March 13, 2019
CHARLESTON, W.VA. – The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) announced today that eight counties have been removed from the Financial Watch List. This list is maintained by WVDE’s Office of School Finance, which keeps an accounting of local county boards’ general fund balances.
Counties removed from the list include Boone, Clay, Hampshire, Hardy, Lewis, Pocahontas, Summers and Tucker. Removal was prompted primarily by the improvement in the county boards’ unrestricted current general expense fund balances. Another factor considered was the number of personnel paid through local funds.
“We are encouraged by the effort of each of these counties to resolve the financial issues that were problematic and remind them of the continued due diligence necessary to move forward with sound fiduciary practices,” said Dr. Steven Paine, West Virginia Superintendent of Schools. “Financial stability is more critical now than ever as many of our counties face population shifts and other economic factors.”
After removal of the eight counties with improved financial circumstances, the Watch List stands at eight counties. Remaining on the watch list for an additional year are Calhoun, Grant, Greenbrier, Pendleton, Randolph, Upshur and Webster counties. Additionally, Brooke County was placed on the Financial Watch List because of a significant one-year decline in its general current expense fund and the large number of personnel projected to be paid with local funds in the 2019-20 year. The county attributes much of the decline in fund balance to a large, one-time building project expenditure, and not recurring expenses.
WVDE provides county boards with additional support and analysis to assist them in navigating the process and in moving toward financial stability.