CHARLESTON - The state's Supreme Court has decided not to deal with the state Board of Education's disputed takeover of the Mingo County school system, which was initiated by complaints from Mingo residents.

On Oct. 3, the High Court voted 4-1 to let stand a March ruling by Kanawha Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib that allowed the state board to assume financial responsibility for the troubled school system.

Zakaib's decision upheld an earlier ruling by a hearing examiner that state the state board was obligated to take over the school system, which received $17.4 million in 2003 to consolidate three high schools into Mingo South High School.

The plan, which was developed in 2000, was halted when a new round of elections gave the Mingo board an anti-consolidation majority.

The schools to be consolidated were Williamson, Burch and Matewan.

In 2005, the state board performed an audit of Mingo schools, stripped the county of its accreditation and assume control. The move was the subject of a lawsuit that said the state board acted arbitrarily and capriciously.

Mercer Circuit Judge David Knight, though, said that wasn't the case.

Only Justice Joseph Albright voted to have the Supreme Court hear the case.

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