- Associated Press - Monday, January 16, 2017

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - For at least a year and a half, West Virginia Board of Education member Bill White has suggested the board consider televising or online live-streaming its meetings.

The state board still hasn’t started televising, live-streaming or even providing audio or video recordings of its meetings online for the public to easily access, The Charleston Gazette-Mail (https://bit.ly/2jXuq8x) reported.

The state board keeps minutes of the meetings, but governing bodies are often counseled to take bare-bones minutes - recording actions taken and the votes on those actions and leaving out deliberation and discussion.

State board meetings are often two-day events dealing with numerous subjects, including decisions on standardized testing and education standards that are binding upon county public school systems across the state.

When asked why the board isn’t providing meetings online, board President Mike Green noted the departure of Sterling Beane Jr., the state Department of Education’s chief information officer. Beane resigned last August, following his wife’s transfer to a job in Oregon.

“We’re going to review it and take a look at it,” Green said recently. “We believe in transparency, and if that helps the public follow what’s going on at a state school board meeting, I’m not opposed to that. There are logistical issues we have to work out and there are cost issues associated.”

State Schools Superintendent Michael Martirano said that his education department, which the board oversees, can work out the logistics to stream meetings live and record them for later public access.

“The board has to make a decision as to whether they want to do this or not, and so that’s the main discussion,” Martirano said. “I am also seeking guidance from them regarding how they want to proceed, so I’m ready to go. … Technologically, we can do it.”

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Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, https://wvgazettemail.com.


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