MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia students are at the edge of a crisis.
In 2010, there were around 4,000 K-12 students in West Virginia’s school system in foster care and about 9,000 students designated as homeless. Over the last decade, those numbers have jumped drastically, to 7,000 in foster care and nearly 11,000 homeless students.
This year, the number of students enrolling in higher education dropped to some of the lowest numbers ever, with under 48 percent of students attending post-secondary education.
To address these issues and how West Virginia’s education systems are combating these trends, a panel of four of the top figures in the state’s education system participated in an “armchair discussion” as part of the West Virginia Public Education Collaborative’s, six-hour “Focus Forward Symposium” Wednesday in Morgantown at the Waterfront Marriott.
Panelists Clayton Burch, state superintendent of schools; Sarah Tucker, chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission; Gordon Gee, president of West Virginia University; and Brad Smith, president of Marshall University discussed the future of education in the Mountain State…