In Braxton County, for example, enrollment has dropped by 310 students in six years. When officials faced a budget shortfall of nearly $717,000 in the 2011 fiscal year, they cut 14 professional positions and 12 service positions, shrinking the deficit by nearly $270,000.
Officials tentatively proposed to cut 24 more positions in the coming year to counter another 60-student dip in enrollment, and to close the remaining gap in the school system's budget.
Also at Wednesday's meeting, Lynn Boyer, superintendent of the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, recommended that the board take no action related to the school's facilities plan. Last month, Boyer asked the board to sign off on the $4.8 million plan so that administrators could seek public funding for extensive renovations to the school's aging campus.
The board asked Boyer to return with more information on the costs of implementing the plan at the schools' campus in Romney, and asked her to examine the possibility of building new facilities in other, more central parts of the state.
That move prompted a public outcry in Hampshire County, leading Boyer to believe she needed more time to give the issue the attention she feels it deserves. She asked the board Wednesday to table the issue for a year, when she will return with more research and a new facilities plan. The board agreed.
The School Building Authority already granted the schools $1 million for the project, but that funding was contingent on the school's ability to secure the rest of the money for the project — $3.4 million.
That offer from the SBA is set to expire in April.
Contact writer Shay Maunz at shay.ma...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4886.