- Associated Press - Thursday, August 14, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Fayette County is regaining partial control of its school system, which was taken over by the state in 2010 because of substandard facilities and other problems.

The West Virginia Board of Education unanimously voted to give the county partial control related to school policies during its regular monthly meeting this week in Greenbrier County. The decision followed a June review conducted by the Office of Education Performance Audits to determine the county’s compliance and progress regarding policy deficiencies.

The county also has made progress in the areas of finance, personnel practices and functions. But these areas will remain under state control, the state Department of Education said Thursday in a news release.

“We have been working closely with Fayette County by providing guidance and support as the leadership works to correct past deficiencies,” Gayle Manchin, the board’s president, said in the news release. “We know the system is moving in the right direction but there is still work to be done.”

The state board took over the school system in 2010 after the Office of Education Performance Audits found serious curriculum and facility problems. The office’s review found many of the county’s facilities were substandard and unsuitable to adequately serve students and staff. County residents had rejected a school bond referendum that would have raised money to address facility problems.

A review conducted in 2006 found irregularities in hiring and financial practices, low student achievement and poor leadership. The findings prompted the state board in 2007 to declare a state of emergency for the school system and make improvements or face state intervention.

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