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Randolph County Schools no longer on WVDE Financial Watch List

Most counties are on the list because the fun balance is below recommended levels.
Most counties are on the list because the fun balance is below recommended levels.(WDTV)
Published: Jan. 24, 2020 at 5:37 PM EST
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Brad Smith, director of finance for Randolph County Schools, announced this week that the county no longer is listed in the West Virginia Department of Education's financial watch list.

The county has held a spot on the watch list since the list's inception six years ago.

"At that time, we were over-funding formula with our personnel and we were also in a deficit status financially," said Smith.

According to Christ Day, coordinator of the WVDE Office of Communications, Randolph Schools is the only county removed from the list, leaving seven others; Brooke, Calhoun, Grant, Greenbrier, Pendleton, Upshur and Webster counties.

According to George Carver, the Business Manager of Upshur County Schools, the county was placed on the list in 2016 after falling into a deficit. Officials have cleared the deficit and expect to be taken off of the watch list within the next fiscal year.

Many of the counties that remain on the watch list are more rural, leaving class sizes small.

"The formula is based on an average of students in a school. We have several smaller schools. When you are teaching classrooms with less kids in it, it tends to stretch your numbers," said Smith.

School finance officials that are on the list are required to send monthly spending reports to the state office.

"They send reports to me looking for feedback in certain areas as to why a particular line item might be leaning close to the red. Or if they see in their projections that we may run out of money. They want to know why," said Smith.

Meeting requirements comes at a price. Officials closed Homestead and Valley Head schools in 2016 and 2017.

"Our student population like many in West Virginia continues to decline. Each year during our personnel season we have had to cut both professionals and service personnel," said Smith.

Smith says staff will continue to keep the finances in-line with the state's standards.

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