Linger described the director of operations as someone to work with the board who keeps things moving and organized. He said that's essentially what Peduto has been doing.
Recently Linger also asked the board to consider hiring its own attorney. He thought there might be times when there is a conflict of interest for the department's attorney, and this could be cheaper than using someone from the Attorney's General Office.
The liaison would work with Regional Educational Service Agencies, the department, the Office of Education Performance Audits located within the department and the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, according to the board report.
The department is still committed to trimming positions, Phares said.
For the fiscal year that starts July 1, the department will be down to 307 positions, with an additional 16 department employees moving to the Regional Educational Service Agencies.
Other than the three new positions, the budget revisions changed little.
In August, Tomblin asked most state entities to trim their proposed budgets for next fiscal year by 7.5 percent. The original suggestions, prepared by then-superintendent Jorea Marple, cut about $9 million from the department's budget.
Linger said the addition of three new positions at the same time Phares became superintendent was a coincidence.
Marple's recommendations remain largely the same, according to a report given by assistant superintendent Joe Panetta. The board recommended reinstating $1.1 million for dropout prevention programs, leaving the program cuts close to $1 million.
No budgeting or hiring decisions by the department will be final until after the legislative session, Phares said. The session begins in mid-February.
Contact Dave Boucher at 304-348-4843 or david.bouc...@
dailymail.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/Dave_Boucher1.