South Charleston, St. Albans, Cedar Grove, Chesapeake, Clendenin, East Bank, Glasgow, Pratt, Cross Lanes, Elkview, Pinch, Sissonville, Big Chimney, Cabin Creek, Chelyan, Davis Creek, Institute, Jefferson, Loudendale, Mink Shoals, Pocatalico, Quick, Quincy, Rand, Buffalo, Eleanor, Hurricane, Nitro, Poca, Winfield, Culloden, Fraziers Bottom, Hometown, Red House, Scott Depot, Teays Valley, Danville, Madison, Hamlin, Logan, Chapmanville, Man, Delbarton, Kermit, Gilbert, Matewan, Williamson, Summersville, Richwood, Flatwoods, Gassaway, Sutton, Spencer, Ravenswood, Ripley, Mason, Point Pleasant, Ashland, Pikeville, Ironton, Portsmouth, Gallipolis, and Athens.