(Editor’s note: The following letter sent to Fayette County’s delegates and senators was forwarded to The Montgomery Herald for publication.)

The School Building Authority made their decision today to not provide funding for the State Board of Education’s latest “solution” to Fayette County’s school building problem.

The obvious alternative to meeting the educational needs for Fayette County’s youth is to look to the private and nonprofit sector which are already well established. Private education has been meeting the needs of Fayette County children for many years and is uniquely positioned to expand their services. All that is needed is an assurance of revenue that could be provided by special legislation. Only a fraction of public funds would need to be allocated for the education of our youth.

The public school system no longer has a viable solution for Fayette County parents and, as such, are no longer trusted by residents to effectively and efficiently educate their children. For many years, those parents who are able have been making the necessary sacrifices to send their children to private schools. It is now time for every student in Fayette County to have that option!

“School choice” is a viable, smart option for West Virginia’s and especially Fayette County’s youth. Please consider a private/public partnership as we move forward from here. It can provide the flexibility of local community schools and allow parents to direct the education of their children.

The ball is now in your court! The State and County Board of Education have intentionally brought our school buildings to the current state of disrepair. It was a calculated decision made many years ago in order to force the residents of Fayette County to do their will. School choice is a simple and effective solution for Fayette County children. Other states have made this choice successfully. One thing is for certain, our children’s education is at risk here; and the public school bureaucracy does not have a solution.

This is personal! We need you, as our representatives, to propose a solution through your positions as legislators. School choice is coming to West Virginia! We do not have to repeat the mistakes others have made through consolidation. The parents and children of Fayette County deserve another option, one that will enable them to succeed! Use Fayette County as a test county to evaluate whether it is a viable option across the state.

Aggie Casto


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