Fayette County sues state BOE over schools


FAYETTEVILLE, W.Va. (AP) — Fayette County Commission officials have filed a lawsuit against the state Board of Education and the state School Building Authority, accusing them of failing to fund a consolidation plan for the school’s facilities.

Local news outlets report that the lawsuit was filed by the Fayette County Commission, commission president Matt Wender and two parents of students at Fayette’s public school system.

The lawsuit accuses the agencies of failing to fulfill their duties to fix the school’s failing facilities, which the commission says present a threat of physical harm to students.

Attorney Sam Petsonk says his clients are asking a judge to order the defendants to explain why agencies shouldn’t be forced to fund a school consolidation plan.

“The nature of a mandamus proceeding is not to prescribe specific relief for damages, but to identify a duty and a failure to fulfill that duty,” he said. “I think that the premise of the lawsuit is that the state agencies have failed to fund these Fayette County schools in proportion to their needs.”

The consolidation plan was approved by SBA in November, but the board denied funding a month later.

SBA Executive Director David Sneed said Wednesday the agency will continue working with the county to develop a plan to solve the issues.

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