Report: Opioid Crisis, Poverty Harms West Virginia Students

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A report released ahead of the West Virginia Legislature’s special session on education recommends addressing the consequences of poverty and the opioid crisis on children.

The report released Tuesday by the state Department of Education was based on surveys of students and educators along with comments from forums held around the state.

Republican Gov. Jim Justice called the special session after the GOP-led Legislature was unable to agree on teacher pay raises and other education measures. Senate President Mitch Carmichael has said he wants comprehensive education changes to improve classroom performances.

But West Virginia has one of the nation’s highest poverty rates and by far the highest rate of drug overdose deaths. The report found that “public schools carry much of the burden created by abuse, neglect and household dysfunction.”