THE state Board of Education conducted its regular monthly meeting this week at the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind in Romney.
Those schools, consisting of separate elementary and secondary schools for the deaf and a school for blind youth, are located on a 79-acre campus in the eastern panhandle county of Hampshire.
Like so many other longtime state institutions, the schools have seen their share of neglect and underfunding.
The board met at the school to conduct its regular business, as well as get a feel for conditions at the Romney site as the Schools' Superintendent Lynn Boyer prepares a report about the future of education for deaf and blind students in West Virginia. The report will look some important questions:
These are questions that need to be asked, and thankfully, the state school board is conducting such an inquiry. Too often, particularly in government, once an institution or program gets started, the idea of any change, no matter how great an improvement, is met with strong resistance.
That's not to say that a recommendation to do anything other than rebuild the school in Romney wouldn't be met with resistance. Hundreds of local residents showed up for the meeting to express their support for keeping the school in Romney.
Still, it's good to see a government organization asking essential questions about its role, its programs and its institutions. "Because that's the way we've always done it" is not an acceptable reason to operate a government program.
Other government organizations should be asking those questions about their own programs too.