Government, The Braxton Democrat

Legislative Update…By Lori Dittman WV House of Delegates 63rd District

December interim meetings began today in Charleston. I attended a Child Welfare Transformation Summit which is a joint working summit of the West Virginia Legislature and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) with the goal of improving the lives of children and families. State leaders examined policy and systems that will support a large-scale transformation in child welfare. David Sanders, PH. D, Executive Vice President of Systems Improvement, Case Family Programs, spoke by phone about national trends and national problems comparing West Virginia and the nation. Perspectives on the child welfare process including decision-making, investigation, ongoing care, and permanency were explained. The group heard from a CPS worker about what a typical week is like. Breakout sessions offered a time of question and answer along with idea exchanges. The day provided valuable conversations and follow up plans to address the ongoing needs. Progress is being made, but there is still work to be done.
I also attended the Joint Committee on Education meeting. Jonah Adkins, Director of PK-12 Academic support, WVDE and Tim Flatley, Coordinator of PK-12 Academic support, WVDE presented Unite with Numeracy which is an initiative to enhance student achievement and engagement by providing students with the essential tools they need to succeed in math by incorporating research-based teaching methods.
Jeff Hunter presented information about the “Grow Your Own” program which is a program to promote education careers by allowing high school students to fast track their career earning college credit in high school making it possible to complete an education degree in three years. In West Virginia, 53 of the 55 counties have a “Grow Your Own” program. Currently there are 345 potential teachers in the program.
Jamie Buckland, WV Families United for Education, addressed the group concerning sports access for private and homeschool students. TC Clemons, a 40-year-plus teacher, shared her experience about overcoming challenging issues in public schools.
The Burnsville Christmas Parade was held last weekend. I was concerned about the weather, but it passed, and the evening was lovely. Congratulations to Burnsville Citizen of the Year, Pam Wine. Thank you to the town for a great parade and thank you for inviting me to be a part. The Christmas Spirit was present throughout. Thank you to everyone who made the evening possible.
I would also like to extend my congratulations to those students who graduated from Glenville State University over the weekend. A big congratulations is extended to Marge Burke, recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from the Board of Governors. Thank you, Marge, for making a difference at the university and in our State.
In other news, the new Gassaway Bridge is open, but paving will not be done until spring.
As we get closer to Christmas, please be aware of those around us that are less fortunate and do our part, when we can, to make life better for all of those around us.
“I love the Christmastide, and yet, I notice this, each year I live; I always like the gifts I get, but how I love the gifts I give.” (Carolyn Wells)
Interims continue for the next few days and I will have more information to share in the next column. I look forward to hearing from people in the district and hope to see you out and about enjoying all the great things our area has to offer. I can be contacted at [email protected] or 304-701-8600.