The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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March 21, 2014

Tomblin vetoes line item for schools in Meadow Bridge

— Meadow Bridge won’t have any of its schools become “isolation schools” now that a $100,000 line item was vetoed from the state budget by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.

There isn’t enough room in the budget to add the funding, Tomblin said in a letter to  Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, formally raising his objections in his line-item vetoes of the budget passed last week by the Legislature.

Fayette County Superintendent Keith Butcher says the money really could have been used for any specific purpose.

“It could have been placed anywhere in our budget,” he said. “I would have set it aside to improve Meadow Bridge facilities.”

“We don’t make requests that go into the state’s Department of Education or board of education’s budget. That did not come from a county request.”

Butcher says the county won’t give up on fixing things any time soon.

“We’ll just continue to look at how we can continue to improve school facilities in Fayette County,” he said. “We’ll look at a combination between state and local funding to try to accomplish that task.”

The state Department of Education had something specific in mind for the money, one official says.

“The Department of Education requested that addition on Jan. 9,” Delegate David Perry, D-Fayette, said. “The money was supposed to be used so the school would be declared an ‘isolation school.’

“An isolation school is a school where access is impaired or very difficult. It would allow them to receive special allocations to keep them functioning and operational.”

A Department of Education spokesperson did not return a call seeking comment Thursday.

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