Creating charter school rules

Developing a policy on charter schools undoubtedly is a complicated matter that requires extensive research and a great deal of time. Likewise, the public will need time to examine the proposed policy so it can see if the state board’s plan complies with the spirit of HB 206.

The charter school fight in West Virginia isn’t over. It didn’t end with the Legislature’s enacting a law allowing them. People who supported HB 206 and people who opposed it are gearing up for the next round.

[State Superintendent Steve] Paine is wise to put a draft policy document out to the public early. Transparency will go a long way toward ensuring the public will get what it wanted when the Legislature approved HB 206. As the saying goes, the devil will indeed be in the details.

Herald-Dispatch, Huntington

Conservation efforts in W.Va.

Conserving precious plants, animals and places is a critical responsibility in West Virginia. No one does it better than the Nature Conservancy.

Some people who see themselves as environmentalists favor confrontation as a way to achieve their goals. But the Conservancy is based on the feeling that cooperation works better.

Does it? Judge for yourself: More than 120,000 acres — for comparison, that is about twice the land area of Brooke County — in our state has been safeguarded for the future by the Conservancy. No one else even comes close.

Conservancy officials work with land owners, sometimes large companies, to preserve significant natural areas. Often, the business community is delighted to cooperate.

“I truly believe we can have it both ways by growing our economy, while also sustaining nature,” commented U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., during her keynote speech at the Conservancy’s annual Corporate Council for the Environment dinner.

Precisely. As the senator, herself a leader in conservation, pointed out, 91,000 jobs rely on the outdoor recreation industry in West Virginia.

We can do even better — and the Nature Conservancy merits praise for helping make that possible.

The Intelligencer, Wheeling

Put the real numbers together

Contrary to the governor’s rosy narrative, personal income tax collections in August were more than $5 million under water and severance tax collections were $12 million short of expectations. Those data points, the power plant bailout and the hospital closing do not speak to the story of a robust economy the governor has been selling.

Instead of writing fiction and appointing yet another blue ribbon committee of good ol’ boys — this one to study how to leverage overly hyped and exaggerated production numbers associated with the anticipated growth of the petrochemical industry in Appalachia — the governor needs to consult with the state’s best economic minds. And then he needs to put pen to paper and spell out a nonpartisan plan on how to build a diversified and dynamic economy, not one wholly dependent on an industry whose shelf life is being threatened by an aversion to coal and a preference for renewable and nonpolluting means of energy creation.

The sooner, the better, governor.

Register-Herald, Beckley

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