Judge orders state board to approve school system’s consolidation plan

By Kyla Asbury | Sep 6, 2017

CHARLESTON – Kanawha Circuit Judge Louis “Duke” Bloom has ordered the West Virginia Board of Education to either give conditional approval to the Nicholas County Board of Education’s school consolidation plan or for it to post a bond in the amount of $130 million to cover federal funds on the line with FEMA.

Bloom issued the order earlier this week when he rejected a request by the state board to stay last month’s ruling. He urged the state board and the county board to reach a settlement.

In the previous ruling, Bloom ruled that the state board erred in rejecting the county’s consolidation plan.

The state board will decide by the end of the week whether it will conditionally approve the consolidation plan or post the bond.

If the state board chooses to post the bond instead of approving the consolidation, Bloom said he would grant the state board’s request for stay.

The consolidation plan includes combining Nicholas County and Richwood high schools and Richwood and Summersville middle schools.

The state Supreme Court entered a scheduling order on the state board’s appeal, setting oral arguments for Oct. 3.

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