Just as the long Memorial Day weekend begins and thoughts of summer vacation fill kids' heads, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D-WV) is announcing an audit of several state agencies tied to the education system.
The administration is saying the audit will cost $750,000. It's going to look at a variety of issues such as state and local policies, funding formulas for allocation of funds and "reviews" of various agencies.
Though most of his primary campaign was devoted to the issues of jobs and taxes, Tomblin also has said on the campaign trail that education is one of the key issues he'd like to address, proposing things like more vocational training in middle schools. Of course, his wife, Joanne Jaeger Tomblin, is president of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College.
Public Works/MGT of America will start the review Wednesday. We could see initial results of the review in three to four months, according to the administration.
The full press release is below:
"CHARLESTON, W.Va. -Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced today Public Works/MGT of America will begin an education efficiency audit of West Virginia's public education system starting June 1, 2011.
"West Virginia's future is reliant upon the education of today's youth," Gov. Tomblin said. "To give our state and its constituents the brightest future possible, we must focus on and analyze the tools currently employed in our classrooms in order to provide the best education possible. It is my hope that through this process, our education system, from the state level down to the local level, will emerge a stronger, more vibrant learning environment for tomorrow's leaders."
As part of the audit, Public Works will conduct a thorough review of state public education statutes, the school aid formula, state and local policies, practices and procedures. This audit will include reviews of the West Virginia Department of Education, the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, the Center for Professional Development, the Office of Education Performance Audits, the School Building Authority, and the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind. Public Works will complete the audit by studying one Regional Service Education Area (RESA) and three school districts of varying sizes, while also providing the Governor's office with a description of the country's cutting-edge best practices in education policy, as well as other reviews.
Preliminary findings and recommendations will be presented within 90 to 120 days of the start of the review process."