EDUCATION–The latest on the PROMISE Scholarship & a summary of the WV Board of Education meeting

By WV Professional Educators Association

Below are two important updates on educational issues of interest across West Virginia. First, an update on the details of the WV Promise Scholarship. Second, a summary of the most recent WV Board of Education meeting.

West Virginia Promise Scholarship: 

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission has voted to extend the deadline for current high school seniors to apply for the Promise Scholarship until May 1, 2023. The Commission also approved increasing the award amount for the 2023-24 academic year to $5,200, up from the previous amount of $5,000 annually. The eligibility requirements, including test scores, remain the same for the class of 2023:
ACT: 21 composite score with a minimum of 19 in English, math, science, and reading.
SAT: 1080 total score with a minimum of 510 in math, evidence-based reading, and writing.
While the Promise application and Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are due by
May 1, current seniors have until June 2023 to earn qualifying SAT scores and July 2023 to earn
qualifying ACT scores to be eligible to receive Promise this fall. Students also are able to use
“super scoring” to meet the eligibility requirements, meaning that they can take sub-scores
from different tests they’ve taken to get an overall score that is higher than an individual test
score. The application and requirements are available at collegeforwv.com/promise. The FAFSA is free and available through the U.S. Department of Education at fafsa.gov.
For assistance with applications, students and families are encouraged to call the state’s
financial aid hotline at 877-987-7664. Students are also encouraged to sign up for West
Virginia’s text-message college counseling program, “Txt 4 Success,” by
visiting http://www.cfwvconnect.com/txt-4-success/

Highlights of the West Virginia Board of Education Meeting, March 8, 2023:
Recognitions: Board member Debra Sullivan read a proclamation stating that March is Music In
Our Schools Month. Its purpose is to recognize the important role of music education, and to
promote the many benefits that the study of music provides to our students.

Delegations: WVPE Executive Director David Gladkosky addressed the board on cyber-attacks
on school systems and the many problems it caused in the recent attack on the Berkeley County
School system.

School Safety Update: Ron Arthur, Administrator for the West Virginia Division of Protective
Services, School Safety Division, reported on the 100+on-site school visits, and the progress
made in improving safety. He feels that the biggest threats to our students are from known
persons who can more easily make their way into a school.

New Business:
• A motion to approve an application for the Teach for America Appalachia (TFAA) to
provide a teacher certification program consisting of coursework and a clinical
experience was approved. The program candidates must meet the requirements of WV
Code and WVBE policies.

Consent Agenda/Routine Business:
• Approval was given for employment of substitute teachers in areas of critical need and
shortage for Preston County and the revised policy for Calhoun County. The affidavits
will be submitted to the Consolidated Public Retirement Board.
• West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind monthly update, Clayton Burch,
Superintendent, WV Schools for the Deaf and the Blind.

WVDE Reports/Superintendent’s Update:
• Legislative Update: Deputy Superintendent Michelle Blatt reported on bills moving out
of committees to the floor, and bills signed by the governor or awaiting his signature
during this last week of the legislative session. There are two versions of student literacy
bills. It appears that SB 274, the Student Success Act will not pass, but a very similar bill,
HB 3035, Relating to high-quality education programs and school operations, passed in
the Senate on March 9th, and will be sent to the House to concur.
• WVDE Communications Director Christy Day gave an update on the Ready, Read, Write
WV Literacy Initiative. Twelve videos are now completed with the latest on fluency. A
statewide TV spot is about to launch.
• Tim Flatley of WVDE shared information on the Comprehensive Mathematics
Improvement Plan which will align teaching practices and student achievement. There
will be videos and supportive resources.
• Melanie Purkey and Laura Pauley presented Board members with a written report on
ESSER/ARP Funding. This report included background information and an explanation
on the federal funding process with its conditions and rules. The federal funding flows
to the states then to the LEAs through a grant process with a letter of credit through the
US Treasury. Information on county expenditures was reported and included 1,723
support positions provided through these funds. Monitoring is being done with each
county, and all monitoring reports are available online for review.

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