What does future of RESA look like?

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HARRISON COUNTY, W.Va (WDTV) - A proposed bill in the State Senate would eliminate all eight of the Regional Education Services Agencies (RESAs).

The bill (SB 181) would transfer power from the agencies to local county school boards.

"If they pull the plug on it now, that means I don't know when I start," a worried Annie Kirkpatrick said. She is training to be a substitute teacher with RESA 7.

RESA 7 is located out of Clarksburg, but serves twelve different counties. It supports public schools by providing programs like adult education, technical assistance, and substitute teacher training.

"I think the misunderstanding is that we are not part of local control," Kathy Hypes, executive director of RESA 7 remarked, countering an explanation by some Republicans to cut bureaucratic channels. "We are a local control. We are not a one-size-fits-all model. We personalize our services to the region, to what is needed in our area."

Governor Jim Justice has found common ground with Republicans on this matter. In his budget proposal, Justice calls for cutting almost $4 million in funds to RESAs.

5 News reached out to the governor's office, as well as Senator Charles Trump (R - Morgan, 15), who introduced the bill. We have yet to hear back from either office.

The bill is up for review in the Senate Finance Committee.