W.Va. governor against deal to privatize state medical school

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CHARLESTON, W.VA. - West Virginia Governor Jim Justice says he's against a legislative proposal to privatize the state medical school in Lewisburg.

The Democratic governor says privatization of the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine would drive up in-state tuition.

He says it makes "no sense" for the state to divest the highly ranked school, a strong asset that has graduated more than half of all the primary care doctors practicing in the state.

Senator Craig Blair, a Berkeley Republican who chairs the Government Organization Committee, introduced legislation to end state funding and convert the school to nonprofit status on July 1, 2018.

The bill says the school would "greatly benefit" from increased flexibility in education operations and has "the financial stability to operate privately without long-term reliance on state appropriations."

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