It's still early yet, but the first signs coming from the administration of West Virginia Gov. Cecil Underwood indicate that the state's new chief executive is open to a variety of new ideas, particularly when they involve education. One in particular makes so much sense we're surprised no one's thought of it before.
The idea? Let students attend the school closest to them, regardless of whether the school is outside their home counties. Transition-team leaders told the governor that long bus rides are no help to students who could avoid them if officials could concentrate on children instead of on border lines.
The same concentration on borders has also hurt efforts to consolidate schools in some areas, said team leaders, who said some students have tackled the problem on their own by falsifying their addresses so they could attend nearby schools.
What would it take to abolish the political borders that now govern school system funding? Probably some system of credits that would allow one county to pay another for educating an out-of-county student, and a system of state guidelines that would specify when such payments would be made.