Mr. Holland’s Opus Melody Program provides musical instruments and instrument repairs to existing K-12 school music programs that have no other source of financing to purchase additional musical instruments and materials.
Eligibility: music programs that take place during the regular school day.
Schools must have an established instrumental music program (i.e. concert band, marching band, jazz band and/or orchestra) that is at least three years old.
Maximum award: $8,000.
Deadline for Pre-Qualification: September 29, 2011.
The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Using Mathematics to Teach Music grant encourages the incorporation of music into the elementary school classroom to help young students learn mathematics.
Any acquisition of equipment must support the proposed plan but not be the primary focus of the grant.
Proposals must address the following: the combining of mathematics and music; the plan for improving students’ learning of mathematics; and the anticipated impact on students’ achievement.
Maximum award: $3,000.
Eligibility: individual classroom teachers or small groups of teachers currently teaching mathematics in grades PreK-2 level who are also (as of October 14, 2011) Full Individual or e-Members of NCTM or teach in a school with a current (as of October 14, 2011) NCTM PreK-8 school membership.
The National Science Teachers Association DCAT Making a Difference Award recognizes and honors excellence in a science program developed and implemented by middle- or high school-level science teachers, grades 6-12.
Entries must show innovative and effective teaching strategies combined with a science program that has influenced students to explore and investigate science and its application to global problems.
Maximum award: $2,500 to be used to enhance or expand the winning science program; the winning school’s lead science teacher and principal will be awarded coach airfare and two nights’ hotel accommodation to attend NSTA’s National Conference.
Eligibility: innovative middle- or high school-level science programs.
$2,765,721 for Health Centers at 9 West Virginia Schools
Funding Will Help Keep Kids Healthy so They Can Excel at School
Senator Jay Rockefeller today announced that nine health centers located in or affiliated with West Virginia schools will receive a total of $2,765,721 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The funding will enable the health centers to assist even more West Virginia students through health screenings, health promotion and disease prevention activities, and enable children with acute or chronic illnesses to better manage their conditions at school. The funding was provided through the health care reform law, which Rockefeller helped write.
“Healthy children are able to go to school, learn more, and better succeed both in the classroom and in the future,” said Rockefeller. “This funding will help many health centers throughout the state support even more students with critical health care services. Our children deserve the best education possible. With this funding, we can help make sure that they are healthy enough to make the most of that education.”
The following clinics received awards:
• Lincoln County Primary Care Center in Hamlin - $398,522
• Rainelle Medical Center Inc. in Rainelle - $452,456
• Tug River Health Association Inc. in Gary - $91,000
• Valley Health Systems Inc. in Huntington - $492,835
• Wirt County Health Services Association Inc. in Elizabeth - $249,795
• Womencare Inc. in Scott Depot - $90,838
• Monroe County Health Center in Union - $155,950
• Ritchie County Primary Care Association Inc. in Harrisville - $334,325
• New River Health Association Inc. in Scarbro - $500,000
According to Marshall University, between 2007-2008 school-based health centers in West Virginia provided one-on-one care to 15,458 students recording over 67,575 visits. An additional 8,660 encounters were recorded for services provided to area school students, school staff, and members of the community. At the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year there were 56 school-based health care centers in the state serving 61 schools in 24 counties.
School-based health centers are essential to helping students stay healthy. They provide a variety of services including treatment for illnesses ranging from the flu to diabetes or asthma, as well as dental, vision, and hearing care. The centers focus on prevention, early intervention, and risk education so that students can stay healthy and continue to attend school. They also have professionals to counsel students on many threats including healthy habits, prevention and injury, and violence.
School-based health centers often are operated as a partnership between the school and a community health organization, such as a community health center, hospital, or local health department. The specific services provided by school-based health centers vary based on community needs and resources as determined through collaborations between the community, the school district, and the health care providers.
The state Board of Education decided last week to have the legal staff of the state Department of Education to prepare a “Friend of the Court” brief in connection with the fight by county school boards over the post-employment benefit debt issue.
A number of county boards are challenging a ruling from the state that says the local boards must list the debt of future retiree health care costs on their financial books.
The legal challenge over Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB) is now before the state Supreme Court.
The motion approved earlier this week by the state Board of Education says forcing counties to carry the debt on their books is proving to be financially harmful.
“It is this liability, that will result in large numbers of county boards of education being forced to report deficit balances” the approved motion said.
WV Board of Education Seeks Comment on Proposed Policies 2340, 3236, 5100, 5202 Updates
The West Virginia Board of Education at its July meeting placed several proposed policy updates on public comment for 30 days.
The board is seeking comment on changes to Policy 2340, West Virginia Measures of Academic Progress.
The update incorporates recent revisions to Policy 2510, Assuring Quality of Education: Regulations for Education Programs.
Those changes included changing chemistry from a graduation requirement to an elective science course.
The update to 2340 addresses the students who are required to take the Grade 11 WESTEST2 Science Test.
Also on public comment are updates to Policy 3236, Education Innovation Zones.
Revisions to this policy incorporate legislation passed earlier this year that addresses dropout prevention and credit recovery.
The intent of the legislation is to add a separate category of innovation zones that allows schools to focus on dropout prevention.
The board also is considering changes to Policy 5100, Approval of Educational Personnel Preparation Programs as well as updates to Policy 5202, Minimum Requirements for the Licensure of Professional/Paraprofessional Personnel and Advance Salary Classifications.
These policy updates are being revised to reflect new Praxis test numbers and scores for the tests.
Changes also include clarification of programmatic levels previously omitted and modification of the programmatic level for the preschool endorsement, among other changes.
Educators, parents and community members are encouraged to review the proposed changes and make suggestions.
Legislative Update – by – Delegate Brent Boggs - House Majority Leader - 07.18.11
All is too quiet in our home this evening, as our grandsons Collin and Gavin are home in South Carolina. Jean and I made the halfway trip to Statesville, NC on Sunday to meet Jessica to pick up the boys. They really love “coming home” to West Virginia and it is a sad time when their extended summer visit with grandparents and for Bible school concludes.
The next two weeks I will be mostly at the Capitol, although we are not officially in session. The detail work begins with staff this week on the tedious task of redistricting. However, at interim meetings last week, the House focused on the issue of Congressional redistricting.
As noted by the WV Legislature’s Reference and Information Office, the House of Delegates Select Committee on Redistricting met last Wednesday, July 13 in an informational hearing to hear an overview by Morgan Cullen from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) regarding redistricting laws from a federal standpoint. The redistricting process is constitutionally mandated and strictly governed by state and federal laws. Public involvement and comment has the potential to be higher than ever this time around due to an ease of communication with advents in technology.
Mr. Cullen also stated that complying with the Voters Right Act, as is federally mandated, often leads to linking similar communities of interest together such as minority districts. Doing this can lead to oddly shaped “gerrymandered” congressional districts but he states this should not be a problem in the mostly rural, largely Caucasian population in West Virginia. He pointed out that two of the three Congressional Districts in West Virginia, the 1st and 3rd Congressional Districts must gain population while the 2nd must lose population to remain within the federally mandated guidelines of equal representation.
Additional information regarding federal redistricting guidelines presented to committee members (with the Redistricting Law 2010 journal) can be found online at the NCSL website at: ncsl.org.
Also of keen interest, the Joint Select Committee on Marcellus Shale conducted two extensive hearings regarding the implications, the economics and the effects of horizontal drilling of natural gas within the Mountain State. An in-depth explanation of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technology was provided by the Professor and Chair of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering Department from West Virginia University. West Virginia’s Deputy Tax Commissioner addressed the growth of Marcellus Shale development on the state’s severance and property taxes; while spokespersons for the WV Environmental Council and the WV Surface Right Organization provided perspective from their respective vantage points.
The Joint Committee on Marcellus Shale is expecting to conduct three, 2 hour meetings during the August Interims (August 01-03) to tackle a legislative draft proposal regarding the overall production process utilized via natural gas horizontal wells.
Finally, work is to begin soon on another important infrastructure project in central West Virginia. Contractor crews are positioning preparing for a long-overdue wastewater extension project in Gassaway. Coupled with another project to begin soon between Gassaway and Sutton, it will be another important step in improving and expanding our basic infrastructure.
How to Contact
Please send address your inquiries to the Capitol Office at: Building 1, Room 226-M, Charleston, WV 25305. Or, call the Capitol office at 304.340.3220 or my Assistant to the Majority Leader, Mr. Tom Bennett at 304.340.3262 or fax to 304.340.3213. If you have an interest in any particular bill or issue, please let me know.
For those with Internet access, my e-mail address is “Boggs34@aol.com”. You also may obtain additional legislative information, including the copies of bills, conference reports, daily summaries, interim highlights, and other information from the Legislature’s web site atwww.legis.state.wv.us/. If you write or leave a message, please remember to include your phone number with your inquiry and any details you can provide. Additional information, including agency links and state government phone directory may be found atwww.wv.gov and on the Facebook site of the West Virginia Legislature.
Remember to thank a veteran for their service to our nation and continue to remember our troops - at home and abroad - and keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers. Until next week – take care.
Rep. David B. McKinley, P.E. (R-WV) co-sponsored legislation Wednesday that would prioritize the federal government’s spending in the case President Obama and congressional leaders cannot agree upon a deal on the debt limit.
H.R. 2402, the Prioritize Spending Act, introduced by Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) last week, would prevent the country from defaulting on its obligations by stipulating which federal departments would continue to make payments while the debt ceiling agreement is being finalized.
The ‘Prioritize Spending Act’ would specify that payments on the public debt, paychecks for our military, and Social Security and Medicare benefits must be paid first. This would prevent the U.S. government from defaulting on these obligations.
On Tuesday, President Obama attempted to scare seniors about the potential of Social Security checks being withheld if a deal is not reached by August 2nd. The president said he “cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven’t resolved this issue. Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it.“ Rep. McKinley said Wednesday that this is not an option that is acceptable for West Virginia and we must do whatever it takes to ensure our seniors and our troops receive the checks they were promised on August 3rd if no deal is reached.
“President Obama continues to ask for another debt ceiling increase with job-killing tax hikes attached and not nearly enough spending cuts and reforms,” McKinley said. “We should not allow him to hold the American economy hostage to fears of default, troops not getting paid and seniors having the benefits they’ve earned suddenly cut off. That’s why this legislation is necessary – to ensure that those calamities do not occur if the president insists on sinking any hope of compromise. That said, this is only a contingency plan, and I remain hopeful that the president and leaders in Congress can agree upon a bipartisan plan that cuts spending now, enacts significant structural reforms for the future and does not raise taxes on the American people.”
Manchin’s Message from the Hill to the Mountains: EXPLORING ALL WEST VIRGINIA HAS TO OFFER
With summer well underway, I hope you have the time to get out and enjoy all of the unique outdoor activities our wild and wonderful state has to offer. I know many of you are working hard to tighten your belts during these tough economic times, but in West Virginia, you don’t have to go far from home for an affordable, exciting getaway that the whole family will enjoy. Indeed, the Mountain State has it all. So this summer, think about getting in the car for a vacation in West Virginia.
Our great state offers your whole family many opportunities to learn about our history, such as West Virginia Independence Hall, Harpers Ferry or Blennerhassett Island. In addition, the recently renovated West Virginia State Museum, located at Cultural Center in Charleston, displays our state’s history with great pride, though it is still just a sampling of our beautiful landscapes and the individuality of our people. For a lesson in Appalachian culture, you can visit the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine, the International Mother’s Day Shrine, in Grafton, or one of our state’s more than 130 fairs and festivals.
Of course, West Virginia is renowned for its vast outdoor recreation, especially the fishing and hunting that I enjoy so much. For thrill seekers, enjoy a long hike or test your agility by whitewater rafting or zip-lining through the wilderness. One of my favorite summertime activities is fly fishing for an elusive trout in one of the hundreds of tumbling mountain streams. Exploring the outdoors truly gives your family an exciting opportunity to experience the best of West Virginia.
The Mountain State offers unique shopping experiences as well, and shopping is continually ranked as one of vacationers’ favorite activities. Whether it’s products from West Virginia artisans or small business owners in quaint downtown areas, our distinctive, locally-owned businesses have the perfect gift.
Our tourism industry is made up mostly of small business owners who are committed to making West Virginia an unforgettable vacation destination. The state is truly fortunate to have so many dedicated people in the travel industry, who work hard to showcase our many unique destinations, while also offering our guests the best in hospitality.
As difficult as these times are, I hope you and your family get a chance to explore what West Virginia has to offer this summer.
For more vacation ideas, call 1.800.CALL.WVA or visit www.wvtourism.com. And if you have other ideas for great destinations, or if you have any other priorities or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact my office at 304.342.5855.
WV Governor: Responsibly Embracing Opportunities For West Virginia
In recent years, West Virginia has had the foresight and discipline to position itself well and embrace the opportunities that come with good management. In the past three years, our commitment to fiscal responsibility led three credit rating agencies to upgrade our bond ratings resulting in an immediate savings for taxpayers in terms of publically financed projects like the construction of new schools. In addition, just this year I led the charge to lower the state’s food tax for our families.
One new opportunity on the horizon is one that I believe we must proactively embrace for the benefit of our citizens, protection of our environment and to invigorate the private sector. The natural gas industry has long been a source of good-paying jobs and fuel for West Virginians and their homes. The discovery of vast amounts of natural gas embedded in Marcellus Shale presents us with a tremendous opportunity. In the latter part of 2007, West Virginia natural gas producers began combining horizontal drilling techniques with hydraulic fracturing to recover large volumes of gas from the Marcellus Shale. Since January of 2008, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has issued close to 900 permits for horizontal drilling into the Marcellus Shale. Those numbers are certain to increase.
The potential of the Marcellus Shale as an abundant energy source for our state and the nation, while creating thousands of good-paying jobs and revitalizing our chemical and manufacturing industries is exciting. Still, we must be diligent in our efforts to ensure that processes associated with the Marcellus and other shale gas production are responsibly regulated to protect all West Virginians.
As the discussions and practices of Marcellus Shale development have expanded, I have heard from many constituents. I truly appreciate the time you took to voice your varying concerns about such development and its impact. I have listened and I’ve taken the crucial action needed to start West Virginia on the right path toward regulatory certainty in Marcellus development, while protecting our citizens, and the environment.
Earlier this week, joined by state legislators and leaders of our state’s natural resources, I announced the filing of my executive order that directs the state DEP to promulgate additional environmental regulations governing Marcellus drilling activities.
Specifically, my executive order requires companies to provide a list of additives they use in frack fluids; post signs at water withdrawal location points on streams; and take steps to protect in-stream flow during periods of withdrawal. Marcellus drilling applicants who want to establish a well-site within the boundaries of a municipality must file a public notice of intent to drill. This order is an important first step in providing responsible regulatory oversight. But, there is much work to be done by legislators serving on a Legislative select committee, which is developing a reasonable and comprehensive proposal related to Marcellus development. With input from all concerned, together, I am confident we will make the most of this opportunity.
• This is hard to answer with a simple yes or no - the problems should be solved FIRST.
• No unless there are guaranteed environmental safeguards!
• Surface owners need more control; mineral owners need to get higher percentage.
• We don’t even know all of the potential problems.
• No, as is always the case the landowner gets robbed.
• More $$ for ‘polly-tickens to waste while making robber barons richer. Nothing new here.
• That is how I make a living Fracking Marcellus Wells.
• Hopefully the expected problems can be dealt with in a fair manner. Time will tell..
• With technology and the right preventive actions the problems should be limited.
• It ($/jobs) shouldn’t but jobs and money are what is all about, right Majority of the “problems” are.
• Perceived based on mis-information. Public needs to hear the facts.