Press Release : Nov. 15, 2012

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Press Release                                                                    November 15, 2012

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Judy Hale, President, AFT-WV                                                                                                                

Jackee Long, President, WVSSPA                                             

Joint Statement on the Dismissal of Dr. Jorea Marple, State Superintendent of Schools

CHARLESTON, WV –Judy Hale, president of AFT-West Virginia (AFT-WV) and Jackee Long, president of the West Virginia School Service Personnel Association (WVSSPA) issued this joint statement below regarding the dismissal of Dr. Jorea Marple:

“We were surprised by the abrupt manner in which Dr. Marple’s dismissal transpired.  We are troubled that this action was taken with no public discussion. Of equal concern is the fact that there was no publicly announced transition plan for leadership of our state school system.

Dr. Marple has spent her life serving the children of West Virginia as a teacher, principal, county superintendent and state superintendent of schools with integrity and distinction. As the first female superintendent of schools in West Virginia, she brought knowledge, commitment and experience to the job. We are also dismayed over the resignation of two members of the state board of education, Priscilla Haden and Jenny Phillips.

After engaging in conversations with members of the state board of education over the past several months, there appeared to be philosophical differences between the WV Department of Education and some members of the WV Board of Education relating to the education efficiency audit. Based upon these conversations with state board members, we have no evidence that Dr. Marple’s dismissal was politically motivated, but rather based upon philosophical differences.

We believe that the Board of Education owes the citizens of West Virginia a strategy for moving forward. It is our sincere hope that all stakeholders can come together quickly to work toward the goal of providing a world-class education system for the children of West Virginia.”

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The AFT in West Virginia represents over 16,500 education employees in West Virginia and is the fastest growing union in the state.  Nationally, the AFT represents 1.6 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers, paraprofessionals and other school support employees, higher education faculty, nurses and other healthcare workers, and state and local government employees. The WVSSPA represents over 8500 school support personnel in West Virginia and is an affiliate of AFT-WV.