November 12, 2020

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – In accordance with W.Va. Code §18-2E-5, the West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) voted unanimously to declare a state of emergency for Lincoln County Schools during its November meeting. The decision comes as the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) continues its Special Circumstance Review of the county after it initially made findings during a Special Circumstance Review presented to the WVBE on March 11, 2020.

WVBE Policy 2322 establishes 11 efficiency indicators necessary to provide an effective school system. These indicators provide a framework for effective school system operations.

During the most recent review, WVDE found several points of non-compliance within the finance and transportation indicators. These include (but are not limited to):

  • Inadequate purchasing procedures;
  • Excessive overtime among employees;
  • Lack of oversight of supplemental pay process;
  • Purchasing inconsistencies and non-compliance;
  • Inadequate records regarding bus repairs, maintenance and parts replacement; and
  • Maintenance schedule of bus fleet that exceeded the preventative maintenance window and may have resulted in buses breaking down.

“We are pleased with the progress of Lincoln County Superintendent Jeff Kelley,” WVBE Vice President Tom Campbell, CPA, said. “His efforts are ongoing, and this action is in support of those efforts to address the county’s deficiencies.”

Kelley assumed the superintendent’s position in the county July 1, 2020.

Having heard and considered the results of the Lincoln County Special Circumstance Reviews, including the reviews of Nov. 12 and March 11, 2020, the Board directs State Superintendent W. Clayton Burch to:

  • Appoint designees, which may include current WVDE employees and/or experienced education professionals to be employed pursuant to W. Va. Code section 18-2E-5(j), to coordinate on-site school improvement efforts with the current county superintendent;
  • Direct designees to provide recommendations for correction of the extraordinary circumstances, which shall be communicated to the county board; and

Pursuant to W.Va. Code §18-2E-5(m)(2) if progress in correcting the extraordinary circumstances is not made in six months from the time the county board receives the recommendations, the WVBE shall intervene in the operation of the school system to cause improvements to be made.

For more information, contact Christy Day at the West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications at 304-558-2699 or

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