Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

May 5, 2014

State champs

Hardy youths win WV History Bowl title

Some things never get old, and one of them is being able to tell people, later on in life, “We were the state champions.”

Usually, this applies to high school athletes. However, we were able to report recently that a team of eighth-grade students from Moorefield in Hardy County beat out 23 other teams from 14 other counties to win the West Virginia History Bowl.

At a time when it’s common for older folks to say that our youngsters aren’t that familiar with history or many other things we traditionally hold dear, these eighth-graders had to display a mastery of more than just the history of their state and county.

They also had to field questions about the Mountain State’s culture, geography, government, heritage, sports and tourism. We suspect that most adults would have difficulty performing as well as they did.

However ... on the same page that carried the story of the Moorefield youngsters’ success, we also carried an Associated Press story that said West Virginia is one of eight states that has cut its funding for higher education.

The nonprofit Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said the state is making $1,600 less per West Virginia student available for public college and university higher education this year than it did in 2006 — a 21.6 percent drop, adjusted for inflation. The cut amounted to 4.7 percent of what was budgeted in 2013. Maryland, on the other hand, increased its per-student funding by 10 percent over last year.

West Virginia isn’t the only state that’s had to resort to increased tuitions and reduced government spending for higher education because of budget concerns.

That’s a sad development, because of the increased difficulty it poses for bright, capable youngsters like those from Moorefield to continue with the education they’ll need when the day comes that they’ll be charged with keeping America successful.

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