Bill Text: WV HB3008 | 2018 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to eliminating county school systems and creating ten school districts

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2018-01-10 - To House Education [HB3008 Detail]

Download: West_Virginia-2018-HB3008-Introduced.html

WEST virginia legislature

2017 regular session

Introduced

House Bill 3008

By Delegate Walters

[Introduced March 14, 2017; Referred
to Committee on
Education then Finance.]

A BILL to amend and reenact §1-5-2 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; to amend and reenact §3-1A-7 of said code; to amend and reenact §3-5-6, §3-5-8 and §3-5-13 of said code; to amend and reenact §5-10-22c of said code; to amend and reenact §5-16-2 and §5-16-22 of said code; to amend and reenact §5A-3-10a of said code; to amend and reenact §6-8-5, §6-8-7, §6-8-9 and §6-8-10 of said code; to amend and reenact §6-9-1a, §6-9-7 and §6-9-11 of said code; to amend and reenact §6B-1-3 of said code; to amend and reenact §6B-2-1, §6B-2-5 and §6B-2- 6 of said code; to amend and reenact §6B-3-3b of said code; to amend and reenact §6C-2-2 of said code; to amend and reenact §7-4-1 of said code; to amend and reenact §7-6-4 of said code; to amend and reenact §7-11B-3 of said code;  to amend and reenact §7-13-6, §7-13-6a, §7-13-8 and §7-13-9 of said code; to amend and reenact §7-23-3 of said code; to amend and reenact §7-25-18 of said code; to amend and reenact §8-9-14 of said code; to amend and reenact §8-23-3 of said code; to amend and reenact §8A-6-2 of said code; to amend and reenact §9-9-16 of said code; to amend and reenact §10-1-1 of said code; to amend and reenact §10-2-1 of said code; to amend and reenact §10-2A-1, §10-2A-3, §10-2A-4, §10-2A-6, §10-2A-7, §10-2A-7, §10-2A-10 of said code; to amend and reenact §11-1C-2, §11-1C-5 and §11-1C-8 of said code; to amend and reenact §11-8-6b, §11-8-6c, §11-8-6g and §11-8-16 of said code; to amend and reenact §11-10-14 of said code; to amend and reenact §11-13-2p of said code; to amend and reenact §11-14-5, §11-14-5b and §11-14-11 of said code; to amend and reenact §11-14C-9 of said code; to amend and reenact §11A-1-3 of said code; to amend and reenact §11B-2-3 of said code; to amend and reenact §12-3-20 of said code; to amend and reenact §12-4-15 of said code; to amend and reenact §12-6-2 and §12-6-9c of said code; to amend and reenact §12-6C-3 of said code; to amend and reenact §13-1-3, §13-1-4 and §13-1-19 of said code; to amend and reenact §15-1I-2 of said code; to amend and reenact §15-6-17 of said code; to amend and reenact §16-9A-4 of said code; to amend and reenact §17B-2-3a of said code; to amend and reenact §17C-6-1 of said code; to amend and reenact §17C-12-7 of said code; to amend and reenact §17C-15-26 of said code; to amend and reenact §18-1-1 of said code; to amend and reenact §18-2-1, §18-2-3, §18-2-4, §18-2-5, §18-2-5f, §18-2-5h, §18-2-6, §18-2-9, §18-2-11, §18-2-25, §18-2-26, §18-2-26a, §18-2-34, §18-2-35, and §18-2-36 of said code; to amend and reenact §18-2A-1, §18-2A-2, §18-2A-3, §18-2A-4, §18-2A-5, §18-2A-8 and §18-2A-9; to amend and reenact §18-2C-3 and §18-2C-5 of said code; to amend and reenact §18-2D-4 of said code; to amend and reenact §18-2E-3a, §18-2E-4, §18-2E-4a, §18-2E-5, §18-2E-5a, §18-2E-5d, §18-2E-7, §18-2E-8, §18-2E-8d, §18-2E-8e, §18-2E-9 and §18-2E-10 of said code; to amend and reenact §18-2K-2 and §18-2K-3 of said code; to amend and reenact §18-3-9a and §18-3-12 of said code; to amend and reenact §18-4-1, §18-4-2, §18-4-6, §18-4-10 and §18-4-11 of said code; to amend and reenact §18-5-1, §18-5-1a, §18-5-1b, §18-5-1c, §18-5-4, §18-5-5, §18-5-6, §18-5-7, §18-5-7a, §18-5-9, §18-5-9a, §18-5-11, §18-5-11a, §18-5-13, §18-5-13a, §18-5-14, §18-5-15, §18-5-15c, §18-5-16, §18-5-17, §18-5-18, §18-5-18a, §18-5-18b, §18-5-19a, §18-5-19b, §18-5-21, §18-5-21a, §18-5-21b, §18-5-21c, §18-5-21d, §18-5-21e, §18-5-22, §18-5-22a, §18-5-22b, §18-5-22c, §18-5-24, §18-5-25, §18-5-26, §18-5-32, §18-5-36, §18-5-36a, §18-5-39, §18-5-41, §18-5-44, §18-5-45 and §18-5-47 of said code; to amend and reenact §18-5A-1, §18-5A-2, §18-5A-3, §18-5A-3a, §18-5A-5, §18-5A-6, of said code; to amend and reenact §18-5B-3, §18-5B-4, §18-5B-5, §18-5B-6, §18-5B-8, §18-5B-9, §18-5B-10, §18-5B-11, §18-5B-12 and §18-5B-13 of said code; to amend and reenact §18-5C-1, §18-5C-2 and §18-5C-3 of said code; to amend and reenact §18-5D-3 and §18-5D-4 of said code; to amend and reenact §18-5E-2, §18-5E-3, §18-5E-4, §18-5E-5 and §18-5E-6 of said code; to amend and reenact §18-6-2 and §18-6-6 of said code; to amend and reenact §18-7A-3, §18-7A-13, §18-7A-15, §18-7A-35 and §18-7A-35b of said code; to amend and reenact §18-7B-2 and §18-7B-17 of said code; to amend and reenact §18-7D-4 of said code; to amend and reenact §18-8-1, §18-8-1a, §18-8-2, §18-8-3, §18-8-4, §18-8-5a, §18-8-6, §18-8-6a, §18-8-8 and §18-8-9 of said code; to amend and reenact §18-9-2a, §18-9-2c, §18-9-2d, §18-9-3, §18-9-3a, §18-9-4, §18-9-6 and §18-9-6a of said code; to amend and reenact §18-9B-2, §18-9B-4, §18-9B-5, §18-9B-6, §18-9B-6a, §18-9B-8, §18-9B-9, §18-9B-12, §18-9B-13, §18-9B-14, §18-9B-15, §18-9B-17, §18-9B-18, §18-9B-19 and §18-9B-19a of said code; to amend and reenact §18-9D-2, §18-9D-3, §18-9D-15, §18-9D-16 and §18-9D-19 of said code; to amend and reenact §18-9E-3, §18-9B-4 and §18-9E-5 of said code; to amend and reenact §18-9F-2, §18-9F-3, §18-9F-4, §18-9F-6, §18-9F-7 and §18-9F-9 of said code; to amend and reenact §18-10-8 of said code; to amend and reenact §18-10A-2a of said code; to amend and reenact §18-10F-2 of said code; to amend and reenact §18-10H-6 of said code; to amend and reenact §18-17-1 of said code; to amend and reenact §18-20-1, §18-20-1a, §18-20-1b, §18-20-2, §18-20-5 and §18-20-7 of said code; to amend and reenact §18-21-2 and §18-21-4 of said code; to amend and reenact §18-25-1 of said code; to amend and reenact §18-28-2 of said code; to amend and reenact §18A-1-1 of said code; to amend and reenact §18A-2-1, §18A-2-1a, §18A-2-2, §18A-2-2a, §18A-2-3, §18A-2-4, §18A-2-5, §18A-2-5a, §18A-2-6, §18A-2-7, §18A-2-7b, §18A-2-8, §18A-2-9, §18A-2-11, §18A-2-12, §18A-2-12a and §18A-2-14 of said code; to amend and reenact §18A-3-1, §18A-3-1f, §18A-3-2, §18A-3-2a, §18A-3-2d, §18A-3-3a, §18A-3-6, §18A-3-8, §18A-3-9 and §18A-3-10 of said code; to amend and reenact §18A-4-1, §18A-4-1a, §18A-4-3, §18A-4-4, §18A-4-5a, §18A-4-5b, §18A-4-7a, §18A-4-7b, §18A-4-7c, §18A-4-8, §18A-4-8a, §18A-4-8b, §18A-4-8c, §18A-4-8e, §18A-4-8e, §18A-4-8f, §18A-4-8g, §18A-4-8i, §18A-4-9, §18A-4-10, §18A-4-10a, §18A-4-10c, §18A-4-10d, §18A-4-10f, §18A-4-12, §18A-4-15, §18A-4-16, §18A-4-17, §18A-4-18, §18A-4-19, §18A-4-20 and §18A-4-21 of said code; to amend and reenact §18A-5-1, §18A-5-1a, §18A-5-1b, §18A-5-1d, §18A-5-2, §18A-5-2, §18A-5-4, §18A-5-6 and §18A-5-8 of said code; to amend and reenact §18B-3C-11 of said code; to amend and reenact §18C-4-3 of said code; to amend and reenact §18C-4A-3 and §18C-4A-3 of said code; to amend and reenact §19-8-1, §19-8-2 and §19-8-3 of said code; to amend and reenact §19-20-10 of said code; to amend and reenact §19-25-1 of said code; to amend and reenact §20-1-10a of said code; to amend and reenact §20-2-30a of said code; to amend and reenact §20-3-17 of said code; to amend and reenact §21-5-3 of said code; to amend and reenact §21-5D-2 of said code; to amend and reenact §23-2-1a of said code; to amend and reenact §24A-1-3 of said code; to amend and reenact §29-12-5a of said code; to amend and reenact §29-22C-27 of said code; to amend and reenact §30-12-12 of said code; to amend and reenact §30-21-2 of said code; to amend and reenact §30-31-11 of said code; to amend and reenact §31-18E-11 of said code; to amend and reenact §31-21-5 and §31-21-15 of said code; to amend and reenact §33-2-21a of said code; to amend and reenact §33-14-29 of said code; to amend and reenact §38-5B-1 of said code; to amend and reenact §49-1-206 of said code; to amend and reenact §49-4-406, §49-4-407 and §49-4-704; to amend and reenact §53-8-1 and §53-8-7 of said code; to amend and reenact §61-2-15 of said code; to amend and reenact §61-5A-2 of said code; to amend and reenact §61-7-2, §61-7-11a and §61-7-14 of said code; to amend and reenact §61-8-29 of said code; to amend and reenact §61-10-15 and §61-10-15 of said code; all relating to eliminating county school systems and creating ten school districts; eliminating county boards of education and establishing school district boards of education; creating ten school districts throughout the state to carry on the powers and duties of county school districts; modifying definitions; establishing membership of school district boards of education; requiring state board of education to create a transition plan; establishing terms of office for board members; modifying references to county school boards and county school districts throughout the code.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:


That §1-5-2 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931 as amended, be amended and reenacted; that §3-1A-7 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §3-5-6, §3-5-8 and §3-5-13 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §5-10-22c of said code be amended and reenacted; that §5-16-2 and §5-16-22 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §5A-3-10a of said code be amended and reenacted; that §6-8-5, §6-8-7, §6-8-9 and §6-8-10 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §6-9-1a, §6-9-7 and §6-9-11 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §6B-1-3 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §6B-2-1, §6B-2-5 and §6B-2- 6 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §6B-3-3b of said code be amended and reenacted; that §6C-2-2 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §7-4-1 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §7-6-4 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §7-11B-3 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §7-13-6, §7-13-6a, §7-13-8 and §7-13-9 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §7-23-3 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §7-25-18 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §8-9-14 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §8-23-3 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §8A-6-2 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §9-9-16 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §10-1-1 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §10-2-1 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §10-2A-1, §10-2A-3, §10-2A-4, §10-2A-6, §10-2A-7, §10-2A-7 and §10-2A-10 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §11-1C-2, §11-1C-5 and §11-1C-8 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §11-8-6b, §11-8-6c, §11-8-6c and §11-8-16 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §11-10-14 of said code be amended and reenacted; that 11-13-2p be amended and reenacted; that §11-14-5, §11-14-5b and §11-14-11 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §11-14C-9 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §11A-1-3 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §11B-2-3 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §12-3-20 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §12-4-15 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §12-6-2 and §12-6-9c of said code be amended and reenacted; that §12-6C-3 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §13-1-3, §13-1-4 and §13-1-19 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §15-1I-2 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §15-6-17 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §16-9A-4 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §17B-2-3a of said code be amended and reenacted; that §17C-6-1 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §17C-12-7 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §17C-15-26 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18-1-1 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18-2-1, §18-2-3, §18-2-4, §18-2-5, §18-2-5f, §18-2-5h, §18-2-6, §18-2-9, §18-2-11, §18-2-25, §18-2-26, §18-2-26a, §18-2-34, §18-2-35 and §18-2-36 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18-2A-1, §18-2A-2, §18-2A-3, §18-2A-4, §18-2A-5, §18-2A-8 and §18-2A-9 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18-2C-3 and §18-2C-5 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18-2D-4 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18-2E-3a, §18-2E-4, §18-2E-4a, §18-2E-5, §18-2E-5a, §18-2E-5d, §18-2E-7, §18-2E-8, §18-2E-8d, §18-2E-8e, §18-2E-9 and §18-2E-10 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18-2K-2 and §18-2K-3 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18-3-9a and §18-3-12 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18-4-1, §18-4-2, §18-4-6, §18-4-10 and §18-4-11 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18-5-1, §18-5-1a, §18-5-1b, §18-5-1c, §18-5-4, §18-5-5, §18-5-6, §18-5-7, §18-5-7a, §18-5-9, §18-5-9a, §18-5-11, §18-5-11a, §18-5-13, §18-5-13a, §18-5-14, §18-5-15, §18-5-15c, §18-5-16, §18-5-17, §18-5-18, §18-5-18a, §18-5-18b, §18-5-19a, §18-5-19b, §18-5-21, §18-5-21a, §18-5-21b, §18-5-21c, §18-5-21d, §18-5-21e, §18-5-22, §18-5-22a, §18-5-22b, §18-5-22c, §18-5-24, §18-5-25, §18-5-26, §18-5-32, §18-5-36, §18-5-36a, §18-5-39, §18-5-41, §18-5-44, §18-5-45 and §18-5-47 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18-5A-1, §18-5A-2, §18-5A-3, §18-5A-3a, §18-5A-5 and §18-5A-6 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18-5B-3, §18-5B-4, §18-5B-5, §18-5B-6, §18-5B-8, §18-5B-9, §18-5B-10, §18-5B-11, §18-5B-12 and §18-5B-13 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18-5C-1, §18-5C-2 and §18-5C-3 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18-5D-3 and §18-5D-4 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18-5E-2, §18-5E-3, §18-5E-4, §18-5E-5 and §18-5E-6 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18-6-2 and §18-6-6 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18-7A-3, §18-7A-13, §18-7A-15, §18-7A-35 and §18-7A-35b of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18-7B-2 and §18-7B-17 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18-7D-4 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18-8-1, §18-8-1a, §18-8-2, §18-8-3, §18-8-4, §18-8-5a, §18-8-6, §18-8-6a, §18-8-8 and §18-8-9 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18-9-2a, §18-9-2c, §18-9-2d, §18-9-3, §18-9-3a, §18-9-4, §18-9-6 and §18-9-6a of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18-9B-2, §18-9B-4, §18-9B-5, §18-9B-6, §18-9B-6a, §18-9B-8, §18-9B-9, §18-9B-12, §18-9B-13, §18-9B-14, §18-9B-15, §18-9B-17, §18-9B-18,  §18-9B-19 and §18-9B-19a of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18-9D-2, §18-9D-3, §18-9D-15, §18-9D-16 and §18-9D-19 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18-9E-3, §18-9B-4 and §18-9E-5 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18-9F-2, §18-9F-3, §18-9F-4, §18-9F-6, §18-9F-7 and §18-9F-9 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18-10-8 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18-10A-2a of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18-10F-2 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18-10H-6 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18-17-1 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18-20-1, §18-20-1a, §18-20-1b, §18-20-2, §18-20-5 and §18-20-7 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18-21-2 and §18-21-4 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18-25-1 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18-28-2 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18A-1-1 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18A-2-1, §18A-2-1a, §18A-2-2, §18A-2-2a, §18A-2-3, §18A-2-4, §18A-2-5, §18A-2-5a, §18A-2-6, §18A-2-7, §18A-2-7b, §18A-2-8, §18A-2-9, §18A-2-11, §18A-2-12, §18A-2-12a and §18A-2-14 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18A-3-1, §18A-3-1f, §18A-3-2, §18A-3-2a, §18A-3-2d, §18A-3-3a, §18A-3-6, §18A-3-8, §18A-3-9 and §18A-3-10 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18A-4-1, §18A-4-1a, §18A-4-3, §18A-4-4, §18A-4-5a, §18A-4-5b, §18A-4-7a, §18A-4-7b, §18A-4-7c, §18A-4-8, §18A-4-8a, §18A-4-8b, §18A-4-8c, §18A-4-8e, §18A-4-8e, §18A-4-8f, §18A-4-8g, §18A-4-8i, §18A-4-9, §18A-4-10, §18A-4-10a, §18A-4-10c, §18A-4-10d, §18A-4-10f, §18A-4-12, §18A-4-15, §18A-4-16, §18A-4-17, §18A-4-18, §18A-4-19, §18A-4-20 and §18A-4-21 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18A-5-1, §18A-5-1a, §18A-5-1b, §18A-5-1d, §18A-5-2, §18A-5-2, §18A-5-4, §18A-5-6 and §18A-5-8 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18B-3C-11 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18C-4-3 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18C-4A-3 and §18C-4A-3 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §19-8-1, §19-8-2 and §19-8-3 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §19-20-10 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §19-25-1 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §20-1-10a of said code be amended and reenacted; that §20-2-30a of said code be amended and reenacted; that §20-3-17 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §21-5-3 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §21-5D-2 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §23-2-1a of said code be amended and reenacted; that §24A-1-3 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §29-12-5a of said code be amended and reenacted; that §29-22C-27 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §30-12-12 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §30-21-2 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §30-31-11 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §31-18E-11 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §31-21-5 and §31-21-15 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §33-2-21a of said code be amended and reenacted; that §33-14-29 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §38-5B-1 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §49-1-206 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §49-4-406, §49-4-407 and §49-4-704 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §53-8-1 and §53-8-7 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §61-2-15 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §61-5A-2 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §61-7-2, §61-7-11a and §61-7-14 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §61-8-29 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §61-10-15 and §61-10-15 of said code be amended and reenacted; all relating to reconstituting the State Board of Education and County Boards of Education by eliminating county school districts and establishing ten school districts throughout the state; modifying definitions; establishing terms of office; providing for number of members constituting a quorum; establishing state superintendent as president of state board until member elected; creating duty of reconstituted board to consider elimination of RESAs; modifying references to county school boards and county school districts throughout the code.


CHAPTER 1. THE STATE AND ITS SUBDIVISIONS.


ARTICLE 5. ACQUISITION AND DISPOSITION OF REAL PROPERTY BY AND BETWEEN PUBLIC BODIES.


§1-5-2. Scope of article; public body defined.

The provisions of this article shall apply to the State of West Virginia, its agencies, departments, boards and commissions of whatever description, county courts or tribunals in lieu thereof, county school district boards of education, incorporated municipalities or any other political subdivisions.

For the purpose of this article, the term “public body” shall mean the State of West Virginia, or any agency, department, board or commission thereof of whatever description, or any county court or tribunal in lieu thereof, or any county school district board of education, or any incorporated municipality, or any other political subdivision.


CHAPTER 3. ELECTIONS.

ARTICLE 1A. STATE ELECTION COMMISSION AND SECRETARY OF STATE.


§3-1A-7. Candidate's financial disclosure statement.

Candidates for election to any state, county or municipal office, county school board, district school district board, or to the position of county or district school district board superintendent, shall file a financial disclosure statement with the Ethics Commission as may be required under subsection (a), section six, article two, chapter six-b of this code.


ARTICLE 5. PRIMARY ELECTIONS AND NOMINATING PROCEDURES.


§3-5-6. Election of county school district board of education members at primary elections.

(a) An election for the purpose of electing members of the county school district board of education shall be held on the same date as the primary elections, as provided by law, but upon a nonpartisan ballot printed for the purpose.

(b) No more than two members may be elected or serve from the same magisterial district. The eligibility of candidates to be declared elected for full terms of four years and for unexpired terms of two or more years based on this limitation shall be determined at the time of certification of the election.

(1) Such eligibility shall be based on the magisterial district residence of incumbent members of the board whose terms will continue beyond July 1, following the primary election.

(A) No person is eligible to be declared elected who resides in a district which has two such incumbent members.

(B) No more than one candidate is eligible to be declared elected who resides in a district which has one such incumbent member.

(C) A person with the highest number of votes may be declared elected to an unexpired term notwithstanding the fact that the person's magisterial district has two representatives serving on the board at the time of the election: Provided, That the number of representatives from that magisterial district will be less than two as of July 1, following the primary.

(2) The person declared elected to an unexpired term shall assume the duties of a member of the board of Education according to the provisions of section two, article five, chapter eighteen of this code.

(c) In each nonpartisan election for Board of Education the board of canvassers shall:

(1) Declare and certify the election of the required number of eligible candidates receiving the highest numbers of votes to fill any full terms;

(2) Declare and certify the election of the required number of eligible candidates receiving the next highest numbers of votes, after all full terms are filled, to fill any unexpired terms.

(d) It is the intent of this statute that any person declared to be elected under the preceding provisions of this section shall take office as a duly elected member or members, even though the person may not have received a majority or plurality of all votes cast at such election.

(e) In case of a tie vote for a seat on a county school district board of education in any primary election, the provisions of section twelve, article six of this chapter shall control in breaking the tie.

§3-5-8. Filing fees and their disposition.


(a) Every person who becomes a candidate for nomination for or election to office in any primary election shall, at the time of filing the certificate of announcement as required in this article, pay a filing fee as follows:

(1) A candidate for president of the United States, for vice president of the United States, for United States Senator, for member of the United States House of Representatives, for Governor and for all other state elective offices shall pay a fee equivalent to one percent of the annual salary of the office for which the candidate announces: Provided, That the filing fee for any candidate for president or vice president of the United States shall not exceed $2,500 commencing with the 2004 filing period;

(2) A candidate for the office of judge of a circuit court and judge of a family court shall pay a fee equivalent to one percent of the total annual salary of the office for which the candidate announces;

(3) A candidate for member of the House of Delegates shall pay a fee of one-half percent of the total annual salary of the office and a candidate for state Senator shall pay a fee of one percent of the total annual salary of the office;

(4) A candidate for sheriff, prosecuting attorney, circuit clerk, county clerk, assessor, member of the county commission and magistrate shall pay a fee equivalent to one percent of the annual salary, excluding any additional compensation or commission of the office for which the candidate announces. A candidate for county school district board of education shall pay a fee of $25. A candidate for any other county office shall pay a fee of $10;

(5) Delegates to the national convention of any political party shall pay the following filing fees:

(A) A candidate for delegate-at-large shall pay a fee of $20; and

(B) A candidate for delegate from a congressional district shall pay a fee of $10;

(6) Candidates for members of political executive committees and other political committees shall pay the following filing fees:

(A) A candidate for member of a state executive committee of any political party shall pay a fee of $20;

(B) A candidate for member of a county executive committee of any political party shall pay a fee of $10; and

(C)  A candidate for member of a congressional, senatorial or delegate district committee of any political party shall pay a fee of $5.

(b) Candidates shall pay the filing fee to the election official with whom the certificate of announcement is filed according to the provisions of section seven of this article at the time of filing their certificates of announcement and no certificate of announcement shall be received until the filing fee is paid.

(c) All moneys received by the clerk from the fees shall be credited to the general county fund. Moneys received by the Secretary of State from fees paid by candidates for offices to be filled by all the voters of the state shall be deposited in a special fund for that purpose and shall be apportioned and paid by him or her to the several counties on the basis of population and that received from candidates from a district or judicial circuit of more than one county shall be apportioned to the counties comprising the district or judicial circuit in like manner. When such moneys are received by sheriffs it shall be credited to the general county fund. Moneys received by the Secretary of State from fees paid by candidates for judicial or legislative offices to be filled by the voters of one county shall be apportioned to the county in which the boundaries of the district lie.

§3-5-13. Form and contents of ballots.


The following provisions apply to the form and contents of election ballots:

(1) The face of every primary election ballot shall conform as nearly as practicable to that used at the general election.

(2) The heading of every ballot is to be printed in display type. The heading is to contain a ballot title, the name of the county, the state, the words "Primary Election" and the month, day and year of the election. The ballot title of the political party ballots is to contain the words "Official Ballot of the (Name) Party" and the official symbol of the political party may be included in the heading.

(A) The ballot title of any separate paper ballot or portion of any electronic or voting machine ballot for all judicial officer shall commence with the words "Nonpartisan Ballot of Election of Judicial Officers" and each such office shall be listed in the following order:

(i) The ballot title of any separate paper ballot or portion of any electronic or voting machine ballot for all justices of the Supreme Court of Appeals shall contain the words "Nonpartisan Ballot of Election of Justice(s) of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia". The names of the candidates for the Supreme Court of Appeals shall be printed by division without references to political party affiliation or registration.

(ii) The ballot title of any separate paper ballot or portion of any electronic or voting machine ballot for all circuit court judges in the respective circuits shall contain the words "Nonpartisan Ballot of Election of Circuit Court Judge(s)". The names of the candidates for the respective circuit court judge office shall be printed by division without references to political party affiliation or registration.

(iii) The ballot title of any separate paper ballot or portion of any electronic or voting machine ballot for all family court judges in the respective circuits shall contain the words "Nonpartisan Ballot of Election of Family Court Judge(s)". The names of the candidates for the respective family court judge office shall be printed by division without references to political party affiliation or registration.

(iv) The ballot title of any separate paper ballot or portion of any electronic or voting machine ballot for all magistrates in the respective circuits shall contain the words "Nonpartisan Ballot of Election of Magistrate(s)". The names of the candidates for the respective magistrate office shall be printed by division without references to political party affiliation or registration.

(B) The ballot title of any separate paper ballot or portion of any electronic or voting machine ballot for the Board of Education is to contain the words "Nonpartisan Ballot of Election of Members of the ______________ county School District Board of Education". The districts for which less than two candidates may be elected and the number of available seats are to be specified and the names of the candidates are to be printed without reference to political party affiliation and without designation as to a particular term of office.

(C) Any other ballot or portion of a ballot on a question is to have a heading which clearly states the purpose of the election according to the statutory requirements for that question.

(3) (A) For paper ballots, the heading of the ballot is to be separated from the rest of the ballot by heavy lines and the offices shall be arranged in columns with the following headings, from left to right across the ballot: "National Ticket", "State Ticket", "County Ticket" and, in a presidential election year, "National Convention" or, in a nonpresidential election year, "District Ticket". The columns are to be separated by heavy lines. Within the columns, the offices are to be arranged in the order prescribed in section thirteen-a of this article.

(B) For voting machines, electronic voting devices and any ballot tabulated by electronic means, the offices are to appear in the same sequence as prescribed in section thirteen-a of this article and under the same headings as prescribed in paragraph (A) of this subdivision. The number of pages, columns or rows, where applicable, may be modified to meet the limitations of ballot size and composition requirements subject to approval by the Secretary of State.

(C) The title of each office is to be separated from preceding offices or candidates by a line and is to be printed in bold type no smaller than eight point. Below the office is to be printed the number of the district, if any, the number of the division, if any, and the words "Vote for ________" with the number to be nominated or elected or "Vote For Not More Than ________" in multicandidate elections. For offices in which there are limitations relating to the number of candidates which may be nominated, elected or appointed to or hold office at one time from a political subdivision within the district or county in which they are elected, there is to be a clear explanation of the limitation, as prescribed by the Secretary of State, printed in bold type immediately preceding the names of the candidates for those offices on the ballot in every voting system. For counties in which the number of county commissioners exceeds three and the total number of members of the county commission is equal to the number of magisterial districts within the county, the office of county commission is to be listed separately for each district to be filled with the name of the magisterial district and the words "Vote for One" printed below the name of the office: Provided, That the office title and applicable instructions may span the width of the ballot so as it is centered among the respective columns.

(D) The location for indicating the voter's choices on the ballot is to be clearly shown. For paper ballots, other than those tabulated electronically, the official primary ballot is to contain a square formed in dark lines at the left of each name on the ballot, arranged in a perpendicular column of squares before each column of names.

(4) (A) The name of every candidate certified by the Secretary of State or the board of ballot commissioners is to be printed in capital letters in no smaller than eight point type on the ballot for the appropriate precincts. Subject to the rules promulgated by the Secretary of State, the name of each candidate is to appear in the form set out by the candidate on the certificate of announcement, but in no case may the name misrepresent the identity of the candidate nor may the name include any title, position, rank, degree or nickname implying or inferring any status as a member of a class or group or affiliation with any system of belief.

(B) The city of residence of every candidate, the state of residence of every candidate residing outside the state, the county of residence of every candidate for an office on the ballot in more than one county and the magisterial district of residence of every candidate for an office subject to magisterial district limitations are to be printed in lower case letters beneath the names of the candidates.

(C) The arrangement of names within each office must be determined as prescribed in section thirteen-a of this article.

(D) If the number of candidates for an office exceeds the space available on a column or ballot page and requires that candidates for a single office be separated, to the extent possible, the number of candidates for the office on separate columns or pages are to be nearly equal and clear instructions given the voter that the candidates for the office are continued on the following column or page.

(5) When an insufficient number of candidates has filed for a party to make the number of nominations allowed for the office or for the voters to elect sufficient members to the Board of Education or to executive committees, the vacant positions on the ballot shall be filled with the words "No Candidate Filed": Provided, That in paper ballot systems which allow for write-ins to be made directly on the ballot, a blank line shall be placed in any vacant position in the office of Board of Education or for election to any party executive committee. A line shall separate each candidate from every other candidate for the same office. Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, if there are multiple vacant positions on a ballot for one office, the multiple vacant positions which would otherwise be filled with the words "No Candidate Filed" may be replaced with a brief detailed description, approved by the Secretary of State, indicating that there are no candidates listed for the vacant positions.

(6) In presidential election years, the words "For election in accordance with the plan adopted by the party and filed with the Secretary of State" is to be printed following the names of all candidates for delegate to national convention.

(7) All paper ballots are to be printed in black ink on paper sufficiently thick so that the printing or marking cannot be discernible from the back: Provided, That no paper ballot voted pursuant to the provisions of 42 U. S. C. §1973, et seq., the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act of 1986, or federal write-in absentee ballot may be rejected due to paper type, envelope type, or notarization requirement. Ballot cards and paper for printing ballots using electronically sensible ink are to meet minimum requirements of the tabulating systems and are to conform in size and weight to ensure ease in tabulation.

(8) Ballots are to contain perforated tabs at the top of the ballots and are to be printed with unique sequential numbers from one to the highest number representing the total number of ballots printed. On paper ballots, the ballot is to be bordered by a solid line at least one sixteenth of an inch wide and the ballot is to be trimmed to within one-half inch of that border.

(9) On the back of every official ballot or ballot card the words "Official Ballot" with the name of the county and the date of the election are to be printed. Beneath the date of the election there are to be two blank lines followed by the words "Poll Clerks".

(10) The face of sample paper ballots and sample ballot labels are to be like other official ballots or ballot labels except that the word "sample" is to be prominently printed across the front of the ballot in a manner that ensures the names of candidates are not obscured and the word "sample" may be printed in red ink. No printing may be placed on the back of the sample.


CHAPTER 5. GENERAL POWERS AND AUTHORITY OF THE GOVERNOR, SECRETARY OF STATE AND ATTORNEY GENERAL; BOARDOF PUBLIC WORKS; MISCELLANEOUS AGENCIES, COMMISSIONS,OFFICES, PROGRAMS, ETC.


ARTICLE 10. WEST VIRGINIA PUBLIC EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT ACT.


§5-10-22c. Temporary early retirement incentives program; legislative declaration and finding of compelling state interest and public purpose; specifying eligible and ineligible members for incentives program; options, conditions, and exceptions; certain positions abolished; special rule of eighty; effective, termination, and notice dates.

The Legislature hereby finds and declares that a compelling state interest exists in providing a temporary early retirement incentives program for encouraging the early, voluntary retirement of those public employees who were current, active contributing members of this retirement system on April 1, 1988, in the reduction of the number of such employees and in reduction of governmental costs therefor; that such program constitutes a public purpose; and that the special classifications and differentiations provided in respect of such program are reasonable and equitable ones for the accomplishment of such purpose and program as enacted in Enrolled Committee Substitute for H.B. No. 4672, regular session, 1988, and as clarified and supplemented herein, retroactive to such beginning date, aforesaid. The Legislature further finds that maintaining an actuarially sound retirement fund is a necessity and that the reemployment of persons who retire under this section in any manner, including reemployment on a contract basis, is contrary to the intent of the early retirement program and severely threatens the fiscal integrity of the retirement fund.

(a) For the purposes of this section: (1) "Contract" means any personal service agreement, not involving the sale of commodities, that cannot be performed within sixty days or that exceeds $2,500 in any twelve-month period. The term "contract" does not include any agreement obtained by a retirant through a bidding process and which is for the furnishing of any commodity to a government agency and that term does not include any person who retired under this section who works as a contract employee for the Legislature when such employment commences after December 31, 1999: Provided, That such employment may not exceed one hundred ten days; (2) "governmental entity" means the State of West Virginia; a Constitutional branch or office of the state government, or any subdivision thereof; a county, city or town in the state; a county school district board of education; a separate corporation or instrumentality established pursuant to a state statute; any other entity currently permitted to participate in any state public retirement system or the Public Employees Insurance Agency; or any officer or official of any entity listed above who is acting in his or her official capacity; (3) "part-time elected or appointed office" means any elected or appointed office that pays annual compensation of less than $2,500 or requires less than sixty days of service in any twelve-month period; (4) "substitute teacher" means a teacher, public school librarian, registered professional nurse employed by the county a school district board of education or any other person employed for counseling or instructional purposes in a public school in this state who is temporarily fulfilling the duties of an existing real person employed in a specific position who is temporarily absent from that specified position.

(b) Beginning on April 1, 1988, and continuing through December 31, 1988 (or as extended by eligibility qualification requirement, as hereinafter specified), eligible members, being those active, contributing members actually and currently employed on such beginning date, retiring pursuant to this section, and from any state, county or municipal position, covered under the two divisions of this retirement system (the state division and the public employer, nonstate division) including those so employed on said beginning date and leaving the system during the incentive period and who are eligible for taking deferred retirement (but not disability retirees) may elect to participate in this incentive program and may elect any one of the three following incentive options:

(1) Retirement incentive option one:

For the purpose of computing the member's annuity, the normal final average salary shall be computed and one-eighth thereof shall be added thereto in arriving at the true final average salary for use in actual computation of retirement benefit.

(2) Retirement incentive option two:

A member may elect a lump sum payment, in addition to his or her regular retirement annuity, equal to ten percent of his or her final average salary not to exceed $5,000, and in the case of a deferred retirement electing this option, such lump sum payment shall be receivable and deferred to the time of receipt of such deferred retirement annuity.

(3) Retirement incentive option three:

A person shall be credited with an additional two years of contributing service and an additional two years of age. The years credited under this option shall in no way add to a member's final average salary factor of computation.

Active, contributing members who desire to retire under this section but who are unable to retire by December 31, 1988, and make use of the incentive retirement program because an element of eligibility for retirement, such as age or other element, will not be met until a date after December 31, 1988, and before July 1, 1989, shall be permitted to postpone actual retirement until the date of fulfilling such element of eligibility and shall retire on such date, before the temporary retirement incentive program ends on June 30, 1989, with proper credit to be granted for such extended period: Provided, That they shall have made application for retirement, including choice of their respective option, and given notice to their respective employer by December 31, 1988, although postponing actual retirement, as aforesaid.

(c) Any member participating in this retirement incentive program is not eligible to accept further employment or accept, directly or indirectly, work on a contract basis from any governmental entity: Provided, That nothing in this section shall affect any contract entered into prior to the effective date of this section: Provided, however, That the executive director may approve, upon written request and for good cause shown, an exception allowing a retirant to perform work on a contract basis. The executive director shall report all approved exceptions to the board of trustees: Provided further, That a person may retire under this section and thereafter serve in an elective office: And provided further, That he or she shall not receive an incentive option under this section during the term of service in said office, but shall receive his or her annuity calculated on regular basis, as if originally taken not under this section but on such regular basis. At the end of such term and cessation of service in such office during which the member shall rejoin and reenter the retirement system and pay contributions therefor, such regular annuity shall be recalculated and an increased annuity due to such additional employment shall be granted and computed on regular basis and in similar manner as under section forty-eight of this article. In respect of an appointive office, as distinguished from an elective office, any person retiring under this section and thereafter serving in such appointive office shall not receive an incentive option under this section during the term of service in said office, but the same shall be suspended during such period: And provided further, That at the end of such term and cessation of service in such appointive office the incentive option provided for under this section shall be resumed: And provided further, That any person elected or appointed to office by the state or any of its political subdivisions who waives whatever salary, wage or per diem compensation he or she may be entitled to by virtue of service in such office and who does not receive any income therefrom except such reimbursement of out-of-pocket costs and expenses as may be permitted by the statutes governing such office shall continue to receive an incentive option under this section. Such service shall not be counted as contributed or credited service for purposes of computing retirement benefits.

If such elected or appointed office is a part-time elected or appointed office, a person electing retirement under this section may serve in such elected or appointed office without a loss of the benefits provided under this section.

Prior to the initiation or renewal of any contract entered into pursuant to the provisions of this section or the acceptance of any elective or appointive office by a person who has elected to retire under the early retirement provisions of this article, such person shall complete a disclosure and waiver statement executed under oath and acknowledged by a notary public. The board shall promulgate rules, pursuant to chapter twenty-nine-a, of this code regarding the form and contents of the disclosure and waiver statement. The disclosure and waiver statement shall be forwarded to the appropriate state public retirement system administrator who shall take action to ensure that the early retirement incentive benefits are reduced in accordance with the provisions of this section. The administrator shall then certify such action in writing to the appropriate governmental entity.

In any event, an eligible member may retire under this section and thereafter continue to receive his or her incentive annuity and be employed as a substitute teacher or as adjunct faculty.

Any such incentive retirants, under this section, may not thereafter receive such annuity and enter or reenter any governmental retirement system established or authorized to be established by the state, notwithstanding any provision of the code to the contrary, unless required by Constitutional provision or as hereby specifically permitted to those retiring and thereafter serving in elective office, as aforesaid.

The additional annuity allowed for temporary early retirement under these options, in respect of state division retirants of this system, is intended to be paid from the retirement incentive account hereby created as a special account in the State Treasury and from the funds therein established with moneys required to be transferred by heads of spending units from the unused portion of salary and fringe benefits in their budgets accruing in respect of such positions vacated and subsequently canceled under this temporary early retirement program. Salary and fringe benefit moneys actually saved in a particular fiscal year shall constitute the fund source for payment of such additional annuity, the funds of the retirement system to be used for payment of the base annuity under the early retirement incentive program: Provided, That such additional annuity shall be paid from the unused portion of both salary and fringe benefits and with any remainder of any fringe benefit moneys, as such, to remain with the spending unit and any remainder of salary, as such, to be directed as additional funding to the Teachers Retirement System and as a part of the assets thereof. No such additional annuity shall be disallowed even though initial receipts may not be sufficient, with funds of the system to be applied for such purpose, as for the base annuity. With respect to public employer division retirants (nonstate division retirants of the system), such incentive annuity shall be paid from the nonstate division funds of the system.

(d) The executive secretary of the retirement system shall provide forms for applicants. Such forms shall include a detailed description of the incentive plan options.

The executive secretary of the retirement system shall file a report to the Legislature no later than February 15, 1989, and quarterly thereafter, detailing the number of retirees who have elected to accept early retirement incentive options, the dollar cost to date by option selected, and the projected annual cost through the year 2000.

Within every spending unit, department, board, corporation, commission, or any other agency or entity wherein two or multiples of two members elect to retire either under the temporary early retirement incentives set forth above, or under regular, voluntary retirement, and countable on an agency-wide or entity-wide basis, no more than one of such vacated positions may be filled, with the second position being abolished upon the effective day of the member's retirement. The vacant position abolishment requirement shall not apply to elective positions or appointed public officers whose positions are established by state Constitutional or statutory provision. The retirant's employing entity shall decide as to which of the vacated positions made available through special early retirement or through regular, voluntary retirement are to be abolished and the head of such spending unit shall immediately notify the State Auditor, the Legislative Auditor, and the commissioner of the department of finance and administration of the decisions and shall then apply and/or transfer the remaining salary and fringe benefits as aforesaid: Provided, That this vacant position abolishment provision shall not apply to any county or municipal position except those under the authority of a county school district board of education, nor to any position or positions, whether designated by spending unit, department, agency, commission, entity or otherwise, which the Governor in respect of the executive branch, or the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals in respect of the judicial branch, or the President of the Senate or Speaker of the House of Delegates, in respect of the legislative branch, may exempt or amend, under such abolishment provision, upon his or her respective recommendation that such exemption or amendment is necessary to provide for continuity of governmental operation or to preserve the health, welfare or safety of the people of West Virginia, and with the prior concurrence of the Joint Committee on Government and Finance in such recommendation, after the chairmen thereof shall cause such committee to meet.

(f) Special rule of eighty. - Any active, contributing member of the retirement system as of April 1, 1988, who selects one of the incentive options in this section, may retire under the special early retirement provisions with full pension rights, without reduction of benefits if the sum of such member's age plus years of contributing service equals or exceeds eighty: Provided, That such person has at least twenty years of contributing service; up to two years of which may be military service, or prior service, or any combination thereof not exceeding an aggregate of two years.

(g) Termination of temporary retirement incentives program. -- The right to elect, choose, select or use any of the options, special rule of eighty, or other benefits set forth in this section shall terminate on June 30, 1989.

(h) The board shall promulgate rules and regulations in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine of this code regarding the calculation of the amount of incentive option that may be forfeited pursuant to the provisions of subsection (b) of this section.


ARTICLE 16. WEST VIRGINIA PUBLIC EMPLOYEES INSURANCE ACT.


§5-16-2. Definitions.


The following words and phrases as used in this article, unless a different meaning is clearly indicated by the context, have the following meanings:

(1) "Agency" means the Public Employees Insurance Agency created by this article.

(2) "Director" means the Director of the Public Employees Insurance Agency created by this article.

(3) "Employee" means any person, including an elected officer, who works regularly full time in the service of the State of West Virginia and, for the purpose of this article only, the term "employee" also means any person, including an elected officer, who works regularly full time in the service of a county school district board of education; a county, city or town in the state; any separate corporation or instrumentality established by one or more counties, cities or towns, as permitted by law; any corporation or instrumentality supported in most part by counties, cities or towns; any public corporation charged by law with the performance of a governmental function and whose jurisdiction is coextensive with one or more counties, cities or towns; any comprehensive community mental health center or comprehensive mental retardation facility established, operated or licensed by the Secretary of Health and Human Resources pursuant to section one, article two-a, chapter twenty-seven of this code and which is supported in part by state, county or municipal funds; any person who works regularly full time in the service of the Higher Education Policy Commission, the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education or a governing board, as defined in section two, article one, chapter eighteen-b of this code; any person who works regularly full time in the service of a combined city-county health department created pursuant to article two, chapter sixteen of this code; any person designated as a 21st Century Learner Fellow pursuant to section eleven, article three, chapter eighteen-a of this code; and any person who works as a long-term substitute as defined in section one, article one, chapter eighteen-a of this code in the service of a county school district board of education: Provided, That a long-term substitute who is continuously employed for at least one hundred thirty-three instructional days during an instructional term, and until the end of that instructional term, is eligible for the benefits provided in this article until September 1, following that instructional term: Provided, however, That a long-term substitute employed fewer than one hundred thirty-three instructional days during an instructional term is eligible for the benefits provided in this article only during such time as he or she is actually employed as a long-term substitute. On and after January 1, 1994, and upon election by a county school district board of education to allow elected board members to participate in the Public Employees Insurance Program pursuant to this article, any person elected to a county school district board of education shall be considered to be an "employee" during the term of office of the elected member. Upon election by the state Board of Education to allow appointed board members to participate in the Public Employees Insurance Program pursuant to this article, any person appointed to the state Board of Education is considered an "employee" during the term of office of the appointed member: Provided further, That the elected member of a county school district board of education and the appointed member of the state Board of Education shall pay the entire cost of the premium if he or she elects to be covered under this article. Any matters of doubt as to who is an employee within the meaning of this article shall be decided by the director.

On or after July 1, 1997, a person shall be considered an "employee" if that person meets the following criteria:

(i) Participates in a job-sharing arrangement as defined in section one, article one, chapter eighteen-a of this code;

(ii) Has been designated, in writing, by all other participants in that job-sharing arrangement as the "employee" for purposes of this section; and

(iii) Works at least one third of the time required for a full-time employee.

(4) "Employer" means the State of West Virginia, its boards, agencies, commissions, departments, institutions or spending units; a county school district board of education; a county, city or town in the state; any separate corporation or instrumentality established by one or more counties, cities or towns, as permitted by law; any corporation or instrumentality supported in most part by counties, cities or towns; any public corporation charged by law with the performance of a governmental function and whose jurisdiction is coextensive with one or more counties, cities or towns; any comprehensive community mental health center or comprehensive mental retardation facility established, operated or licensed by the Secretary of Health and Human Resources pursuant to section one, article two-a, chapter twenty-seven of this code and which is supported in part by state, county or municipal funds; a combined city-county health department created pursuant to article two, chapter sixteen of this code; and a corporation meeting the description set forth in section three, article twelve, chapter eighteen-b of this code that is employing a 21st Century Learner Fellow pursuant to section eleven, article three, chapter eighteen of this code but the corporation is not considered an employer with respect to any employee other than a 21st Century Learner Fellow. Any matters of doubt as to who is an "employer" within the meaning of this article shall be decided by the director. The term "employer" does not include within its meaning the National Guard.

(5) "Finance board" means the Public Employees Insurance Agency finance board created by this article.

(6) "Person" means any individual, company, association, organization, corporation or other legal entity, including, but not limited to, hospital, medical or dental service corporations; health maintenance organizations or similar organization providing prepaid health benefits; or individuals entitled to benefits under the provisions of this article.

(7) "Plan", unless the context indicates otherwise, means the medical indemnity plan, the managed care plan option or the group life insurance plan offered by the agency.

(8) "Retired employee" means an employee of the state who retired after April 29, 1971, and an employee of the Higher Education Policy Commission, the Council for Community and Technical College Education, a state institution of higher education, or a county board of education, or a school district board of education who retires on or after April 21, 1972, and all additional eligible employees who retire on or after the effective date of this article, meet the minimum eligibility requirements for their respective state retirement system and whose last employer immediately prior to retirement under the state retirement system is a participating employer in the state retirement system and in the Public Employees Insurance Agency: Provided, That for the purposes of this article, the employees who are not covered by a state retirement system, but who are covered by a state-approved or state-contracted retirement program or a system approved by the director, shall, in the case of education employees, meet the minimum eligibility requirements of the state Teachers Retirement System and in all other cases, meet the minimum eligibility requirements of the Public Employees Retirement System and may participate in the Public Employees Insurance Agency as retired employees upon terms as the director sets by rule as authorized in this article. Employers with employees who are, or who are eligible to become, retired employees under this article shall be mandatory participants in the Retiree Health Benefit Trust Fund created pursuant to article sixteen-d of this chapter. Nonstate employers may opt out of the West Virginia other post-employment benefits plan of the Retiree Health Benefit Trust Fund and elect to not provide benefits under the Public Employees Insurance Agency to retirees of the nonstate employer, but may do so only upon the written certification, under oath, of an authorized officer of the employer that the employer has no employees who are, or who are eligible to become, retired employees and that the employer will defend and hold harmless the Public Employees Insurance Agency from any claim by one of the employer's past, present or future employees for eligibility to participate in the Public Employees Insurance Agency as a retired employee. As a matter of law, the Public Employees Insurance Agency shall not be liable in any respect to provide plan benefits to a retired employee of a nonstate employer which has opted out of the West Virginia other post-employment benefits plan of the Retiree Health Benefit Trust Fund pursuant to this section.


§5-16-22. Permissive participation; exemptions.


The provisions of this article are not mandatory upon any employee or employer who is not an employee of, or is not, the State of West Virginia, its boards, agencies, commissions, departments, institutions or spending units or a county school district board of education and nothing contained in this article compels any employee or employer to enroll in or subscribe to any insurance plan authorized by the provisions of this article.

Those employees enrolled in the insurance program authorized under the provisions of article two-b, chapter twenty-one-a of this code are not required to enroll in or subscribe to an insurance plan or plans authorized by the provisions of this article, and the employees of any department which has an existing insurance program for its employees to which the government of the United States contributes any part or all of the premium or cost of the premium may be exempted from the provisions of this article. Any employee or employer exempted under the provisions of this paragraph may enroll in any insurance program authorized by the provisions of this article at any time, to the same extent as any other qualified employee or employer, but employee or employer may not remain enrolled in both programs.

Any plan established or administered by the Public Employees Insurance Agency pursuant to this article is exempt from the provisions of chapter thirty-three of this code unless explicitly stated. Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, the Public Employees Insurance Agency is not an insurer or engaged in the business of insurance as defined in chapter thirty-three of this code.

Employers, other than the State of West Virginia, its boards, agencies, commissions, departments, institutions, spending units or a county school district board of education, are exempt from participating in the insurance program provided for by the provisions of this article unless participation by the employer has been approved by a majority vote of the employer’s governing body. It is the duty of the clerk or secretary of the governing body of an employer who by majority vote becomes a participant in the insurance program to notify the director not later than ten days after the vote.

Any employer, whether the employer participates in the Public Employees Insurance Agency insurance program as a group or not, which has retired employees, their dependents or surviving dependents of deceased retired employees who participate in the Public Employees Insurance Agency insurance program as authorized by this article, shall pay to the agency the same contribution toward the cost of coverage for its retired employees, their dependents or surviving dependents of deceased retired employees as the State of West Virginia, its boards, agencies, commissions, departments, institutions, spending units or a county school district board of education pay for their retired employees, their dependents and surviving dependents of deceased retired employees, as determined by the finance board: Provided, That after June 30, 1996, an employer not mandated to participate in the plan is only required to pay a contribution toward the cost of coverage for its retired employees, their dependents or the surviving dependents of deceased retired employees who elect coverage when the retired employee participated in the plan as an active employee of the employer for at least five years: Provided, however, That those retired employees of an employer not participating in the plan who retire on or after July 1, 2010, who have participated in the plan as active employees of the employer for less than five years are responsible for the entire premium cost for coverage and the Public Employees Insurance Agency shall bill for and collect the entire premium from the retired employees, unless the employer elects to pay the employer share of the premium. Each employer is hereby authorized and required to budget for and make such payments as are required by this section.

CHAPTER 5A. DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION.

ARTICLE 3. PURCHASING DIVISION.


§5A-3-10a. Prohibition for awarding contracts to vendors which owe a debt to the state or its political subdivisions.

(a) Unless the context clearly requires a different meaning, for the purposes of this section, the terms:

(1) "Debt" means any assessment, premium, penalty, fine, tax or other amount of money owed to the state or any of its political subdivisions because of a judgment, fine, permit violation, license assessment, amounts owed to the Workers' Compensation Funds as defined in article two-c, chapter twenty-three of this code, penalty or other assessment or surcharge presently delinquent or due and required to be paid to the state or any of its political subdivisions, including any interest or additional penalties accrued thereon.

(2) "Debtor" means any individual, corporation, partnership, association, limited liability company or any other form or business association owing a debt to the state or any of its political subdivisions, and includes any person or entity that is in employer default.

(3) "Employer default" means having an outstanding balance or liability to the old fund or to the uninsured employers' fund or being in policy default, as defined in section two, article two-c, chapter twenty-three, of this code, failure to maintain mandatory workers' compensation coverage, or failure to fully meet its obligations as a workers' compensation self-insured employer. An employer is not in employer default if it has entered into a repayment agreement with the Insurance Commissioner and remains in compliance with the obligations under the repayment agreement.

(4) "Political subdivision" means any county commission; municipality; county school district board of education; any instrumentality established by a county or municipality; any separate corporation or instrumentality established by one or more counties or municipalities, as permitted by law; or any public body charged by law with the performance of a government function and whose jurisdiction is coextensive with one or more counties or municipalities.

(5) "Related party" means a party, whether an individual, corporation, partnership, association, limited liability company or any other form or business association or other entity whatsoever, related to any vendor by blood, marriage, ownership or contract through which the party has a relationship of ownership or other interest with the vendor so that the party will actually or by effect receive or control a portion of the benefit, profit or other consideration from performance of a vendor contract with the party receiving an amount that meets or exceeds five percent of the total contract amount.

(b) No contract or renewal of any contract may be awarded by the state or any of its political subdivisions to any vendor or prospective vendor when the vendor or prospective vendor or a related party to the vendor or prospective vendor is a debtor and:

(1) The debt owed is an amount greater than $1,000 in the aggregate; or

(2) The debtor is in employer default.

(c) The prohibition of this section does not apply where a vendor has contested any tax administered pursuant to chapter eleven of this code, amount owed to the Workers' Compensation Funds as defined in article two-c, chapter twenty-three of this code, permit fee or environmental fee or assessment and the matter has not become final or where the vendor has entered into a payment plan or agreement and the vendor is not in default of any of the provisions of such plan or agreement.

(d) All bids, contract proposals or contracts with the state or any of its political subdivisions submitted or approved under the provisions of this code shall include an affidavit that the vendor, prospective vendor or a related party to the vendor or prospective vendor is not in employer default and does not owe any debt in an amount in excess of $1,000 or, if a debt is owed, that the provisions of subsection (c) of this section apply.


CHAPTER 6. GENERAL PROVISIONS RESPECTING OFFICERS.


ARTICLE 8. SETTLEMENTS BY OFFICERS.


§6-8-5. Sheriff as county treasurer; settlements; turning over money to successor.

The sheriff shall be ex officio treasurer of his or her county and of the several districts thereof, and the word or designation "sheriff" whenever used in this code shall, unless the context otherwise requires, be held to include the sheriff as ex officio treasurer of the county and of the several districts thereof. Between the fifteenth and thirty-first days of December of the year in which a sheriff's term of office expires, such sheriff shall make up a list of all uncollected taxes and shall make a complete settlement with the county court, or tribunal in lieu thereof, and the school district board of education in such county, in the manner provided by law for settlements required at the end of the fiscal year. The sheriff shall receive credit in such settlement for the amount of taxes, remaining unpaid, and such list of taxes remaining unpaid shall be turned over to his or her successor in office January first. It shall be the duty of such successor to collect such taxes and to make up a delinquent list as provided and required by law; also to make settlement at the end of the fiscal year with the county court, or tribunal in lieu thereof, and the county school district board of education, in the manner provided by law. Every sheriff shall, on the first of January immediately following the expiration of his or her term of office, turn over to his or her successor all public moneys. Every sheriff who is appointed to fill a vacancy shall make such settlement with the county court, or tribunal in lieu thereof, and the county school district board of education, immediately upon the qualification of his or her successor, and at such time turn over to such successor all public moneys.


§6-8-7. Settlements by sheriff for school funds.

The county court of each county shall appoint a time immediately following July 1, in each year, and in any event within thirty days thereafter, and within thirty days following the expiration of the term of office of any sheriff, for the settlement of the school district funds of the county. At the time so fixed, the school district board of that county and the treasurer of the county school district board of education, unless the sheriff has been designated treasurer of the county board pursuant to section six, article nine, chapter eighteen of this code, shall meet with the county court. The sheriff of the county shall attend such meeting and lay before the county court and such school district board of education his or her account of school district funds for the county, which account shall be then and there settled. The county court shall give at least five days' notice of the time fixed for the settlement of the county school district funds to the county school district board of education, the treasurer of the county school district board of education and the sheriff.

§6-8-9. Same -- With what sheriff to be credited.


The sheriff shall be credited in such settlements with the amount of delinquent school tax in the county district that has been duly certified by the clerk of the county court to the county school district board of education; and with all orders paid and produced by him the sheriff, if found to be correct by the board of education. He The sheriff shall receive no other credits.

§6-8-10. Same -- Method of settlement.


In making such settlement it shall be the duty of the sheriff to prepare and present to the county school district board of education, in duplicate, separate lists of all the credits claimed by him the sheriff against each of the several school funds collected by him the sheriff, showing the amount, date and number of each voucher or order, and to whom payable, together with statements of the proper debits to the several funds to which he or she is chargeable; which lists and statements, together with the vouchers claimed as credits by the sheriff, shall, if found correct by such board, be endorsed by the treasurer of the board on the back of each with the words, "Settled by the Board of Education," under which the treasurer shall sign his or her name and enter the date of the settlement, and such statements and lists, after being corrected, if corrections are necessary, shall be signed by the sheriff and by the president and treasurer of the board of education in duplicate, one copy to be retained by such board, and the other, together with the vouchers and orders, to be turned over to the county court. Exceptions may be taken to such settlement as provided in section two of this article, which exceptions shall be heard and decided by the county court. If the county court finds the settlement to be correct, or after it has corrected the same, it shall be confirmed and made a matter of record by the clerk of the county court in a book kept for that purpose.


ARTICLE 9. SUPERVISION OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT OFFICES.


§6-9-1a. Definitions.

As used in this article:

(a) "Audit" means a systematic examination and collection of sufficient, competent evidential matter needed for an Auditor to attest to the fairness of management's assertions in the financial statements and to evaluate whether management has sufficiently and effectively carried out its responsibilities and complied with applicable laws and regulations. An audit shall be conducted in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards, standards issued by the chief inspector, and, as applicable, the single audit requirement of OMB Circular A-133 Audits of States, Local Governments and Non-Profit Organizations as amended or revised from time to time, or any successor circular.

(b) "Examination" includes an audit or review as defined in this section.

(c) "Federal awards" means federal financial assistance and federal cost-reimbursement contracts that nonfederal entities receive directly from federal awarding agencies or indirectly from pass-through entities.

(d) "Federal financial assistance" means assistance that nonfederal entities receive or administer in the form of grants, loans, loan guarantees, property, cooperative agreements, interest subsidies, insurance, food commodities, direct appropriations, or other assistance, but does not include amounts received as reimbursement for services rendered to individuals in accordance with guidance issued by the director of the federal office of management and budget.

(e) "Financial audit" includes financial statement audits and financial related audits, as defined by government auditing standards.

(f) "Government auditing standards" means the government auditing standards issued by the comptroller general of the United States, which are applicable to financial audits of government organizations, programs and activities.

(g) "Local government" means any unit of local government within the state, including a county, county school district board of education, municipality, and any other authority, board, commission, district, office, public authority, public corporation, or other instrumentality of a county, county school district board of education, or municipality or any combination of two or more local governments.

(h) "Nonfederal entity" means a state, local government, or nonprofit organization.

(i) "Office of management and budget (OMB)" means the executive office of the president of the United States, office of management and budget.

(j) "Review" means an inquiry or analytical procedures that provide the Auditor with a reasonable basis for expressing limited assurance that there are no material modifications that should be made to the financial statements in order for them to be in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles or, if applicable, with another comprehensive basis of accounting.

(k) "Single audit" means a financial and compliance audit as defined in the federal Single Audit Act of 1996, as amended, in section 7502(d), chapter 75, title 31 of the United States Code, of a nonfederal entity that includes the entity's financial statements and federal awards. Each single audit conducted for any fiscal year shall cover the operations of the entire nonfederal entity; or at the option of the nonfederal entity, the audit shall include a series of audits that cover departments, agencies, and other organizational units that expend or otherwise administer federal awards during the fiscal year being audited except that each such audit shall encompass the financial statements and schedule of expenditures of federal awards for each department, agency, and organizational unit, which shall be considered to be a nonfederal entity.


§6-9-7. Examinations into affairs of local public offices; penalties.

(a) The chief inspector has the power by himself or herself, or by any person appointed, designated or approved by the chief inspector to perform the service, to examine into all financial affairs of every local governmental office or political subdivision and all boards, commissions, authorities, agencies or other offices created under authority thereof. An examination shall be made annually, if required, to comply with the Single Audit Act and when otherwise required by law or contract. When that act does not apply, unless otherwise required by law or by contract, the examination shall be made at least once a year, if practicable. Furthermore, the chief inspector shall furnish annually to the Legislature a list of each local government office or political subdivision and all boards, commissions, authorities, agencies or other offices created under authority thereof and the year of its most recent completed audit.

(b) When required for compliance with regulations for federal funds received or expended by county school district boards of education the chief inspector or his or her designee, including any certified public accountant approved by the chief inspector shall conduct and issue an audit report within the time specified in controlling federal regulations. Examinations of other local governments shall be conducted and audit or review reports issued in accordance with uniform procedures of the chief inspector.

(c) A county school district board of education may elect, by May 1 of the fiscal year to be audited, to have its annual examination performed by a certified public accountant approved by the chief inspector to perform the examinations. When this election is made, a copy of the order of the county school district board making the election shall be filed with the chief inspector and the State Board of School Finance. The county school district board of education is allowed to contract with any certified public accountant on the chief inspector's then current list of approved certified public accountants, unless the State Board of School Finance or the a prosecuting attorney of the county school district in which the board is located timely submits to the chief inspector a written request for the examination to be performed by the chief inspector or a person appointed by the chief inspector, or the chief inspector determines that a special or unusual situation exists. The county school district board shall follow the audit bid procurement procedures established by the chief inspector in obtaining the audit.

(d) The chief inspector shall, at least annually, prepare a list of certified public accountants approved by the chief inspector to perform examinations of local governments. Names shall be added to or deleted from that list in accordance with uniform procedures of the chief inspector. When each list or updated list is issued, the chief inspector shall promptly file a copy of the list in the State Register and send a copy to the State Board of Education, the State Board of School Finance and to local governments who request a copy.

(e) A county school district board of education, when procuring the services of a certified public accountant on the chief inspector's list, shall follow the procurement standards prescribed by the grants management common rule, OMB Circular A-102 "Grants and Cooperative Agreements with State and Local Governments" in effect for the fiscal year being examined, or in any replacement circular or regulation of the office of management and budget and in addition shall follow those standards as determined by the office of chief inspector.

(f) The approved independent certified public accountant making examinations under this section shall comply with requirements of this section applicable to examinations performed by the chief inspector, including applicable requirements of the federal government and uniform procedures of the chief inspector applicable to examinations of county school district boards of education.

(1) Upon completion of the certified public accountant's examination and audit or review report, the certified public accountant shall promptly send two copies of the certified report to the county school district board of education who shall file one copy with the Federal Audit Clearing House. The certified public accountant shall send one copy of the certified report to the State Board of School Finance, and one copy to the chief inspector.

(2) If any examination discloses misfeasance, malfeasance or nonfeasance in office on the part of any public officer or employee, the certified public accountant shall submit his or her recommendation to the chief inspector regarding the legal action the approved certified public accountant considers appropriate, including, but not limited to, whether criminal prosecution or civil action to effect restitution is appropriate, and three additional copies of the certified audit report. After review of the recommendations and the audit report, the chief inspector shall proceed as provided in subsection (n) of this section. For purposes of this section and section thirteen, article nine-b, chapter eighteen of this code, a certified audit report of an approved certified public accountant shall be treated in the same manner as a report of the chief inspector.

(g) On every examination, inquiry shall be made as to the financial conditions and resources of the agency having jurisdiction over the appropriations and levies disbursed by the office and whether the requirements of the Constitution and statutory laws of the state and the ordinances and orders of the agency have been properly complied with and also inquire into the methods and accuracy of the accounts and such other matters of audit and accounting as the chief inspector may prescribe.

(h) If a local government office is not subject to a single audit requirement under federal regulations or if it is not otherwise required by law or contract to undergo an annual audit and its expenditures from all sources are less than $300,000 during the fiscal year the chief inspector may choose to perform either a review or audit on the local government office and may in his or her discretion determine the frequency of such review or audit.

(i) The chief inspector or any authorized assistant may issue subpoenas and compulsory process, direct the service thereof by any sheriff, compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books and papers at any designated time and place, selected in their respective county, and administer oaths.

(j) If any person refuses to appear before the chief inspector or his or her authorized assistant when required to do so, refuses to testify on any matter or refuses to produce any books or papers in his or her possession or under his or her control, he or she is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $100 and imprisoned in jail not more than six months.

(k) A person convicted of willful false swearing in an examination is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $100 and imprisoned in jail not more than six months.

(l) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a copy of the certified report of each examination shall be filed in the office of the commissioner, chief inspector with the governing body of the local government and with other offices as prescribed in uniform procedures of the chief inspector.

(m) If any examination discloses misfeasance, malfeasance or nonfeasance in office on the part of any public officer or employee, a certified copy of the report shall be published electronically by the chief inspector with notice of the publishing sent in writing to the proper legal authority of the agency, the prosecuting attorney of the county wherein the agency is located and with the Attorney General for such legal action as is proper. At the time the certified audit report is published, the chief inspector shall notify the proper legal authority of the agency, the prosecuting attorney and the Attorney General in writing of his or her recommendation as to the legal action that the chief inspector considers proper, whether criminal prosecution or civil action to effect restitution, or both.

(n) If the proper legal authority or prosecuting attorney, within nine months of receipt of the certified audit report and recommendations, refuses, neglects or fails to take efficient legal action by a civil suit to effect restitution or by prosecuting criminal proceedings to a final conclusion, in accordance with the recommendations, the chief inspector may institute the necessary proceedings or participate therein and prosecute the proceedings in any court of the state to a final conclusion.

(o) A local government that is not a county school district board of education may elect, by May 1 of the fiscal year to be audited, to have its annual examination performed by a certified public accountant approved by the chief inspector to perform the examinations. When this election is made, a copy of the order of the governing body making the election shall be filed with the chief inspector. An electing local government is allowed to contract with any certified public accountant on the chief inspector's then current list of approved certified public accountants, unless the prosecuting attorney of the county in which the local government is located timely submits to the chief inspector a written request for the examination to be performed by the chief inspector or a person appointed by the chief inspector, or the chief inspector determines that a special or unusual situation exists: Provided, That the audit of a local government may be performed by the chief inspector at his or her discretion. The local government shall follow the audit bid procurement procedures established by the chief inspector in obtaining the audit: Provided, however, That the chief inspector may elect to conduct the audit of a local unit of government with one or more members of his or her audit staff where, in the opinion of the chief inspector, a special or unusual situation exists.


§6-9-11. Transfer of certain powers and duties of Tax Commissioner to State Auditor; rules; interagency agreement; report to Legislature.

(a) Effective July 1, 1999, the State Auditor shall be the chief inspector and supervisor of local government offices. For the purposes of this section and any section of this code relating to the chief inspector, "local government office" means any unit of local government within the state, including a county, county school district board of education, municipality, and any other authority, board, commission, district, office, public authority, public corporation or other instrumentality of a county, county school district board of education or municipality or any combination of two or more local governments.

The State Auditor shall assume and perform those duties previously vested in the Tax Commissioner under this section and any section of this code relating to the chief inspector, which sections are identified in subsection (d) of this section, pertaining to:

(1) Making annual or special financial and compliance examinations or audits of local government offices;

(2) Providing annual training to county officials pertaining to their work: Provided, That this annual training may not include matters directly or indirectly pertaining to determining the appraised or assessed value of property or equalization of assessed values of property for ad valorem property tax purposes;

(3) Reviewing and approving annual budgets and changes in budgets during the fiscal year; and

(4) Approving proposed levy rates, whether regular or special.

(b) Effective July 1, 1999, all records, property of whatever kind and character, including, but not limited to, current office space occupied by the chief inspector division of the Tax Division, all personnel in positions assigned to the chief inspector division and the fund established in section eight of this article shall be transferred to the State Auditor.

(c) The State Auditor shall propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to implement the provisions of this section and any section of this code relating to the chief inspector.

(d) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, after June 30, 1999, whenever the words "Tax Commissioner" or "State Tax Commissioner" appear in the following subsections, sections or articles of this code, these words shall mean the "State Auditor in his or her capacity as the chief inspector and supervisor of local government offices": Article nine, chapter six; section nine, article one, chapter seven; sections sixteen and eighteen, article five of chapter seven; sections two, three, four and seventeen, article seven of chapter seven; section twelve, article twelve of chapter seven; section nine, article thirteen of chapter seven; section seventeen, article seventeen of chapter seven; section sixteen, article eight of chapter eight; sections seven, eighteen, nineteen and twenty-three, article thirteen of chapter eight; section seven, article sixteen of chapter eight; section four, article twenty-three of chapter eight; section sixteen, article twenty-nine of chapter eight; section four, article twenty-nine-a of chapter eight; section two, article thirty-two of chapter eight; section eight, article thirty-three of chapter eight; section six, article one of chapter ten; sections six-b, six-c, seven, eight, ten, ten-a, eleven, twelve, twelve-a, thirteen, fourteen, fourteen-a, fifteen, eighteen, twenty, twenty-one, twenty-three, twenty-four, twenty-five-a, twenty-six-a and thirty, article eight of chapter eleven; subsections (i) and (j), section five-a and subsections (i) and (j), section six, article thirteen-a of chapter eleven; sections eight, twelve and thirteen, article one of chapter eleven-a; section eleven, article two of chapter eleven-a; sections fourteen, thirty-two and sixty-four, article three of chapter eleven-a; section twenty, article three of chapter twelve; section five, article four of chapter twelve; section twenty, article one of chapter thirteen; section twenty-five, article two of chapter eighteen; section three-a, article nine of chapter eighteen; sections one, three, six, nine, twelve and thirteen, article nine-b of chapter eighteen; section five, article nine-d of chapter eighteen; section thirteen-b, article twenty-one-a of chapter nineteen; section eight, article two of chapter twenty-four; section nineteen, article twenty-one of chapter twenty-nine; section twenty, article one of chapter fifty-two; and section thirty, article one of chapter fifty-nine, all of this code.

(e) On or before July 1, 1999, the State Auditor and the State Tax Commissioner shall file with the Governor, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates, an interagency agreement clarifying transition procedures and respective powers of the Auditor and Tax Commissioner. A copy of the interagency agreement shall be filed with the Secretary of State, and shall be a public record.

(f) On or before December 1, 1999, the State Auditor and the State Tax Commissioner shall jointly report to the Legislature as to any conflicts in this code created by the enactment of this section for which legislation is recommended for enactment during the 2000 regular session.


CHAPTER 6B. PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES; ETHICS; CONFLICTS OF INTEREST; FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE.


ARTICLE 1. SHORT TITLE; LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS, PURPOSES AND INTENT; CONSTRUCTION AND APPLICATION OF CHAPTER; SEVERABILITY.


§6B-1-3. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context in which used clearly requires otherwise:

(a) "Review Board" means the Probable Cause Review Board created by section two-a, article two of this chapter.

(b) "Business" means any entity through which business for-profit is conducted including a corporation, partnership, proprietorship, franchise, association, organization or self-employed individual.

(c) "Compensation" means money, thing of value or financial benefit. The term "compensation" does not include reimbursement for actual reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of one's official duties.

(d) "Employee" means any person in the service of another under any contract of hire, whether express or implied, oral or written, where the employer or an agent of the employer or a public official has the right or power to control and direct such person in the material details of how work is to be performed and who is not responsible for the making of policy nor for recommending official action.

(e) "Ethics Commission" or "commission" means the West Virginia Ethics Commission.

(f) "Immediate family", with respect to an individual, means a spouse with whom the individual is living as husband and wife and any dependent child or children, dependent grandchild or grandchildren and dependent parent or parents.

(g) "Ministerial functions" means actions or functions performed by an individual under a given state of facts in a prescribed manner in accordance with a mandate of legal authority, without regard to, or without the exercise of, the individual's own judgment as to the propriety of the action being taken.

(h) "Person" means an individual, corporation, business entity, labor union, association, firm, partnership, limited partnership, committee, club or other organization or group of persons, irrespective of the denomination given such organization or group.

(i) "Political contribution" means and has the same definition as is given that term under the provisions of article eight, chapter three of this code.

(j) "Public employee" means any full-time or part-time employee of any state, county or municipal governmental body or any political subdivision thereof, including county school district boards.

(k) "Public official" means any person who is elected or appointed to any state, county or municipal office or position and who is responsible for the making of policy or takes official action which is either ministerial or nonministerial, or both, with respect to: (1) Contracting for, or procurement of, goods or services; (2) administering or monitoring grants or subsidies; (3) planning or zoning; (4) inspecting, licensing, regulating or auditing any person; or (5) any other activity where the official action has an economic impact of greater than a de minimis nature on the interest or interests of any person.

(l) "Relative" means spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, son, daughter, grandmother, grandfather, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, son-in-law or daughter-in-law.

(m) "Respondent" means a person who is the subject of an investigation by the commission or against whom a complaint has been filed with the commission.

(n) "Thing of value", "other thing of value" or "anything of value" means and includes: (1) Money, bank bills or notes, United States treasury notes and other bills, bonds or notes issued by lawful authority and intended to pass and circulate as money; (2) goods and chattels; (3) promissory notes, bills of exchange, orders, drafts, warrants, checks, bonds given for the payment of money or the forbearance of money due or owing; (4) receipts given for the payment of money or other property; (5) any right or chose in action; (6) chattels real or personal or things which savor of realty and are, at the time taken, a part of a freehold, whether they are of the substance or produce thereof or affixed thereto, although there may be no interval between the severing and the taking away thereof; (7) any interest in realty, including, but not limited to, fee simple estates, life estates, estates for a term or period of time, joint tenancies, cotenancies, tenancies in common, partial interests, present or future interests, contingent or vested interests, beneficial interests, leasehold interests or any other interest or interests in realty of whatsoever nature; (8) any promise of employment, present or future; (9) donation or gift; (10) rendering of services or the payment thereof; (11) any advance or pledge; (12) a promise of present or future interest in any business or contract or other agreement; or (13) every other thing or item, whether tangible or intangible, having economic worth. "Thing of value", "other thing of value" or "anything of value" shall not include anything which is de minimis in nature nor a lawful political contribution reported as required by law.


ARTICLE 2. WEST VIRGINIA ETHICS COMMISSION; POWERS AND DUTIES; DISCLOSURE OF FINANCIAL INTEREST BY PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES; APPEARANCES BEFORE PUBLIC AGENCIES; CODE OF CONDUCT FOR ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGES.


§6B-2-1. West Virginia Ethics Commission created; members; appointment, term of office and oath; compensation and reimbursement for expenses; meetings and quorum.

(a) The West Virginia Ethics Commission is continued. The members of the commission shall be appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate.

(b) No person may be appointed to the commission or continue to serve as a member of the commission who:

(1) Holds elected or appointed office under the government of the United States, the State of West Virginia or any of its political subdivisions;

(2) Is a candidate for any political office;

(3) Is otherwise subject to the provisions of this chapter other than by reason of his or her appointment to or service on the commission; or

(4) Holds any political party office or participates in a campaign relating to a referendum or other ballot issue: Provided, That a member may contribute to a political campaign.

(c) Commencing July 1, 2014, the Ethics Commission shall consist of the following nine members, appointed with staggered terms:

(1) One member who served as a member of the West Virginia Legislature;

(2) One member who served as an elected or appointed county official;

(3) One member who served as an elected or appointed municipal official;

(4) One member who served as an elected county school board member or school district board member;

(5) One member from a rural area; and

(6) Four citizen members.

(d) Any Commission member in office on June 30, 2014, who meets one of the categories for membership set out in subsection (c) of this section, may be reappointed. No more than five members of the Commission shall be of the same political party and no more than four members shall be from the same congressional district.

(e) After the initial staggered terms, the term of office for a Commission member is five years. No member shall serve more than two consecutive full or partial terms. No person may be reappointed to the commission until at least two years have elapsed after the completion of the second consecutive term. A member may continue to serve until a successor has been appointed and qualified.

(f) All appointments shall be made by the Governor in a timely manner so as not to create a vacancy for longer than sixty days.

(g) Each member must be a resident of this state during the appointment term.

(h) Five members of the commission constitutes a quorum.

(i) Each member of the commission shall take and subscribe to the oath or affirmation required pursuant to section five, article IV of the Constitution of West Virginia.

(j) A member may be removed by the Governor for substantial neglect of duty, gross misconduct in office or a violation of this chapter, after written notice and opportunity for reply.

(k) The commission, as appointed on July 1, 2014, shall meet before August 1, 2014, at a time and place to be determined by the Governor, who shall designate a member to preside at that meeting until a chairperson is elected. At the first meeting, the commission shall elect a chairperson and any other officers as are necessary. The commission shall within ninety days after the first meeting adopt rules for its procedures. The commission may use the rules in place on July 1, 2014, until those rules are amended or revoked.

(l) Members of the commission shall receive the same compensation and expense reimbursement as is paid to members of the Legislature for their interim duties as recommended by the Citizens Legislative Compensation Commission and authorized by law for each day or portion thereof engaged in the discharge of official duties: Provided, That to be eligible for compensation and expense reimbursement, the member must participate in a meeting or adjudicatory session: Provided, however, That the member is not eligible for expense reimbursement if he or she does not attend a meeting or adjudicatory session in person.

(m) The commission shall appoint an executive director to assist the commission in carrying out its functions in accordance with commission rules and with applicable law. The executive director shall be paid a salary fixed by the commission or as otherwise provided by law. The commission shall appoint and discharge counsel and employees and shall fix the compensation of employees and prescribe their duties. Counsel to the commission shall advise the commission on all legal matters and on the instruction of the commission may commence appropriate civil actions: Provided, That no counsel shall both advise the commission and act in a representative capacity in any proceeding.

(n) The commission may delegate authority to the chairperson or the executive director to act in the name of the commission between meetings of the commission, except that the commission shall not delegate the power to hold hearings and determine violations to the chairperson or the executive director.

(o) The principal office of the commission shall be in the seat of government, but it or its designated subcommittees may meet and exercise its power at any other place in the state. Meetings of the commission shall be public unless:

(1) They are required to be private by the provisions of this chapter relating to confidentiality; or

(2) They involve discussions of commission personnel, planned or ongoing litigation, and planned or ongoing investigations.

(p) Meetings of the commission shall be upon the call of the chairperson and may be conducted by telephonic or other electronic conferencing means: Provided, That telephone or other electronic conferencing, and voting are not permitted when the commission is acting as a hearing board under this article, or when the Probable Cause Review Board meets to receive an oral response as authorized by this article. Members shall be given notice of meetings held by telephone or other electronic conferencing in the same manner as meetings at which the members are required to attend in person. Telephone or other electronic conferences shall be electronically recorded and the recordings shall be retained by the commission in accordance with its record retention policy.


§6B-2-5. Ethical standards for elected and appointed officials and public employees.

(a) Persons subject to section. -- The provisions of this section apply to all elected and appointed public officials and public employees, whether full or part time, in state, county, municipal governments and their respective boards, agencies, departments and commissions and in any other regional or local governmental agency, including county school district boards.

(b) Use of public office for private gain. -- (1) A public official or public employee may not knowingly and intentionally use his or her office or the prestige of his or her office for his or her own private gain or that of another person. Incidental use of equipment or resources available to a public official or public employee by virtue of his or her position for personal or business purposes resulting in de minimis private gain does not constitute use of public office for private gain under this subsection. The performance of usual and customary duties associated with the office or position or the advancement of public policy goals or constituent services, without compensation, does not constitute the use of prestige of office for private gain.

(2) Notwithstanding the general prohibition against use of office for private gain, public officials and public employees may use bonus points acquired through participation in frequent traveler programs while traveling on official government business: Provided, That the official's or employee's participation in such program, or acquisition of such points, does not result in additional costs to the government.

(3) The Legislature, in enacting this subsection, recognizes that there may be certain public officials or public employees who bring to their respective offices or employment their own unique personal prestige which is based upon their intelligence, education, experience, skills and abilities, or other personal gifts or traits. In many cases, these persons bring a personal prestige to their office or employment which inures to the benefit of the state and its citizens. Those persons may, in fact, be sought by the state to serve in their office or employment because, through their unusual gifts or traits, they bring stature and recognition to their office or employment and to the state itself. While the office or employment held or to be held by those persons may have its own inherent prestige, it would be unfair to those individuals and against the best interests of the citizens of this state to deny those persons the right to hold public office or to be publicly employed on the grounds that they would, in addition to the emoluments of their office or employment, be in a position to benefit financially from the personal prestige which otherwise inheres to them. Accordingly, the commission is directed, by legislative rule, to establish categories of public officials and public employees, identifying them generally by the office or employment held, and offering persons who fit within those categories the opportunity to apply for an exemption from the application of the provisions of this subsection. Exemptions may be granted by the commission, on a case-by-case basis, when it is shown that: (A) The public office held or the public employment engaged in is not such that it would ordinarily be available or offered to a substantial number of the citizens of this state; (B) the office held or the employment engaged in is such that it normally or specifically requires a person who possesses personal prestige; and (C) the person's employment contract or letter of appointment provides or anticipates that the person will gain financially from activities which are not a part of his or her office or employment.

(c) Gifts. -- (1) A public official or public employee may not solicit any gift unless the solicitation is for a charitable purpose with no resulting direct pecuniary benefit conferred upon the official or employee or his or her immediate family: Provided, That no public official or public employee may solicit for a charitable purpose any gift from any person who is also an official or employee of the state and whose position is subordinate to the soliciting official or employee: Provided, however, That nothing herein shall prohibit a candidate for public office from soliciting a lawful political contribution. No official or employee may knowingly accept any gift, directly or indirectly, from a lobbyist or from any person whom the official or employee knows or has reason to know:

(A) Is doing or seeking to do business of any kind with his or her agency;

(B) Is engaged in activities which are regulated or controlled by his or her agency; or

(C) Has financial interests which may be substantially and materially affected, in a manner distinguishable from the public generally, by the performance or nonperformance of his or her official duties.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection, a person who is a public official or public employee may accept a gift described in this subdivision, and there shall be a presumption that the receipt of such gift does not impair the impartiality and independent judgment of the person. This presumption may be rebutted only by direct objective evidence that the gift did impair the impartiality and independent judgment of the person or that the person knew or had reason to know that the gift was offered with the intent to impair his or her impartiality and independent judgment. The provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection do not apply to:

(A) Meals and beverages;

(B) Ceremonial gifts or awards which have insignificant monetary value;

(C) Unsolicited gifts of nominal value or trivial items of informational value;

(D) Reasonable expenses for food, travel and lodging of the official or employee for a meeting at which the official or employee participates in a panel or has a speaking engagement;

(E) Gifts of tickets or free admission extended to a public official or public employee to attend charitable, cultural or political events, if the purpose of such gift or admission is a courtesy or ceremony customarily extended to the office;

(F) Gifts that are purely private and personal in nature; or

(G) Gifts from relatives by blood or marriage, or a member of the same household.

(3) The commission shall, through legislative rule promulgated pursuant to chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, establish guidelines for the acceptance of a reasonable honorarium by public officials and elected officials. The rule promulgated shall be consistent with this section. Any elected public official may accept an honorarium only when:

(A) That official is a part-time elected public official;

(B) The fee is not related to the official's public position or duties;

(C) The fee is for services provided by the public official that are related to the public official's regular, nonpublic trade, profession, occupation, hobby or avocation; and

(D) The honorarium is not provided in exchange for any promise or action on the part of the public official.

(4) Nothing in this section shall be construed so as to prohibit the giving of a lawful political contribution as defined by law.

(5) The Governor or his designee may, in the name of the State of West Virginia, accept and receive gifts from any public or private source. Any gift so obtained shall become the property of the state and shall, within thirty days of the receipt thereof, be registered with the commission and the Division of Culture and History.

(6) Upon prior approval of the Joint Committee on Government and Finance, any member of the Legislature may solicit donations for a regional or national legislative organization conference or other legislative organization function to be held in the state for the purpose of deferring costs to the state for hosting of the conference or function. Legislative organizations are bipartisan regional or national organizations in which the Joint Committee on Government and Finance authorizes payment of dues or other membership fees for the Legislature's participation and which assist this and other State Legislatures and their staff through any of the following:

(A) Advancing the effectiveness, independence and integrity of Legislatures in the states of the United States;

(B) Fostering interstate cooperation and facilitating information exchange among State Legislatures;

(C) Representing the states and their Legislatures in the American federal system of government;

(D) Improving the operations and management of State Legislatures and the effectiveness of legislators and legislative staff, and to encourage the practice of high standards of conduct by legislators and legislative staff;

(E) Promoting cooperation between State Legislatures in the United States and Legislatures in other countries.

The solicitations may only be made in writing. The legislative organization may act as fiscal agent for the conference and receive all donations. In the alternative, a bona fide banking institution may act as the fiscal agent. The official letterhead of the Legislature may not be used by the legislative member in conjunction with the fund raising or solicitation effort. The legislative organization for which solicitations are being made shall file with the Joint Committee on Government and Finance and with the Secretary of State for publication in the state Register as provided in article two of chapter twenty-nine-a of the code, copies of letters, brochures and other solicitation documents, along with a complete list of the names and last known addresses of all donors and the amount of donations received. Any solicitation by a legislative member shall contain the following disclaimer:

"This solicitation is endorsed by [name of member]. This endorsement does not imply support of the soliciting organization, nor of the sponsors who may respond to the solicitation. A copy of all solicitations are on file with the West Virginia Legislature's Joint Committee on Government and Finance, and with the Secretary of State and are available for public review."

(7) Upon written notice to the commission, any member of the board of Public Works may solicit donations for a regional or national organization conference or other function related to the office of the member to be held in the state for the purpose of deferring costs to the state for hosting of the conference or function. The solicitations may only be made in writing. The organization may act as fiscal agent for the conference and receive all donations. In the alternative, a bona fide banking institution may act as the fiscal agent. The official letterhead of the office of the board of Public Works member may not be used in conjunction with the fund raising or solicitation effort. The organization for which solicitations are being made shall file with the Joint Committee on Government and Finance, with the Secretary of State for publication in the state Register as provided in article two of chapter twenty-nine-a of the code and with the commission, copies of letters, brochures and other solicitation documents, along with a complete list of the names and last known addresses of all donors and the amount of donations received. Any solicitation by a member of the board of Public Works shall contain the following disclaimer: "This solicitation is endorsed by (name of member of Board of Public Works.) This endorsement does not imply support of the soliciting organization, nor of the sponsors who may respond to the solicitation. Copies of all solicitations are on file with the West Virginia Legislature's Joint Committee on Government and Finance, with the West Virginia Secretary of State and with the West Virginia Ethics Commission and are available for public review." Any moneys in excess of those donations needed for the conference or function shall be deposited in the Capitol Dome and Capitol Improvement Fund established in section two, article four of chapter five-a of this code.

(d) Interests in public contracts. -

(1) In addition to the provisions of section fifteen, article ten, chapter sixty-one of this code, no elected or appointed public official or public employee or member of his or her immediate family or business with which he or she is associated may be a party to or have an interest in the profits or benefits of a contract which the official or employee may have direct authority to enter into, or over which he or she may have control: Provided, That nothing herein shall be construed to prevent or make unlawful the employment of any person with any governmental body: Provided, however, That nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit a member of the Legislature from entering into a contract with any governmental body, or prohibit a part-time appointed public official from entering into a contract which the part-time appointed public official may have direct authority to enter into or over which he or she may have control when the official has not participated in the review or evaluation thereof, has been recused from deciding or evaluating and has been excused from voting on the contract and has fully disclosed the extent of his or her interest in the contract.

(2) In the absence of bribery or a purpose to defraud, an elected or appointed public official or public employee or a member of his or her immediate family or a business with which he or she is associated shall not be considered as having a prohibited financial interest in a public contract when such a person has a limited interest as an owner, shareholder or creditor of the business which is awarded a public contract. A limited interest for the purposes of this subsection is:

(A) An interest which does not exceed $1,000 in the profits or benefits of the public contract or contracts in a calendar year;

(B) An interest as a creditor of a public employee or official who exercises control over the contract, or a member of his or her immediate family, if the amount is less than $5,000.

(3) If a public official or employee has an interest in the profits or benefits of a contract, then he or she may not make, participate in making, or in any way attempt to use his office or employment to influence a government decision affecting his or her financial or limited financial interest. Public officials shall also comply with the voting rules prescribed in subsection (j) of this section.

(4) Where the provisions of subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection would result in the loss of a quorum in a public body or agency, in excessive cost, undue hardship, or other substantial interference with the operation of a state, county, municipality, county school district board or other governmental agency, the affected governmental body or agency may make written application to the Ethics Commission for an exemption from subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection.

(e) Confidential information. -- No present or former public official or employee may knowingly and improperly disclose any confidential information acquired by him or her in the course of his or her official duties nor use such information to further his or her personal interests or the interests of another person.

(f) Prohibited representation. -- No present or former elected or appointed public official or public employee shall, during or after his or her public employment or service, represent a client or act in a representative capacity with or without compensation on behalf of any person in a contested case, rate-making proceeding, license or permit application, regulation filing or other particular matter involving a specific party or parties which arose during his or her period of public service or employment and in which he or she personally and substantially participated in a decision-making, advisory or staff support capacity, unless the appropriate government agency, after consultation, consents to such representation. A staff attorney, accountant or other professional employee who has represented a government agency in a particular matter shall not thereafter represent another client in the same or substantially related matter in which that client's interests are materially adverse to the interests of the government agency, without the consent of the government agency: Provided, That this prohibition on representation shall not apply when the client was not directly involved in the particular matter in which the professional employee represented the government agency, but was involved only as a member of a class. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to legislators who were in office and legislative staff who were employed at the time it originally became effective on July 1, 1989, and those who have since become legislators or legislative staff and those who shall serve hereafter as legislators or legislative staff.

(g) Limitation on practice before a board, agency, commission or department. -- Except as otherwise provided in section three, four or five, article two, chapter eight-a of this code: (1) No elected or appointed public official and no full-time staff attorney or accountant shall, during his or her public service or public employment or for a period of one year after the termination of his or her public service or public employment with a governmental entity authorized to hear contested cases or promulgate or propose rules, appear in a representative capacity before the governmental entity in which he or she serves or served or is or was employed in the following matters:

(A) A contested case involving an administrative sanction, action or refusal to act;

(B) To support or oppose a proposed rule;

(C) To support or contest the issuance or denial of a license or permit;

(D) A rate-making proceeding; and

(E) To influence the expenditure of public funds.

(2) As used in this subsection, "represent" includes any formal or informal appearance before, or any written or oral communication with, any public agency on behalf of any person: Provided, That nothing contained in this subsection shall prohibit, during any period, a former public official or employee from being retained by or employed to represent, assist or act in a representative capacity on behalf of the public agency by which he or she was employed or in which he or she served. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prevent a former public official or employee from representing another state, county, municipal or other governmental entity before the governmental entity in which he or she served or was employed within one year after the termination of his or her employment or service in the entity.

(3) A present or former public official or employee may appear at any time in a representative capacity before the Legislature, a county commission, city or town council or county school district board in relation to the consideration of a statute, budget, ordinance, rule, resolution or enactment.

(4) Members and former members of the Legislature and professional employees and former professional employees of the Legislature shall be permitted to appear in a representative capacity on behalf of clients before any governmental agency of the state or of county or municipal governments, including county school district school boards.

(5) An elected or appointed public official, full-time staff attorney or accountant who would be adversely affected by the provisions of this subsection may apply to the Ethics Commission for an exemption from the one year prohibition against appearing in a representative capacity, when the person's education and experience is such that the prohibition would, for all practical purposes, deprive the person of the ability to earn a livelihood in this state outside of the governmental agency. The Ethics Commission shall by legislative rule establish general guidelines or standards for granting an exemption or reducing the time period, but shall decide each application on a case-by-case basis.

(h) Employment by regulated persons and vendors. -- (1) No full-time official or full-time public employee may seek employment with, be employed by, or seek to purchase, sell or lease real or personal property to or from any person who:

(A) Had a matter on which he or she took, or a subordinate is known to have taken, regulatory action within the preceding twelve months; or

(B) Has a matter before the agency on which he or she is working or a subordinate is known by him or her to be working.

(C) Is a vendor to the agency where the official serves or public employee is employed and the official or public employee, or a subordinate of the official or public employee, exercises authority or control over a public contract with such vendor, including, but not limited to:

(i) Drafting bid specifications or requests for proposals;

(ii) Recommending selection of the vendor;

(iii) Conducting inspections or investigations;

(iv) Approving the method or manner of payment to the vendor;

(v) Providing legal or technical guidance on the formation, implementation or execution of the contract; or

(vi) Taking other nonministerial action which may affect the financial interests of the vendor.

(2) Within the meaning of this section, the term "employment" includes professional services and other services rendered by the public official or public employee, whether rendered as employee or as an independent contractor; "seek employment" includes responding to unsolicited offers of employment as well as any direct or indirect contact with a potential employer relating to the availability or conditions of employment in furtherance of obtaining employment; and "subordinate" includes only those agency personnel over whom the public official or public employee has supervisory responsibility.

(3) A full-time public official or full-time public employee who would be adversely affected by the provisions of this subsection may apply to the Ethics Commission for an exemption from the prohibition contained in subdivision (1) of this subsection.

(A) The Ethics Commission shall by legislative rule establish general guidelines or standards for granting an exemption, but shall decide each application on a case-by-case basis;

(B) A person adversely affected by the restriction on the purchase of personal property may make such purchase after seeking and obtaining approval from the commission or in good faith reliance upon an official guideline promulgated by the commission, written advisory opinions issued by the commission, or a legislative rule.

(C) The commission may establish exceptions to the personal property purchase restrictions through the adoption of guidelines, advisory opinions or legislative rule.

(4) A full-time public official or full-time public employee may not take personal regulatory action on a matter affecting a person by whom he or she is employed or with whom he or she is seeking employment or has an agreement concerning future employment.

(5) A full-time public official or full-time public employee may not personally participate in a decision, approval, disapproval, recommendation, rendering advice, investigation, inspection or other substantial exercise of nonministerial administrative discretion involving a vendor with whom he or she is seeking employment or has an agreement concerning future employment.

(6) A full-time public official or full-time public employee may not receive private compensation for providing information or services that he or she is required to provide in carrying out his or her public job responsibilities.

(i) Members of the Legislature required to vote. -- Members of the Legislature who have asked to be excused from voting or who have made inquiry as to whether they should be excused from voting on a particular matter and who are required by the presiding officer of the House of Delegates or Senate of West Virginia to vote under the rules of the particular house shall not be guilty of any violation of ethics under the provisions of this section for a vote so cast.

(j) Limitations on voting. -

(1) Public officials, excluding members of the Legislature who are governed by subsection (i) of this section, may not vote on a matter:

(A) In which they, an immediate family member, or a business with which they or an immediate family member is associated have a financial interest. Business with which they are associated means a business of which the person or an immediate family member is a director, officer, owner, employee, compensated agent, or holder of stock which constitutes five percent or more of the total outstanding stocks of any class.

(B) If a public official is employed by a financial institution and his or her primary responsibilities include consumer and commercial lending, the public official may not vote on a matter which directly affects the financial interests of a customer of the financial institution if the public official is directly involved in approving a loan request from the person or business appearing before the governmental body or if the public official has been directly involved in approving a loan for that person or business within the past 12 months: Provided, That this limitation only applies if the total amount of the loan or loans exceeds $15,000.

(C) A personnel matter involving the public official's spouse or relative;

(D) The appropriations of public moneys or the awarding of a contract to a nonprofit corporation if the public official or an immediate family member is employed by the nonprofit.

(II) A public official may vote:

(A) If the public official, his or her spouse, immediate family members or relatives or business with which they are associated are affected as a member of, and to no greater extent than any other member of a profession, occupation, class of persons or class of businesses. A class shall consist of not fewer than five similarly situated persons or businesses; or

(B) If the matter affects a publicly traded company when:

(i) The public official, or dependent family members individually or jointly own less than five percent of the issued stock in the publicly traded company and the value of the stocks individually or jointly owned is less than $10,000; and

(ii) Prior to casting a vote the public official discloses his or her interest in the publicly traded company.

(3) For a public official's recusal to be effective, it is necessary to excuse him or herself from participating in the discussion and decision-making process by physically removing him or herself from the room during the period, fully disclosing his or her interests, and recusing him or herself from voting on the issue.

(k) Limitations on participation in licensing and rate-making proceedings. -- No public official or employee may participate within the scope of his or her duties as a public official or employee, except through ministerial functions as defined in section three, article one of this chapter, in any license or rate-making proceeding that directly affects the license or rates of any person, partnership, trust, business trust, corporation or association in which the public official or employee or his or her immediate family owns or controls more than ten percent. No public official or public employee may participate within the scope of his or her duties as a public official or public employee, except through ministerial functions as defined in section three, article one of this chapter, in any license or rate-making proceeding that directly affects the license or rates of any person to whom the public official or public employee or his or her immediate family, or a partnership, trust, business trust, corporation or association of which the public official or employee, or his or her immediate family, owns or controls more than ten percent, has sold goods or services totaling more than $1,000 during the preceding year, unless the public official or public employee has filed a written statement acknowledging such sale with the public agency and the statement is entered in any public record of the agency's proceedings. This subsection shall not be construed to require the disclosure of clients of attorneys or of patients or clients of persons licensed pursuant to article three, eight, fourteen, fourteen-a, fifteen, sixteen, twenty, twenty-one or thirty-one, chapter thirty of this code.

(l) Certain compensation prohibited. -- (1) A public employee may not receive additional compensation from another publicly-funded state, county or municipal office or employment for working the same hours, unless:

(A) The public employee's compensation from one public employer is reduced by the amount of compensation received from the other public employer;

(B) The public employee's compensation from one public employer is reduced on a pro rata basis for any work time missed to perform duties for the other public employer;

(C) The public employee uses earned paid vacation, personal or compensatory time or takes unpaid leave from his or her public employment to perform the duties of another public office or employment; or

(D) A part-time public employee who does not have regularly scheduled work hours or a public employee who is authorized by one public employer to make up, outside of regularly scheduled work hours, time missed to perform the duties of another public office or employment maintains time records, verified by the public employee and his or her immediate supervisor at least once every pay period, showing the hours that the public employee did, in fact, work for each public employer. The public employer shall submit these time records to the Ethics Commission on a quarterly basis.

(2) This section does not prohibit a retired public official or public employee from receiving compensation from a publicly-funded office or employment in addition to any retirement benefits to which the retired public official or public employee is entitled.

(m) Certain expenses prohibited. -- No public official or public employee shall knowingly request or accept from any governmental entity compensation or reimbursement for any expenses actually paid by a lobbyist and required by the provisions of this chapter to be reported, or actually paid by any other person.

(n) Any person who is employed as a member of the faculty or staff of a public institution of higher education and who is engaged in teaching, research, consulting or publication activities in his or her field of expertise with public or private entities and thereby derives private benefits from such activities shall be exempt from the prohibitions contained in subsections (b), (c) and (d) of this section when the activity is approved as a part of an employment contract with the governing board of the institution or has been approved by the employee's department supervisor or the president of the institution by which the faculty or staff member is employed.

(o) Except as provided in this section, a person who is a public official or public employee may not solicit private business from a subordinate public official or public employee whom he or she has the authority to direct, supervise or control. A person who is a public official or public employee may solicit private business from a subordinate public official or public employee whom he or she has the authority to direct, supervise or control when:

(A) The solicitation is a general solicitation directed to the public at large through the mailing or other means of distribution of a letter, pamphlet, handbill, circular or other written or printed media; or

(B) The solicitation is limited to the posting of a notice in a communal work area; or

(C) The solicitation is for the sale of property of a kind that the person is not regularly engaged in selling; or

(D) The solicitation is made at the location of a private business owned or operated by the person to which the subordinate public official or public employee has come on his or her own initiative.

(p) The commission may, by legislative rule promulgated in accordance with chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, define further exemptions from this section as necessary or appropriate.


§6B-2-6. Financial disclosure statement; filing requirements.

(a) The financial disclosure statement shall be filed on the first day of February of each calendar year to cover the period of the preceding calendar year, except insofar as may be otherwise provided herein. The following persons must file the financial disclosure statement required by this section with the Ethics Commission:

(1) All elected officials in this state, including, but not limited to, all persons elected statewide, all county elected officials, municipal elected officials in municipalities which have, by ordinance, opted to be covered by the disclosure provisions of this section, all members of the several county or school district boards of education and all county or district school district board superintendents;

(2) All members of state boards, commissions and agencies appointed by the governor; and

(3) Secretaries of departments, commissioners, deputy commissioners, assistant commissioners, directors, deputy directors, assistant directors, department heads, deputy department heads and assistant department heads.

A person who is required to file a financial disclosure statement under this section by virtue of becoming an elected or appointed public official whose office is described in subdivision (1), (2) or (3) of this subsection, and who assumes the office less than ten days before a filing date established herein or who assumes the office after the filing date, shall file a financial disclosure statement for the previous twelve months no later than thirty days after the date on which the person assumes the duties of the office, unless the person has filed a financial disclosure statement with the commission during the twelve-month period before he or she assumed office.

(b) A candidate for public office shall file a financial disclosure statement for the previous calendar year with the state Ethics Commission no later than ten days after he or she files a certificate of candidacy, but in all circumstances, not later than ten days prior to the election, unless he or she has filed a financial disclosure statement with the state Ethics Commission during the previous calendar year.

The Ethics Commission shall file a duplicate copy of the financial disclosure statement required in this section in the following offices within ten days of the receipt of the candidate's statement of disclosure:

(1) Municipal candidates in municipalities which have opted, by ordinance, to be covered by the disclosure provisions of this section, in the office of the clerk of the municipality in which the candidate is seeking office;

(2) Legislative candidates in single county districts and candidates for a county office or county school district board in the office of the clerk of the county commission of the county in which the candidate is seeking office;

(3) Legislative candidates from multi-county districts and congressional candidates in the office of the clerk of the county commission of the county of the candidate' residence.

After a ninety-day period following any election, the clerks who receive the financial disclosure statements of candidates may destroy or dispose of those statements filed by candidates who were unsuccessful in the election.

(c) No candidate for public office may maintain his or her place on a ballot and no public official may take the oath of office or enter or continue upon his or her duties or receive compensation from public funds unless he or she has filed a financial disclosure statement with the state Ethics Commission as required by the provisions of this section.

(d) The Ethics Commission may, upon request of any person required to file a financial disclosure statement, and for good cause shown, extend the deadline for filing such statement for a reasonable period of time: Provided, That no extension of time shall be granted to a candidate who has not filed a financial disclosure statement for the preceding filing period.

(e) No person shall fail to file a statement required by this section.

(f) No person shall knowingly file a materially false statement that is required to be filed under this section.

(g) The Ethics Commission shall publish either on the internet or by printed document made available to the public, a list of all persons who have violated any ethics commission's financial disclosure statement filing deadline.

(h) The Ethics Commission shall, in addition to making all financial disclosure statements available for inspection upon request:

(1) Publish on the internet all financial disclosure statements filed by members of the legislature and candidates for legislative office, elected members of the executive department and candidates for the offices that constitute the executive department, and members of the Supreme Court of Appeals and candidates for the Supreme Court of Appeals, commencing with those reports filed on or after January 1, 2012; and

(2) Publish on the internet all financial disclosure statements filed by any other person required to file such financial disclosure statements, as the commission determines resources are available to permit the Ethics Commission to make such publication on the internet. The commission shall redact financial disclosure statements published on the internet to exclude from publication personal information such as signatures, home addresses and mobile and home telephone numbers.


ARTICLE 3. LOBBYISTS.


§6B-3-3b. Conflict of interest.

A lobbyist or a lobbyist's immediate family member may not participate in any decision as a member of a state or county school district board, council, commission or public service district if the lobbyist may receive direct, personal economic or pecuniary benefit from a decision of that state or county school district board, council, commission or public service district. The lobbyist's economic or pecuniary benefit must affect him or her directly and not merely as a member of a class.


CHAPTER 6C. PUBLIC EMPLOYEES.


ARTICLE 2. WEST VIRGINIA PUBLIC EMPLOYEES GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE.


§6C-2-2. Definitions.

For the purpose of this article and article three of this chapter:

(a) "Board" means the West Virginia Public Employees Grievance Board created in article three of this chapter.

(b) "Chief administrator" means, in the appropriate context, the commissioner, chancellor, director, president, secretary or head of any state department, board, commission, agency, state institution of higher education, commission or council, the state superintendent, the county school district superintendent, the executive director of a regional educational service agency or the director of a multicounty vocational center who is vested with the authority to resolve a grievance. A "chief administrator" includes a designee, with the authority delegated by the chief administrator, appointed to handle any aspect of the grievance procedure as established by this article.

(c) "Days" means working days exclusive of Saturday, Sunday, official holidays and any day in which the employee's workplace is legally closed under the authority of the chief administrator due to weather or other cause provided for by statute, rule, policy or practice.

(d) "Discrimination" means any differences in the treatment of similarly situated employees, unless the differences are related to the actual job responsibilities of the employees or are agreed to in writing by the employees.

(e) (1) "Employee" means any person hired for permanent employment by an employer for a probationary, full- or part-time position.

(2) A substitute education employee is considered an "employee" only on matters related to days worked or when there is a violation, misapplication or misinterpretation of a statute, policy, rule or written agreement relating to the substitute.

(3) "Employee" does not mean a member of the West Virginia State Police employed pursuant to article two, chapter fifteen of this code, but does include civilian employees hired by the superintendent of the State Police. "Employee" does not mean an employee of a Constitutional officer unless he or she is covered under the civil service system, an employee of the Legislature or a patient or inmate employed by a state institution.

(f) "Employee organization" means an employee advocacy organization with employee members that has filed with the board the name, address, chief officer and membership criteria of the organization.

(g) "Employer" means a state agency, department, board, commission, college, university, institution, State Board of Education, Department of Education, county school district board of education, regional educational service agency or multicounty vocational center, or agent thereof, using the services of an employee as defined in this section.

(h) "Favoritism" means unfair treatment of an employee as demonstrated by preferential, exceptional or advantageous treatment of a similarly situated employee unless the treatment is related to the actual job responsibilities of the employee or is agreed to in writing by the employee.

(i) (1) "Grievance" means a claim by an employee alleging a violation, a misapplication or a misinterpretation of the statutes, policies, rules or written agreements applicable to the employee including:

(i) Any violation, misapplication or misinterpretation regarding compensation, hours, terms and conditions of employment, employment status or discrimination;

(ii) Any discriminatory or otherwise aggrieved application of unwritten policies or practices of his or her employer;

(iii) Any specifically identified incident of harassment;

(iv) Any specifically identified incident of favoritism; or

(v) Any action, policy or practice constituting a substantial detriment to or interference with the effective job performance of the employee or the health and safety of the employee.

(2) "Grievance" does not mean any pension matter or other issue relating to public employees insurance in accordance with article sixteen, chapter five of this code, retirement or any other matter in which the authority to act is not vested with the employer.

(j) "Grievance proceeding", "proceeding" or the plural means a conference, level one hearing, mediation, private mediation, private arbitration or level three hearing, or any combination, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

(k) "Grievant" means an employee or group of similarly situated employees filing a grievance.

(l) "Harassment" means repeated or continual disturbance, irritation or annoyance of an employee that is contrary to the behavior expected by law, policy and profession.

(m) "Party", or the plural, means the grievant, intervenor, employer and the Director of the Division of Personnel or his or her designee, for state government employee grievances. The Division of Personnel shall not be a party to grievances involving higher education employees.

(n) "Representative" means any employee organization, fellow employee, attorney or other person designated by the grievant or intervenor as his or her representative and may not include a supervisor who evaluates the grievant.

(o) "Reprisal" means the retaliation of an employer toward a grievant, witness, representative or any other participant in the grievance procedure either for an alleged injury itself or any lawful attempt to redress it.


CHAPTER 7. COUNTY COMMISSIONS AND OFFICERS.


ARTICLE 4. PROSECUTING ATTORNEY, REWARDS AND LEGAL ADVICE.


§7-4-1. Duties of prosecuting attorney; further duties upon request of Attorney General.

It shall be the duty of the prosecuting attorney to attend to the criminal business of the state in the county in which he or she is elected and qualified, and when he the prosecuting attorney has information of the violation of any penal law committed within such county, he the prosecuting attorney shall institute and prosecute all necessary and proper proceedings against the offender, and may in such case issue or cause to be issued a summons for any witness he the prosecuting attorney may deem material. Every public officer shall give him the prosecuting attorney information of the violation of any penal law committed within his or her county. It shall also be the duty of the prosecuting attorney to attend to civil suits in such county in which the state, or any department, commission or board thereof, is interested, and to advise, attend to, bring, prosecute or defend, as the case may be, all matters, actions, suits and proceedings in which such county or any county school district board of education is interested.

It shall be the duty of the prosecuting attorney to keep his or her office open in the charge of a responsible person during the hours polls are open on general, primary and special county-wide election days, and the prosecuting attorney, or his the prosecuting attorney's assistant, if any, shall be available for the purpose of advising election officials. It shall be the further duty of the prosecuting attorney, when requested by the Attorney General, to perform or to assist the Attorney General in performing, in the county in which he the prosecuting attorney is elected, any legal duties required to be performed by the Attorney General, and which are not inconsistent with the duties of the prosecuting attorney as the legal representative of such county. It shall also be the duty of the prosecuting attorney, when requested by the Attorney General, to perform or to assist the Attorney General in performing, any legal duties required to be performed by the Attorney General, in any county other than that in which such prosecuting attorney is elected, and for the performance of any such duties in any county other than that in which such prosecuting attorney is elected he the prosecuting attorney shall be paid his or her actual expenses.

Upon the request of the Attorney General the prosecuting attorney shall make a written report of the state and condition of the several causes in which the state is a party, pending in his or her county, and upon any matters referred to him the prosecuting attorney by the Attorney General as provided by law.


ARTICLE 6. COUNTY DEPOSITORIES.


§7-6-4. Deposit and disbursement of moneys by sheriff.

The sheriff, upon receipt of a certified copy of the order of the county court, showing that a depository has been designated and bond accepted in compliance with the provisions of this article, and naming the depository or depositories, shall deposit therein to the credit of the county treasurer all public money in his the sheriff's possession, except such as may be necessary to meet current demands; and, thereafter, he the sheriff shall make daily deposits in the public depositories of all public money received by him the sheriff, except as hereinafter provided, the deposit of such money to be made as early as practicable after the receipt or collection thereof, and such money shall be payable by the depository only on an order issued by the county court, after such order has been endorsed by the county treasurer directing payment by the depository. If at any time the cash in the hands of the sheriff is not sufficient to meet current demands, he the sheriff is authorized to withdraw sufficient cash from the depository to meet such current demands, such withdrawals to be made by check drawn by the sheriff and countersigned by the county clerk. Such current demands shall not be anticipated more than a week in advance. All moneys due the sheriff are to be drawn from the depository on an order issued by the sheriff. At the end of each month the president and clerk of the county court shall sign proper orders on the sheriff, in his the sheriff's favor, to pay him the sheriff the moneys due him or her. All moneys belonging to the state, or any municipality, or Board of Education, shall be disbursed from the depository on a check drawn by the sheriff, payable to the Auditor of the State of West Virginia, or to the treasurer of the municipality or to the treasurer of the county school district board of education, unless the sheriff is designated as the treasurer, as provided in section six, article nine, chapter eighteen of this code.


ARTICLE 11B. WEST VIRGINIA TAX INCREMENT FINANCING ACT.


§7-11B-3. Definitions.


(a) General. -- When used in this article, words and phrases defined in this section have the meanings ascribed to them in this section unless a different meaning is clearly required either by the context in which the word or phrase is used or by specific definition in this article.

(b) Words and phrases defined. --

“Agency” includes a municipality, a county or municipal development agency established pursuant to authority granted in section one, article twelve of this chapter, a port authority, an airport authority or any other entity created by this state or an agency or instrumentality of this state that engages in economic development activity or the Division of Highways.

“Base assessed value” means the taxable assessed value of all real and tangible personal property, excluding personal motor vehicles, having a tax situs within a development or redevelopment district as shown upon the landbooks and personal property books of the assessor on July 1 of the calendar year preceding the effective date of the order or ordinance creating and establishing the development or redevelopment district: Provided, That for any development or redevelopment district approved after the effective date of the amendments to this section enacted during the regular session of the Legislature in 2014, personal trailers, personal boats, personal campers, personal motor homes, personal ATVs and personal motorcycles having a tax situs within a development or redevelopment district are excluded from the base assessed value.

“Blighted area” means an area within the boundaries of a development or redevelopment district located within the territorial limits of a municipality or county in which the structures, buildings or improvements, by reason of dilapidation, deterioration, age or obsolescence, inadequate provision for access, ventilation, light, air, sanitation, open spaces, high density of population and overcrowding or the existence of conditions which endanger life or property, are detrimental to the public health, safety, morals or welfare. “Blighted area” includes any area which, by reason of the presence of a substantial number of substandard, slum, deteriorated or deteriorating structures, predominance of defective or inadequate street layout, faulty lot layout in relation to size, adequacy, accessibility or usefulness, unsanitary or unsafe conditions, deterioration of site or other improvements, diversity of ownership, defective or unusual conditions of title or the existence of conditions which endanger life or property by fire and other causes, or any combination of such factors, substantially impairs or arrests the sound growth of a municipality, retards the provision of housing accommodations or constitutes an economic or social liability and is a menace to the public health, safety, morals or welfare in its present condition and use, or any area which is predominantly open and which because of lack of accessibility, obsolete platting, diversity of ownership, deterioration of structures or of site improvements, or otherwise, substantially impairs or arrests the sound growth of the community.

“Commissioner of Highways” means the Commissioner of the Division of Highways.

“Conservation area” means any improved area within the boundaries of a development or redevelopment district located within the territorial limits of a municipality or county in which fifty percent or more of the structures in the area have an age of thirty-five years or more. A conservation area is not yet a blighted area but is detrimental to the public health, safety, morals or welfare and may become a blighted area because of any one or more of the following factors: Dilapidation; obsolescence; deterioration; illegal use of individual structures; presence of structures below minimum code standards; abandonment; excessive vacancies; overcrowding of structures and community facilities; lack of ventilation, light or sanitary facilities; inadequate utilities; excessive land coverage; deleterious land use or layout; depreciation of physical maintenance; and lack of community planning. A conservation area shall meet at least three of the factors provided in this subdivision.

“County commission” means the governing body of a county of this state and, for purposes of this article only, includes the governing body of a Class I or II municipality in this state.

“Current assessed value” means the annual taxable assessed value of all real and tangible personal property, excluding personal motor vehicles, having a tax situs within a development or redevelopment district as shown upon the landbook and personal property records of the assessor: Provided, That for any development or redevelopment district approved after the effective date of the amendments to this section enacted during the regular session of the Legislature in 2014, personal trailers, personal boats, personal campers, personal motor homes, personal ATVs and personal motorcycles having a tax situs within a development or redevelopment district are excluded from the current assessed value.

“Development office” means the West Virginia Development Office created in section one, article two, chapter five-b of this code.

“Development project” or “redevelopment project” means a project undertaken in a development or redevelopment district for eliminating or preventing the development or spread of slums or deteriorated, deteriorating or blighted areas, for discouraging the loss of commerce, industry or employment, for increasing employment or for any combination thereof in accordance with a tax increment financing plan. A development or redevelopment project may include one or more of the following:

(A) The acquisition of land and improvements, if any, within the development or redevelopment district and clearance of the land so acquired; or

(B) The development, redevelopment, revitalization or conservation of the project area whenever necessary to provide land for needed public facilities, public housing or industrial or commercial development or revitalization, to eliminate unhealthful, unsanitary or unsafe conditions, to lessen density, mitigate or eliminate traffic congestion, reduce traffic hazards, eliminate obsolete or other uses detrimental to public welfare or otherwise remove or prevent the spread of blight or deterioration;

(C) The financial or other assistance in the relocation of persons and organizations displaced as a result of carrying out the development or redevelopment project and other improvements necessary for carrying out the project plan, together with those site improvements that are necessary for the preparation of any sites and making any land or improvements acquired in the project area available, by sale or lease, for public housing or for development, redevelopment or rehabilitation by private enterprise for commercial or industrial uses in accordance with the plan;

(D) The construction of capital improvements within a development or redevelopment district designed to increase or enhance the development of commerce, industry or housing within the development project area; or

(E) Any other projects the county commission or the agency deems appropriate to carry out the purposes of this article.

“Development or redevelopment district” means an area proposed by one or more agencies as a development or redevelopment district which may include one or more counties, one or more municipalities or any combination thereof, that has been approved by the county commission of each county in which the project area is located if the project is located outside the corporate limits of a municipality, or by the governing body of a municipality if the project area is located within a municipality, or by both the county commission and the governing body of the municipality when the development or redevelopment district is located both within and without a municipality.

“Division of Highways” means the state Department of Transportation, Division of Highways.

“Economic development area” means any area or portion of an area within the boundaries of a development or redevelopment district located within the territorial limits of a municipality or county that   is neither a blighted area nor a conservation area and for which the county commission finds that development or redevelopment will not be solely used for development of commercial businesses that will unfairly compete in the local economy and that development or redevelopment is in the public interest because it will:

(A) Discourage commerce, industry or manufacturing from moving their operations to another state;

(B) Result in increased employment in the municipality or county, whichever is applicable; or

(C) Result in preservation or enhancement of the tax base of the county or municipality.

“Governing body of a municipality” means the city council of a Class I or Class II municipality in this state.

 “Incremental value”, for any development or redevelopment district, means the difference between the base assessed value and the current assessed value. The incremental value will be positive if the current value exceeds the base value and the incremental value will be negative if the current value is less than the base assessed value.

“Includes” and “including”, when used in a definition contained in this article, shall not exclude other things otherwise within the meaning of the term being defined.

“Intergovernmental agreement” means any written agreement that may be entered into by and between two or more county commissions, or between two or more municipalities, or between a county commission and a municipality, in the singular and the plural, or between two or more government entities and the Commissioner of Highways: Provided, That any intergovernmental  agreement shall not be subject to provisions governing intergovernmental agreements set forth in other provisions of this code, including, but not limited to, article twenty-three, chapter eight of this code, but shall be subject to the provisions of this article.

“Local levying body” means the county board of education and the county commission and includes the governing body of a municipality when the development or redevelopment district is located, in whole or in part, within the boundaries of the municipality.

“Obligations” or “tax increment financing obligations” means bonds, loans, debentures, notes, special certificates or other evidences of indebtedness issued by a county commission or municipality pursuant to this article to carry out a development or redevelopment project or to refund outstanding obligations under this article.

“Order” means an order of the county commission adopted in conformity with the provisions of this article and as provided in this chapter.

“Ordinance” means a law adopted by the governing body of a municipality in conformity with the provisions of this article and as provided in chapter eight of this code.

“Payment in lieu of taxes” means those estimated revenues from real property and tangible personal property having a tax situs in the area selected for a development or redevelopment project which revenues, according to the development or redevelopment project or plan, are to be used for a private use, which levying bodies would have received had a county or municipality not adopted one or more tax increment financing plans and which would result from levies made after the date of adoption of a tax increment financing plan during the time the current assessed value of all taxable real and tangible personal property in the area selected for the development or redevelopment project exceeds the total base assessed value of all taxable real and tangible personal property in the development or redevelopment district until the designation is terminated as provided in this article.

“Person” means any natural person, and any corporation, association, partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company or other entity, regardless of its form, structure or nature, other than a government agency or instrumentality.

“Private project” means any project that is subject to ad valorem property taxation in this state or to a payment in lieu of tax agreement that is undertaken by a project developer in accordance with a tax increment financing plan in a development or redevelopment district.

“Project” means any capital improvement, facility or both, as specifically set forth and defined in the project plan, requiring an investment of capital including, but not limited to, extensions, additions or improvements to existing facilities, including water or wastewater facilities, and the remediation of contaminated property as provided for in article twenty-two, chapter twenty-two of this code, but does not include performance of any governmental service by a county or municipal government.

“Project area” means an area within the boundaries of a development or redevelopment district in which a development or redevelopment project is undertaken as specifically set forth and defined in the project plan.

“Project costs” means expenditures made in preparation of the development or redevelopment project plan and made, or estimated to be made, or monetary obligations incurred, or estimated to be incurred, by the county commission which are listed in the project plan as capital improvements within a development or redevelopment district, plus any costs incidental thereto. “Project costs” include, but are not limited to:

(A) Capital costs, including, but not limited to, the actual costs of the construction of public works or improvements, capital improvements and facilities, new buildings, structures and fixtures, the demolition, alteration, remodeling, repair or reconstruction of existing buildings, structures and fixtures, environmental remediation, parking and landscaping, the acquisition of equipment and site clearing, grading and preparation;

(B) Financing costs, including, but not limited to, an interest paid to holders of evidences of indebtedness issued to pay for project costs, all costs of issuance and any redemption premiums, credit enhancement or other related costs;

(C) Real property assembly costs, meaning any deficit incurred resulting from the sale or lease as lessor by the county commission of real or personal property having a tax situs within a development or redevelopment district for consideration that is less than its cost to the county commission;

(D) Professional service costs including, but not limited to, those costs incurred for architectural planning, engineering and legal advice and services;

(E) Imputed administrative costs including, but not limited to, reasonable charges for time spent by county employees or municipal employees in connection with the implementation of a project plan;

(F) Relocation costs including, but not limited to, those relocation payments made following condemnation and job training and retraining;

(G) Organizational costs including, but not limited to, the costs of conducting environmental impact and other studies and the costs of informing the public with respect to the creation of a development or redevelopment district and the implementation of project plans;

(H) Payments made, in the discretion of the county commission or the governing body of a municipality, which are found to be necessary or convenient to creation of development or redevelopment districts or the implementation of project plans; and

(I) That portion of costs related to the construction of environmental protection devices, storm or sanitary sewer lines, water lines, amenities or streets or the rebuilding or expansion of streets, or the construction, alteration, rebuilding or expansion of which is necessitated by the project plan for a development or redevelopment district, whether or not the construction, alteration, rebuilding or expansion is within the area or on land contiguous thereto.

“Project developer” means any person who engages in the development of projects in the state.

“Project plan” means the plan for a development or redevelopment project that is adopted by a county commission or governing body of a municipality in conformity with the requirements of this article and this chapter or chapter eight of this code.

“Real property” means all lands, including improvements and fixtures on them and property of any nature appurtenant to them or used in connection with them and every estate, interest and right, legal or equitable, in them, including terms of years and liens by way of judgment, mortgage or otherwise, and indebtedness secured by the liens.

“Redevelopment area” means an area designated by a county commission or the governing body of a municipality in respect to which the commission or governing body has made a finding that there exist conditions which cause the area to be classified as a blighted area, a conservation area, an economic development area or a combination thereof, which area includes only those parcels of real property directly and substantially benefitted by the proposed redevelopment project located within the development or redevelopment district or land contiguous thereto.

“Redevelopment plan” means the comprehensive program under this article of a county or municipality for redevelopment intended by the payment of redevelopment costs to reduce or eliminate those conditions, the existence of which qualified the redevelopment area as a blighted area, conservation area, economic development area or combination thereof, and to thereby enhance the tax bases of the levying bodies which extend into the redevelopment area. Each redevelopment plan shall conform to the requirements of this article.

“Tax increment” means the amount of regular levy property taxes attributable to the amount by which the current assessed value of real and tangible personal property having a tax situs in a development or redevelopment district exceeds the base assessed value of the property.

“Tax increment financing fund” means a separate fund for a development or redevelopment district established by the county commission or governing body of the municipality into which all tax increment revenues and other pledged revenues are deposited and from which projected project costs, debt service and other expenditures authorized by this article are paid.

“This code” means the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended by the Legislature.

“Total ad valorem property tax regular levy rate” means the aggregate levy rate of all levying bodies on all taxable property having a tax situs within a development or redevelopment district in a tax year but does not include excess levies, levies for general obligation bonded indebtedness or any other levies that are not regular levies.

ARTICLE 13. ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY PROGRAMS.


§7-13-6. Membership and participation in community action program organizations.

A county court, county school district board of education, or municipal government is hereby authorized and empowered to become associated with a community action program organization, and to participate in the development and implementation of component projects conceived and placed into operation by community action program organizations.

In so doing, a county court, county school district of education, or municipal government may extend, without compensation, the use of its buildings, equipment, machinery, public lands, personnel, technical and other services, and other resources for the benefit of a community action program organization; may provide money, and real and other property, tangible or intangible, to a recognized community action program organization in the furtherance of the objectives of the federal Economic Opportunity Act of 1964; and may cooperate and act in conjunction with other county courts, county school district boards of education, municipal governments, public bodies, and all agencies of federal, state and local governments in the promotion and advancement of the projects, in operation or in evolutionary stages, under the jurisdiction of a recognized community action program organization: Provided, That any such contribution, whether in cash or in kind, in goods or in services fairly evaluated, should, in all practical instances, constitute the whole or a portion of the matching share required by the federal Office of Economic Opportunity from the community action program organization in the orderly implementation and conduct of community action programs.


§7-13-6a. Community action agencies.

A county court, a county school district board of education or a municipal government is hereby authorized and empowered to become a community action program organization or agency pursuant to Title II of the "Federal Economic Opportunity Act of 1964," as amended. If any one of the foregoing governmental agencies shall be designated under said Title II as a community action program organization or agency, it shall have the power and authority to conduct, operate and manage a community action program in conformity with the requirements of the federal Economic Opportunity Act; to apply for, receive and disburse all federal funds made available to it for the purpose of carrying out its duties under the federal Economic Opportunity Act; and to receive grants and gifts from private or local public sources and disburse the same. Whenever a county court, county school district board of education or municipal government is acting as a community action program organization or agency, such county court, county school district board of education or municipal government may establish a governing board to administer such community action program, such governing board to be selected in compliance with the provisions of the federal Economic Opportunity Act and such rules and regulations as may be adopted by such county court, county school district board of education or municipal government, the promulgation of which is hereby authorized; may transfer any of the funds, grants and gifts referred to above to such governing board, if such transfer is in conformity with the provisions of the federal Economic Opportunity Act; and may delegate to such governing board all authority necessary and convenient to enable it to perform and carry out its duties.

§7-13-8. Contributions by county courts, county school district boards of education and municipal governments.


A county court, county school district board of education, or municipal government shall be authorized and empowered to contribute to the costs of duly recognized community action program organizations by appropriating for such purposes money from its general funds not otherwise appropriated. A county court, county school district board of education, or municipal government likewise is authorized and empowered to transfer and convey to a duly recognized community action program organization property, equipment and machinery, and other goods: Provided, That such transfer will further the conduct and implementation of component projects of a community action program.

A county court, county school district board of education, or municipal government is authorized and empowered to accept, use and dispose of gifts of property, real, personal or mixed, tangible or intangible, and to convey or otherwise transfer the same to a recognized community action program organization: Provided, however, That such transfer will further the conduct and implementation of component projects of a community action program.

A county court, county school district board of education, or municipal government is authorized and empowered to enter into and perform such contracts, leases, cooperative arrangements, or other transactions as may assist in the performance of component projects of a community action program: Provided further, That no county court, county school district board of education, or municipal government shall enter into any such contract, lease or cooperative arrangement unless it is requested to assist in such manner through notification, in writing, by the chairman, president, administrator or other chief executive officer of a recognized community action program organization.

§7-13-9. Accountability of funds.


As a condition to participation in community action program organization activities, as specified in section eight, a county court, county school district board of education, or municipal government may require a community action program organization to render an accounting, at such intervals as the county court, county school district board of education, or municipal government may designate, of the use of money, property, goods, and services made available to the community action program organization by the county court, county school district board of education, or municipal government, and to make available at quarterly intervals an itemized statement of receipts and disbursements, and its books, records and accounts, during the preceding quarter, for audit and examination by the office of the State Tax Commissioner of West Virginia and any other proper public body or official.


ARTICLE 23. LOCAL GOVERNMENT FLEXIBILITY ACT


§7-23-3. Flexibility for county commissions, municipalities and county school district boards of education.

(a) Application for waiver of policies, rules and regulations.

(1) The purpose of this section is to provide a procedure by which county commissions, municipalities and county school district boards of education may apply for waiver of a policy, rule or regulation the commission, municipality or board believes is preventing it from carrying out its duties and responsibilities in the most cost efficient, effective and timely manner.

(2) The chief executive officer of a county commission, municipality or county school district board of education may file with the Secretary of Commerce an application for waiver of a policy, rule or regulation he or she believes is preventing the commission, municipality or board from carrying out its duties in the most cost efficient, effective and timely manner.

(3) The application shall be made in writing and be in the form prescribed by the Secretary of Commerce for that purpose. The application shall, at a minimum, require the applicant to provide the official citation of the policy, rule or regulation for which waiver is sought. If there is no official citation, a copy of the policy or letter from which a waiver is sought shall be attached to the application. The applicant shall describe in sufficient detail the problem created by the policy, rule or regulation for which waiver is sought and describe in sufficient detail how the waiver will allow the applicant to carry out the applicant's duties in the most cost efficient, effective and timely manner.

(b) Review by Secretary of Commerce. - Upon receipt of an application as provided in subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary of Commerce may conduct an investigation or inquiry to gather any additional information necessary to evaluate the application. The Secretary of Commerce shall periodically submit to the Governor a written report summarizing the applications and any recommendations for applications the Secretary of Commerce determines in his or her discretion to forward to the Governor for disposition in accordance with this section. The Secretary of Commerce is granted no authority under this section to issue any waiver.

(c) Review by Governor. - Upon receipt of the summary and recommendations of the Secretary of Commerce, the Governor may take any action he or she considers appropriate under the circumstances that is within the authority granted to the Governor by the laws of this state. Whenever the Governor believes a statutory change is needed, the Governor shall bring the matter to the attention of the Speaker of the House of Delegates and the President of the Senate.


ARTICLE 25. RESORT AREA DISTRICTS.


§7-25-18. Exemption of public property from assessments.

No lots or parcels of land owned or controlled by the United States, this state, any municipality, county, county school district board of education, resort area district or other public body shall be subject to any assessments under this article.


CHAPTER 8. MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS.


ARTICLE 19. MUNICIPAL AND COUNTY WATERWORKS AND ELECTRIC POWER SYSTEMS.


§8-19-4. Estimate of cost; ordinance or order for issuance of revenue bonds; interest on bonds; rates for services; exemption from taxation.

Whenever a municipality or county commission shall, under the provisions of this article, determine to acquire, by purchase or otherwise, construct, establish, extend or equip a waterworks system or an electric power system, or to construct any additions, betterments or improvements to any waterworks or electric power system, it shall cause an estimate to be made of the cost thereof, and may, by ordinance or order, provide for the issuance of revenue bonds under the provisions of this article, which ordinance or order shall set forth a brief description of the contemplated undertaking, the estimated cost thereof, the amount, rate or rates of interest, the time and place of payment and other details in connection with the issuance of the bonds. The bonds shall be in such form and shall be negotiated and sold in such manner and upon such terms as the governing body of such municipality or county commission may, by ordinance or order, specify. All the bonds and the interest thereon shall be exempt from all taxation by this state, or any county, municipality or county commission, political subdivision or agency thereof. Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, the real and personal property which a municipality or county has acquired and constructed according to the provisions of this article, and any leasehold interest therein held by other persons, shall be deemed public property and shall be exempt from taxation by the state, or any county, municipality or other levying body, so long as the same is owned by the municipality or county: Provided, That with respect to electric power systems, this exemption for real and personal property shall be applicable only for the real and personal property: (1) Physically situate within the municipal or county boundaries of the municipality or county which acquired or constructed the electric power system and there was in place prior to the effective date of the amendments to this section made in the year 1992 an agreement between the municipality and the county commission for payments in lieu of tax; or (2) acquired or constructed with the written agreement of the county school district board, county commission and any municipal authority within whose jurisdiction the electric power system is or is to be physically situate. Notwithstanding anything contained in this statute to the contrary, this exemption shall be applicable to any leasehold or similar interest held by persons other than a municipality or county only if acquired or constructed with the written agreement of the county school district board, county commission and any municipal authority within whose jurisdiction the electric power system is or is to be physically situate: Provided, however, That payments made to any county commission, county school district board or municipality in lieu of tax pursuant to such an agreement shall be distributed as if the payments resulted from ad valorem property taxation. The bonds shall bear interest at a rate per annum set by the municipality or county commission, payable at such times, and shall be payable as to principal at such times, not exceeding fifty years from their date, and at such place or places, within or without the state, as shall be prescribed in the ordinance or order providing for their issuance. Unless the governing body of the municipality or county commission shall otherwise determine, the ordinance or order shall also declare that a statutory mortgage lien shall exist upon the property so to be acquired, constructed, established, extended or equipped, fix minimum rates or charges for water or electricity to be collected prior to the payment of all of said bonds and shall pledge the revenues derived from the waterworks or electric power system for the purpose of paying the bonds and interest thereon, which pledge shall definitely fix and determine the amount of revenues which shall be necessary to be set apart and applied to the payment of the principal of and interest upon the bonds and the proportion of the balance of the revenues, which are to be set aside as a proper and adequate depreciation account, and the remainder shall be set aside for the reasonable and proper maintenance and operation thereof. The rates or charges to be charged for the services from the waterworks or electric power system shall be sufficient at all times to provide for the payment of interest upon all bonds and to create a sinking fund to pay the principal thereof as and when the same become due, and reasonable reserves therefor, and to provide for the repair, maintenance and operation of the waterworks or electric power system, and to provide an adequate depreciation fund, and to make any other payments which shall be required or provided for in the ordinance or order authorizing the issuance of said bonds.


ARTICLE 23. INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS -- CONTRACTING AND JOINT ENTERPRISES.


§8-23-2. Definitions.

For the purposes of this article:

(1) The term "public agency" shall mean any municipality, county or other political subdivision of this state, or any county school district board of education of this state; and

(2) The term "public works" shall mean any improvement or project involving an outlay of a capital nature which may be required by or convenient for the purposes of any public agency, including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the construction, reconstruction, establishment, acquisition, improvement, renovation, extension, enlargement, increase, equipment, maintenance, repair (including replacements) and operation of jails, jail facilities, municipal buildings, police stations, fire stations, libraries, museums, other public buildings, incinerator plants, land fill or other garbage disposal systems, hospitals, piers, docks, terminals, airports, drainage systems, flood control systems, floodwalls, sewers, culverts, bridges (including approaches, causeways, viaducts, underpasses and connecting roadways), public markets, cemeteries, motor vehicle parking facilities (including parking lots, buildings, ramps, curb-line parking, meters and other facilities deemed necessary, appropriate, useful, convenient or incidental to the regulation, control and parking of motor vehicles), stadiums, gymnasiums, sports arenas, Auditoriums, public recreation centers, public recreation parks, swimming pools, roller skating rinks, ice skating rinks, tennis courts, golf courses, polo grounds, or other public improvements, or the grading, regrading, paving, repaving, surfacing, resurfacing, curbing, recurbing, widening or otherwise improving of any street, avenue, road, alley or way.


CHAPTER 8A. LAND USE PLANNING

ARTICLE 6. ANNEXATION.


§8A-6-2. Conditions as part of final plat approval.

(a) A subdivision and land development ordinance may provide for the voluntary proffering by a landowner as a requirement of final plat approval for a development project.

(b) For purposes of this section, a "voluntary proffer" is a written offer by a landowner to a governing body whereby the landowner offers to satisfy certain reasonable conditions as a requirement of the final plat approval for a development project. A voluntary proffer made to a governing body shall be in lieu of payment of an impact fee as authorized by section four, article twenty, chapter seven of this code: Provided, That no proffer may be accepted by a governing body in lieu of an impact fee that would otherwise go to schools without the approval of the county school district board of education.

(c) For purposes of this section, a condition contained in a voluntary proffer is considered reasonable if:

(1) The development project results in the need for the conditions;

(2) The conditions have a reasonable relation to the development project; and

(3) All conditions are in conformity with the comprehensive plan adopted pursuant to this chapter.

(d) No proffer may be accepted by a governing body unless it has approved a list detailing any proposed capital improvements from all areas within the jurisdiction of the governing body to which the proffer is made, which list contains descriptions of any proposed capital improvements, cost estimates, projected time frames for constructing the improvements and proposed or anticipated funding sources: Provided, That the approval of the list does not limit the governing body from accepting proffers relating to items not contained on the list.

(e) For purposes of this section, "capital improvement" has the same definition as found in section three, article twenty, chapter seven of this code.

(f) If a voluntary proffer includes the dedication of real property or the payment of cash, the proffer shall provide for the alternate disposition of the property or cash payment in the event the property or cash payment is not to be used for the purpose for which it was proffered.

(g) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, a municipality may transfer the portion of the proceeds of a voluntary proffer intended by the terms of the proffer to be used by the board of Education of a county school district in which the municipality is located upon the condition that the portion so transferred may only be used by the board for capital improvements.


CHAPTER 9. HUMAN SERVICES.


ARTICLE 9. WV WORKS ACT.


§9-9-16. Intergovernmental coordination.

(a) The commissioner of the Bureau of Employment Programs and the superintendent of the Department of Education shall assist the secretary in the establishment of the WV works program. Before implementation of this program, each department shall address in its respective plan the method in which its resources will be devoted to facilitate the identification of or delivery of services for participants and shall coordinate its respective programs with the department in the provision of services to participants and their families. Each county school district board of education shall designate a person to coordinate with the local Department of Health and Human Resources office the board's services to participant families and that person shall work to achieve coordination at the local level.

(b) The secretary and the superintendent shall develop a plan for program implementation to occur with the use of existing state facilities and county transportation systems within the project areas whenever practicable. This agreement shall include, but not be limited to, the use of buildings, grounds and buses. Whenever possible, the supportive services, education and training programs should be offered at the existing school facilities.

(c) The commissioner shall give priority to participants of the WV works program within the various programs of the Bureau of Employment Programs. The secretary and the commissioner shall develop reporting and monitoring mechanisms between their respective agencies.

CHAPTER 10. PUBLIC LIBRARIES; PUBLIC RECREATION; ATHLETICESTABLISHMENTS; MONUMENTS AND MEMORIALS; ROSTER OFSERVICEMEN; EDUCATIONAL BROADCASTING AUTHORITY.


ARTICLE 1. PUBLIC LIBRARIES.


§10-1-1. “Public library” and “governing authority” defined.

The term “public library” as used in this article shall be construed to mean a library maintained wholly or in part by any governing authority from funds derived by taxation and the services of which are free to the public, except for those charges for which provision may be made elsewhere in this article. The term shall not, however, include special libraries, such as law, medical or other professional libraries, or school libraries which are maintained primarily for school purposes. The term “governing authority” shall be construed to mean county court [county commission], county school district board of education or the governing body of any municipality.

ARTICLE 2. PUBLIC RECREATION AND PLAYGROUNDS.


§10-2-1. Definitions.

(a) The term "governing body" as used in this article shall be construed to mean any city council, city commission, county court, or body acting in lieu thereof, or county school district board of education in the State of West Virginia; (b) the term "governmental division" when hereinafter used in this article shall be construed to mean any city, town, county, or school district in the State of West Virginia; (c) the term "board" when hereinafter used in this article shall be construed to mean any board, commission, committee, or council appointed or designated to carry out the provisions of this article.


ARTICLE 2A. ATHLETIC ESTABLISHMENTS.


§10-2A-1. Definitions.

(a) The term "board" as used in this article shall mean any county court, municipal corporation or county school district board of education in the State of West Virginia; (b) the term "athletic establishment" shall be construed to mean and include athletic fields of all types, stadiums, gymnasiums, field houses, and all other types of athletic establishments capable of producing revenue, where the cost of such acquisition, construction, extension, equipment or improvements, together with reasonable interest thereon, will be returned within a reasonable period, not exceeding thirty years, by means of charges, rentals, radio broadcasting franchise fees, and other tolls, fees and charges other than taxation; and shall mean and include such athletic establishment in its entirety, and all integral parts thereof.


§10-2A-3. Construction, etc., to be under control of board or committee appointed by board.

The construction, acquisition, improvement, extension, equipment, custody, operation and maintenance of any such athletic establishment, and the collection of revenues therefrom, shall be under the supervision and control of the county court, municipal corporation or county school district board of education, or all or any part of such powers, duties and responsibilities may be placed in a committee appointed by such board by resolution duly adopted. The term "board" when hereafter used in this article shall be construed to mean the county court, municipal corporation or the county school district board of education or such duly appointed committee, as the case may be.


§10-2A-4. Powers of board; contracts; employees.

The board shall have power to take all steps and proceedings, and to make and enter into all contracts or agreements necessary or incidental to the performance of its duties and the execution of its powers under this article: Provided, That any contract relating to the financing or the acquisition, construction, extension or improvement of any such works, or any trust indenture as hereafter provided for, shall be approved by the county court, municipal corporation or county school district board of education.

The board may employ engineers, architects, inspectors, superintendents, managers, collectors, attorneys and such other employees as in its judgment may be necessary in the execution of its powers and duties, and may fix their compensation, all of whom shall do such work as the board may direct. No contract or agreement with any contractor or contractors for labor or material exceeding in amount the sum of $1,000 shall be made without advertising for bidders, which shall be publicly opened and award made to the lowest responsible bidder, with power in the board to reject any and all bids. After the acquisition, construction, equipment and completion of the athletic establishment the board shall operate, manage and control the same, and may order and complete any extensions, and improvements of and to the athletic establishments that the board may deem expedient if funds therefor be available, and shall establish rules and regulations for the use and operation of the athletic establishment, and do all things necessary or expedient for the successful operation thereof.


§10-2A-6. Resolution for construction, etc., of establishment; notice and hearing.

Before any board shall construct, acquire, improve, extend or equip any athletic establishment under this article, the board shall adopt a resolution which shall (a) set forth a brief general description of the athletic establishment, and if the same is to be constructed a reference to the preliminary report or plans and specifications which shall theretofore have been prepared; (b) set forth the estimated cost thereof; (c) order the construction, acquisition, extension, improvement or equipment of such establishment; (d) direct that revenue bonds of the county school district board of education be issued pursuant to this article; in such amount as may be found necessary to pay the costs of such athletic establishment; and (e) contain such other provisions as may be necessary or proper in the premises. Before such resolution shall become effective it, together with the following described notice, shall be published as a Class II legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for such publication shall be the county school district in which such Board of Education is located. The notice shall specify a time and place for a public hearing, the time being not less than ten days after the first publication of said notice; at which time and place all parties and interests may appear before the board, and may be heard as to whether or not said resolution shall be put into effect. At such hearing all objections and suggestions shall be heard and the board shall take such action as it shall deem proper in the premises: Provided, however, That if at such hearing a written protest is filed by thirty percent or more of the owners of real estate situate in said county school district, then the board of Education shall not take further action unless four fifths of the members of said board assent thereto: And provided further, That in case written protest is filed purporting to have been signed by or on behalf of thirty percent or more of the owners of real estate in said county school district, the board shall have authority to appoint a subcommittee to consist of one proponent, one opponent and the third to be selected by these two, to determine whether or not thirty percent of the property owners have in fact protested, and said subcommittee shall report its findings to the board.


§10-2A-7. Acquisition of property or establishments; eminent domain.

Every such board shall have power to condemn any land or easements, necessary or convenient for the construction of any such athletic establishment, or extensions, improvements or additions thereto, and in connection therewith shall have and may exercise all the rights, powers and privileges of eminent domain granted to county courts, municipal corporations or county school district boards of education under the laws relating thereto. Title to property shall be taken in the name of the county court, municipal corporation or county school district board of education. Proceedings for such appropriation of property shall be under and pursuant to the general provisions of law relating to condemnation proceedings in the exercise of eminent domain: Provided, That the board shall be under no obligation to accept and pay for any property condemned, and shall in no event pay for property condemned or purchased, except from funds provided pursuant to this article; and in any proceedings to condemn such orders may be made as may be just to the board and the owners of the property to be condemned; and an understanding or other security may be required securing such owners against any loss or damage which may be sustained by reason of the failure of the board to accept and pay for the property, but such undertaking or security shall impose no liability upon the board, except such as may be paid from the funds provided under the authority of this article.

In the event of acquisition by purchase, the board may obtain and exercise an option from the owners of said property for the purchase thereof, and may enter into a contract for the purchase thereof, and such purchase may be made upon such terms and conditions, and in such manner as the board may deem proper: Provided, however, That such exercise of option, purchase or contract for such purchase shall in no event bind or obligate said board, or create any debt, liability or claim, except such as may be paid from the funds provided under the authority of this article.

In the event of the acquisition of any athletic establishment already constructed by purchase or condemnation, the board at or before the time of the adoption of the resolution described in section six hereof, shall cause to be determined what repairs, replacements, additions and improvements will be necessary, in order that said establishment may be effective for its purpose, and an estimate of the cost of such improvements shall be included in the estimate of the costs required by section six hereof, and such improvements shall be made upon the acquisition of the establishment and as a part of the cost thereof: Provided, however, That no board shall, under the authority conferred by this article, condemn any existing privately owned athletic establishment in operation at the date of the condemnation.


§10-2A-10. Bonds to be payable from special fund; exemption from taxation.

Funds for the payment of all or such part of the costs of such athletic establishment as may be determined by the board, shall be provided by the issuance of revenue bonds of such board. Such bonds shall be payable solely from the special fund herein provided for such payment; and such bonds shall not in any respect be a corporate indebtedness of the county court, municipal corporation or county school district board of education issuing the same. All such bonds shall be exempt from taxation by the State of West Virginia or any county or municipality therein. All of the details of such bonds and the issuance thereof shall be determined by resolution of the board.

CHAPTER 11. TAXATION.


ARTICLE 1C. FAIR AND EQUITABLE PROPERTY VALUATION.


§11-1C-2. Definitions.

For the purposes of this article, the following words shall have the meanings hereafter ascribed to them unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(a) "Timberland" means any surface real property except farm woodlots of not less than ten contiguous acres which is primarily in forest and which, in consideration of their size, has sufficient numbers of commercially valuable species of trees to constitute at least forty percent normal stocking of forest trees which are well distributed over the growing site.

(b) "Managed timberland" means surface real property, except farm woodlots, of not less than ten contiguous acres which is devoted primarily to forest use and which, in consideration of their size, has sufficient numbers of commercially valuable species of trees to constitute at least forty percent normal stocking of forest trees which are well distributed over the growing site, and that is managed pursuant to a plan provided for in section ten of this article: Provided, That none of the following may be considered as managed timberland within the meaning of this article:

(1) Any tract or parcel of real estate, regardless of its size, which is part of any subdivision that is approved or exempted from approval pursuant to the provisions of a planning ordinance adopted under the provisions of article twenty-four of chapter eight of this code; or

(2) Any tract or parcel of real estate, regardless of its size, which is subject to a deed restriction, deed covenant or zoning regulation which limits the use of that real estate in a way that precludes the commercial production and harvesting of timber upon it.

(c) "Tax commissioner," "commissioner" or "tax department" means the State Tax Commissioner or a designee of the State Tax Commissioner.

(d) "Valuation commission" or "commission" means the commission created in section three of this article.

(e) "County School District Board of Education" or "board" means the duly elected Board of Education of each county school district.

(f) "Farm woodlot" means that portion of a farm in timber but may not include land used primarily for the growing of timber for commercial purposes except that Christmas trees, or nursery stock and woodland products, such as nuts or fruits harvested for human consumption, shall be considered farm products and not timber products.

(g) "Owner" means the person who is possessed of the freehold, whether in fee or for life. A person seized or entitled in fee subject to a mortgage or deed of trust securing a debt or liability is deemed the owner until the mortgagee or trust takes possession, after which such mortgagee or trustee shall be deemed the owner. A person who has an equitable estate of freehold, or is a purchaser of a freehold estate who is in possession before transfer of legal title is also deemed the owner.

The definitions in subdivisions (f) and (g) of this section shall apply to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2001.


§11-1C-5. Tax Commissioner powers and duties.

(a) In addition to the powers and duties of the Tax Commissioner in other provisions of this article and this code, the Tax Commissioner shall have the power and duty to:

(1) Perform such duties and exercise such powers as may be necessary to accomplish the purposes of this article;

(2) Determine the methods of valuation for both real and personal property in accordance with the following:

(A) As to personal property, the Tax Commissioner shall provide a method to appraise each major specie of personal property in the state so that all such items of personal property are valued in the same manner no matter where situated in the state, shall transmit these methods to each county assessor who shall use these methods to value the various species of personal property. The Tax Commissioner shall periodically conduct such studies as are necessary to determine that such methods are being followed. Such method shall be in accordance with the provisions of article five of this chapter: Provided, That notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, the several county assessors shall appraise motor vehicles as follows: The State Tax Commissioner shall annually compile a schedule of automobile values based upon the lowest values shown in a nationally accepted used car guide, which said schedule shall be furnished to each assessor and shall be used by the several county assessors to determine the assessed value for all motor vehicles in an amount equal to sixty percent of said lowest values.

(B) As to managed timberland as defined in section two of this article, the Tax Commissioner shall provide a method to appraise such property in the state so that all such property is valued in the same manner no matter where it is situated in the state, which shall be a valuation based on its use and productive potential as managed timberland, which may be accorded special valuation as forestlands as authorized by section fifty-three, article six of the Constitution of West Virginia: Provided, That timberland that does not qualify for identification as managed timberland shall be valued at market value: Provided, however, That the Tax Commissioner may not implement any rules or regulations in title one hundred ten, which relate to valuation or classification of timberland: Provided further, That on or before October 1, 1990, the Tax Commissioner shall, in accordance with chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, promulgate new rules relating to the valuation and classification of timberland.

(C) As to farmland used, occupied and cultivated by an owner or bona fide tenant, the Tax Commissioner shall provide a method to appraise such property in the state so that all such property is valued in the same manner no matter where it is situated in the state, which valuation shall be arrived at according to the fair and reasonable value of the property for the purpose for which it is actually used regardless of what the value of the property would be if used for some other purpose, in accordance with section one, article three of this chapter and as authorized by subsection B, section one-b, article X of the Constitution of West Virginia.

(D) As to public utility property, the Tax Commissioner shall prescribe appropriate methods for the appraisal of the various types of property subject to taxation as public utilities and the types of property which are to be included in the operating property of a public utility and thereby not subject to taxation by the county assessor. Only parcels or other property, or portions thereof, which are an integral part of the public utility's function as a utility shall be included as operating property and assessed by the board of public works under provisions of article six of this chapter;

(3) Evaluate the performance of each assessor based upon the criteria established by the commission and each county's approved plan and take appropriate measures to require any assessor who does not meet these criteria or adequately carry out the provisions of the plan to correct any deficiencies. Such evaluation shall include the periodic review of the progress of each assessor in conducting the appraisals required in sections seven and nine of this article and in following the approved valuation plan. If the Tax Commissioner determines that an assessor has substantially failed to perform the duties required by said sections, the Tax Commissioner shall take all necessary steps, including the appointment of one or more special assessors in accordance with the provisions of section one, article three of this chapter, or utilize such other authority as the commissioner has over county assessors pursuant to other provisions of this code as may be necessary to complete the tasks and duties imposed by this article: Provided, That a writ of mandamus shall be the appropriate remedy if the Tax Commissioner fails to perform his or her statutory duty provided for in section five, article one of this chapter.

(4) Submit to the Legislature, on or before February 15 of each year, a preliminary statewide aggregate tax revenue projection and other information which shall assist the Legislature in its deliberations regarding county school district board of education levy rates pursuant to section six-f, article eight of this chapter, which information shall include any amount of reduction required by said section six-f;

(5) Maintain the valuations each year by making or causing to be made such surveys, examinations, audits and investigations of the value of the several classes of property in each county which should be listed and taxed under the several classifications; and

(6) Establish by uniform rules a procedure for the sale of computer generated material and appraisal manuals. Any funds received as a result of the sale of such reproductions shall be deposited to the appropriate account from which the payment for reproduction is made.

(b) The Tax Commissioner may adopt any regulation adopted prior to January 1, 1990, pursuant to article one-a of this chapter, which adoption shall not constitute an implementation of the statewide mass reappraisal of property. Such adoption, including context modifications made necessary by the enactment of this article, shall occur on or before July 1, 1991, through inclusion in the plan required by section ten of this article or inclusion in the minute record of the valuation commission. Upon the adoption of any such regulations, any modification or repeal of such regulation shall be in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.

§11-1C-8. Additional funding for assessors' offices; maintenance funding.


(a) In order to finance the extra costs associated with the valuation and training mandated by this article, there is hereby created a revolving valuation fund in each county which shall be used exclusively to fund the assessor's office. No persons whose salary is payable from the valuation fund shall be hired under this section without the approval of the valuation commission, the hirings shall be without regard to political favor or affiliation, and the persons hired under this section are subject to the provisions of the ethics act in chapter six-b of this code, including, but not limited to, the conflict of interest provisions under chapter six-b of this code. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this code to the contrary, assessors may employ citizens of any West Virginia county for the purpose of performing, assessing and appraising duties under this chapter upon approval of the employment by the valuation commission.

(b) During the fiscal year commencing July 1, 1994, and thereafter as necessary, any county receiving moneys provided by the valuation commission under this section shall use the county's valuation fund receipts which exceed the total amount received in the fiscal year ending June 30, 1994, and such other portion of the county's valuation fund receipts that may be required by the valuation commission, to repay the valuation commission the money received plus accrued interest: Provided, That the fund should not drop below one percent of the total municipal, county commission and county school district board revenues generated by application of the respective regular levy rates.

(c) (1) To finance the ongoing extra costs associated with the valuation and training mandated by this article, beginning with the fiscal year commencing on July 1,1991, and for a period of at least three consecutive years, an amount equal to two percent of the previous year's projected tax collections, or whatever percent is approved by the valuation commission, from the regular levy set by, or for, the county commission, the county school district board and any municipality in the county shall be prorated as to each levying body, set aside and placed in the valuation fund. In May of each year the sheriff of each county shall make a final transfer to the assessor's valuation fund which will reflect any difference in the amount of actual collections in the previous fiscal year as opposed to those previously projected by the chief inspector's office as the basis for the contributions to the valuation fund, to bring the total transfers for that year to two percent of the previous year's actual collections. The two-percent payment shall continue in any county where funds borrowed from the state pursuant to subsection (a) of this section have not been fully repaid until such moneys, together with accrued interest thereon, have been fully repaid or until July 1, 1999, whichever comes last. Each year thereafter, for counties with loans, and each fiscal year after June 30, 1999, for those counties without loans, the valuation fund shall be continued at an annual amount not to exceed two percent, as determined by the valuation commission, of the previous year's projected tax collections from such regular levies: Provided, That on and after July 1, 1999, a valuation fund of a county with a loan shall be continued at an annual amount not to exceed three percent, as determined by the valuation commission, and any amounts received in excess of two percent of the collections shall be expended solely to repay the loan and for no other purpose. No provision of this subdivision shall be construed to abrogate any requirement imposed under subsection (b) of this section.

(2) For the fiscal year beginning on July 1, 1999, and any fiscal year thereafter, the assessors, in order to receive any percent of the previous year's projected tax collections for their valuation funds, must submit a request to the valuation commission no later than December 15, 1994, and by the same date in December each year thereafter. The submission shall include a projected expenditure budget, including any balances expected to be carried forward, with justification for the percent requested for their valuation fund for the ensuing fiscal year. A copy of the projected budget and justifications shall also be sent to the assessor's county commission, municipalities and school board. The valuation commission shall meet after January 15, but prior to February 1 each year beginning in the year 1995, and has authority to accept and confirm up to two percent as a justifiable amount for counties without loans, and to accept and confirm up to three percent for counties with loans, subject to the requirement of subdivision (1) of this subsection that any amounts received in excess of two percent of the collections shall be expended solely to repay the loan and for no other purpose. The valuation commission may establish whatever lower percent of the previous year's projected tax collections each assessor shall receive based upon the evidence at hand, and the particular reevaluation needs of the county. Absent a proper application by any assessor, the valuation commission may, after consultation with the Tax Commissioner's office, set whatever allowable percent it considers proper. Following its decisions, the valuation commission shall certify to the chief inspector's office of the Department of Tax and Revenue and the Joint Committee on Government and Finance, the percent approved for each assessor's valuation fund, and the chief inspector's office shall notify each affected sheriff and levying body of the moneys due from their levies to their respective valuation funds. County commissions, boards of education and municipalities may present written evidence, prior to January 15, 1995, and by the same date of each year thereafter, acceptable to the valuation commission showing that a lesser amount than that requested by the assessor would be adequate to fund the extra costs associated with the valuation mandated by section seven of this article: Provided, That the county commissions, in addition, shall fund the county assessor's office at least the level of funding provided during the fiscal year in which this section was initially enacted.

These additional funds are intended to enable assessors to maintain current valuations and to perform the periodic reevaluation required under section nine of this article.

(d) Moneys due the valuation fund shall be deposited by the sheriff of the county on a monthly basis as directed by the chief inspector's office for the benefit of the assessor and shall be available to and may be spent by the assessor without prior approval of the county commission, which may not exercise any control over the fund. Clerical functions related to the fund shall be performed in the same manner as done with other normal funding provided to the assessor.


ARTICLE 8. LEVIES.


§11-8-6b. Maximum levies on each classification by county courts; order of levies.

County courts are hereby authorized to lay not in excess of the following maximum levies, for the purposes specified and in the following order:

(1) With respect to the county as a whole for the payment of (a) interest and sinking fund requirements for bonded indebtedness incurred prior to the adoption of the Tax Limitation Amendment; and (to the extent not so required), (b) other legally incurred contractual indebtedness, not bonded, if any, incurred prior to the adoption of the Tax Limitation Amendment, of the county as follows: On Class I property, twenty-five one hundredths of 1¢; on Class II property, one half of 1¢; and on Classes III and IV property, 1¢.

(2) With respect to a magisterial or special taxing district for which the county court is required to lay the levy, for the payment of (a) interest and sinking fund requirements for bonded indebtedness, incurred prior to the adoption of the Tax Limitation Amendment; and (to the extent not so required), (b) other legally incurred contractual indebtedness not bonded, if any, incurred prior to the adoption of the Tax Limitation Amendment, as follows: On Class I property, two and fifteen one hundredths cents; on Class II property, four and three tenths cents; and on Classes III and IV property, eight and six tenths cents.

(3) For general county current expense as follows: On Class I property, eleven and nine tenths cents; on Class II property, twenty-three and eight tenths cents; and on Classes III and IV property, forty-seven and six tenths cents. But in a county where the total assessed valuation of all classes of property is less than $6 million, the county court may, with the prior written approval of the Tax Commissioner, exceed the rates of levy for general county current expense by not more than twenty-five percent of the rates specified: Provided, however, That if the rates of levy under paragraph (3) of this section are not required in whole or in part for the purpose for which they are allocated, the county court may, with the prior written approval of the State Tax Commissioner, surrender to the county school district board of education such unused parts of the authorized rates of levy as provided herein.


§11-8-6c. Maximum levies on each classification by county school district boards of education; order of levy; exceeding levy for school bond issues.

County School district boards of education are hereby authorized to lay not in excess of the following maximum levies, for the purposes specified and in the following order:

(1) With respect to a magisterial, independent or other school district existing in a county prior to May 22, 1933, or any special taxing district for which the board of Education is required to lay the levy, for the payment of (a) interest and sinking fund requirements for bonded indebtedness incurred prior to the adoption of the Tax Limitation Amendment; and (to the extent not so required), (b) other legally incurred contractual indebtedness not bonded, if any, incurred prior to the adoption of the Tax Limitation Amendment as follows: On Class I property, thirty-five one hundredths of 1¢; on Class II property, seven tenths of 1¢; and on Classes III and IV property, one and four tenths cents.

(2) For either or both of (a) the permanent improvement fund, and (b) the payment of interest and sinking fund requirements for bonded indebtedness incurred subsequent to the adoption of the Tax Limitation Amendment, as follows: On Class I property, one and five tenths cents; on Class II property, 3¢; and on Classes III and IV property, 6¢.

(3) For the general current expenses of schools as follows: On Class I property, twenty-one and one tenth cents; on Class II property, forty-two and two tenths cents; and on Classes III and IV property, eighty-four and four tenths cents. But if the Tax Commissioner has approved the levy of an additional amount for the general current expenses of the county school district as authorized by section six-b, subsection three, the amount of the levy authorized for boards of education by this subsection shall be reduced by the Tax Commissioner to that extent.

If the rates of levy under paragraph (2) above are not required in whole or in part for the purposes for which they are allocated by this section, the county school district  board of education may, with the prior written approval of the state board of school finance, created by section three, article nine-b, chapter eighteen of the code, as amended, lay such rates of levy or portion thereof not so required, for the general current expenses of schools: Provided, however, That if the rates of levy under paragraph (3) of this section are not sufficient for the purposes for which they are allocated, the county school district board of education may, with the prior written approval of the State Tax Commissioner, lay such additional rates of levy, or portion thereof, as are surrendered by the county court under paragraph (3), section six-b of this article: Provided further, That a county school district  board of education shall be required to levy outside the levy rates hereinabove provided sufficient to pay the principal and interest requirements on bonds now or hereafter issued by any school district not exceeding in the aggregate five per centum of the assessed value of all taxable property in the county school district, to be ascertained by the last assessment for state and county taxes, previous to the incurring of such indebtedness, in the manner provided by the "Better Schools Amendment," as ratified.


§11-8-6g. Effect on special levy rates when appraisal results in tax revenue increase; public hearings.

(a) Until July 1, 1995, as to any special levy in effect prior to that date, and notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, where any annual appraisal, triennial appraisal or general valuation of property would produce an assessment that would cause an increase of four percent or more in the total projected property tax revenues that would be realized were the special levy rates then in effect by the county commission, the municipalities or the county school district board of education to be imposed, the local levying body shall comply with subsection (b) of this section and may reduce the rate of special levy in accordance with the provisions of subsection (d) of this section until July 1, 1995. After July 1, 1995, each levying body shall adopt only the levy rate which is specified and approved in the levy ballot: Provided, That if the special levy ballot provision authorizes the levying body to reduce the rate of special levy, such rate may be reduced in accordance with the special levy ballot provision.

An additional appraisal or valuation due to new construction or improvements to existing real property, including beginning recovery of natural resources, and newly acquired personal property shall not be an annual appraisal or general valuation within the meaning of this section, nor shall the assessed value of such improvements be included in calculating the new tax levy for purposes of this section.

(b) Any local levying body projected to realize such increase greater than four percent shall conduct a public hearing no later than March 20 in the years 1994 and 1995, which hearing may be held at the same time and place as the annual budget hearing. Notice of the public hearing and the meeting in which the levy rate shall be on the agenda shall be given at least seven days before the date for each public hearing by the publication of a notice in at least one newspaper of general circulation in such county or municipality: Provided, That a Class IV town or village as defined in section two, article one, chapter eight of this code, in lieu of the publication notice required by this subsection, may post no less than four notices of each public hearing, which posted notices shall contain the information required by the publication notice and which shall be in available, visible locations including the town hall. The notice shall be at least the size of one-eighth page of a standard size newspaper or one-fourth page of a tabloid size newspaper, and the headline in the advertisement shall be in a type no smaller than twenty-four point. The publication notice shall be placed outside that portion, if any, of the newspaper reserved for legal notices and classified advertisements and shall also be published as a Class II-O legal advertisement in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code. The publication area is the county. The notice shall be in the following form and contain the following information, in addition to such other information as the local governing body may elect to include:

HEARING REGARDING SPECIAL LEVY RATES

The (name of the local levying body) hereby gives notice that the special levy rate imposed by the (local levying body) causes an increase in property tax revenues due to increased valuations.

1. Appraisal/Assessment Increase: Total assessed value of property, excluding additional assessments due to new or improved property, exceeds last year's total assessed value of property by ............ percent.

2. Current Year's Revenue Produced Under Special Levy:

3. Projected Revenue Under Special Levy for Next Tax Year:

4. Revenue Projected from New Property or Improvements: $.........

5. General areas in which new revenue is to be allocated:

A public hearing on the issue of special levy rates will be held on (date and time) at (meeting place). A decision regarding the special levy rate will be made on (date and time) at (meeting place).

Notwithstanding any other provision of this subsection to the contrary, for the year 1993 only, any local levying body required to conduct a public hearing due to a four-percent increase as set forth in this subsection projected for the next fiscal year shall hold the public hearing prior to May 6, shall only be required to publish a Class I legal advertisement in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and need not provide such notice at least seven days before the date of the hearing as required in this subsection: Provided, That a Class IV town or village may provide notice as otherwise set forth in this subsection: Provided, however, That any public hearings held pursuant to the provisions of this section in the year 1993 prior to the effective date of this section are hereby ratified and confirmed as having full force and effect: Provided further, That no county commission or municipality shall be required to hold a public hearing as required by this section during the year 1993 for the fiscal year 1994.

(c) All hearings are open to the public, and the local levying body shall permit persons desiring to be heard an opportunity to present oral testimony within such reasonable time limits as are determined by the governing body. A decision regarding the special levy rate shall be made within ten days of the hearing.

(d) For the fiscal years beginning on July 1, 1993, 1994 and 1995, as to any special levy in effect prior to July 1, 1995, a local levying body may reduce the rate of the special levy for all classes of property for the forthcoming tax year so as to cause such rate of special levy to produce no more than one hundred four percent of the previous year's projected property tax revenues from extending such special levy rates or such lesser reduction the local levying body considers adequate: Provided, That no levying body shall reduce any special levy if such levy rate has been covenanted or otherwise dedicated and is necessary to the payment of bonds or other obligations existing as of the effective date of this section: Provided, however, That nothing contained in this subsection shall be construed to limit the reduction of the levy rate when the terms of the special levy permit a lower reduction: Provided further, That this provision shall not restrict the ability of a local levying body to enact excess levies as authorized under existing statutory or Constitutional provisions.

(e) If any provision of this section is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of this section which can be given effect without the invalid provision or its application and to this end the provisions of this section are declared to be severable.


§11-8-16. What order for election to increase levies to show; vote required; amount and continuation of additional levy; issuance of bonds.

A local levying body may provide for an election to increase the levies by entering on its record of proceedings an order setting forth:

(1) The purpose for which additional funds are needed;

(2) The amount for each purpose;

(3) The total amount needed;

(4) The separate and aggregate assessed valuation of each class of taxable property within its jurisdiction;

(5) The proposed additional rate of levy in cents on each class of property;

(6) The proposed number of years, not to exceed five, to which the additional levy applies;

(7) The fact that the local levying body will or will not issue bonds, as provided by this section, upon approval of the proposed increased levy.

The local levying body shall submit to the voters within their political subdivision the question of the additional levy at either a primary, general or special election. If at least sixty percent of the voters cast their ballots in favor of the additional levy, the county commission or municipality may impose the additional levy. If at least a majority of voters cast their ballot in favor of the additional levy, the county school district board of education may impose the additional levy: Provided, That any additional levy adopted by the voters, including any additional levy adopted prior to the effective date of this section, shall be the actual number of cents per each $100 of value set forth in the ballot provision, which number shall not exceed the maximum amounts prescribed in this section, regardless of the rate of regular levy then or currently in effect, unless such rate of additional special levy is reduced in accordance with the provisions of section six-g of this article or otherwise changed in accordance with the applicable ballot provisions. For county commissions, this levy shall not exceed a rate greater than seven and fifteen hundredths cents for each $100 of value for Class I properties, and for Class II properties a rate greater than twice the rate for Class I properties, and for Class III and IV properties a rate greater than twice the rate for Class II properties. For municipalities, this levy shall not exceed a rate greater than six and twenty-five hundredths cents for each $100 of value for Class I properties, and for Class II properties a rate greater than twice the rate for Class I properties, and for Class III and IV properties a rate greater than twice the rate for Class II properties. For county school district boards of education, this levy shall not exceed a rate greater than twenty-two and ninety-five hundredths cents for each $100 of value for Class I properties, and for Class II properties a rate greater than twice the rate for Class I properties, and for Class III and IV properties a rate greater than twice the rate for Class II properties.

Levies authorized by this section shall not continue for more than five years without resubmission to the voters.

Upon approval of an increased levy as provided by this section, a local levying body may immediately issue bonds in an amount not exceeding the amount of the increased levy plus the total interest thereon, but the term of the bonds shall not extend beyond the period of the increased levy.

Insofar as they might concern the issuance of bonds as provided in this section, the provisions of sections three and four, article one, chapter thirteen of this code shall not apply.


ARTICLE 10. WEST VIRGINIA TAX PROCEDURE AND ADMINISTRATION ACT.


§11-10-14. Overpayments; credits; refunds and limitations.

(a) Refunds or credits of overpayments. -- In the case of overpayment of any tax (or fee), additions to tax, penalties or interest imposed by this article, or any of the other articles of this chapter, or of this code, to which this article is applicable, the Tax Commissioner shall, subject to the provisions of this article, refund to the taxpayer the amount of the overpayment or, if the taxpayer so elects, apply the same as a credit against the taxpayer's liability for the tax for other periods. The refund or credit shall include any interest due the taxpayer under the provisions of section seventeen of this article.

(b) Refunds or credits of gasoline and special fuel excise tax or motor carrier road tax. -- Any person who seeks a refund or credit of gasoline and special fuel excise taxes under the provisions of section ten, eleven or twelve, article fourteen of this chapter, section nine or eleven, article fourteen-a of this chapter, or of motor fuel excise tax under section nine, article fourteen-c of this chapter shall file his or her claim for refund or credit in accordance with the provisions of the applicable sections. The ninety-day time period for determination of claims for refund or credit provided in subsection (d) of this section does not apply to these claims for refund or credit: Provided, That claims for refund or credit of the motor fuel excise tax under section nine, article fourteen-c, of this chapter are subject to the ninety-day time period provided in subsection (d) of this section: Provided, however, That claims for refund or credit of the motor fuel excise tax under section nine, article fourteen-c of this chapter made by the United States government or unit or agency thereof, any municipal government or any agency thereof, or any county school district board of education made pursuant to subdivisions one, two, three, four, five and six, subsection (c), section nine, article fourteen-c of this chapter will be subject to a thirty-day time period.

(c) Claims for refund or credit. -- No refund or credit shall be made unless the taxpayer has timely filed a claim for refund or credit with the Tax Commissioner. A person against whom an assessment or administrative decision has become final is not entitled to file a claim for refund or credit with the Tax Commissioner as prescribed herein. The Tax Commissioner shall determine the taxpayer's claim and notify the taxpayer in writing of his or her determination.

(d) Petition for refund or credit; hearing. --

(1) If the taxpayer is not satisfied with the Tax Commissioner's determination of taxpayer's claim for refund or credit, or if the Tax Commissioner has not determined the taxpayer's claim within ninety days after the claim was filed, or six months in the case of claims for refund or credit of the taxes imposed by articles twenty-one, twenty-three and twenty-four of this chapter, after the filing thereof, the taxpayer may file, with the Tax Commissioner, either personally or by certified mail, a petition for refund or credit: Provided, That no petition for refund or credit may be filed more than sixty days after the taxpayer is served with notice of denial of taxpayer's claim: Provided, however, That after December 31, 2002, the taxpayer shall file the petition with the office of tax appeals in accordance with the provisions of section nine, article ten-a of this chapter.

(2) The petition for refund or credit shall be in writing, verified under oath by the taxpayer, or by taxpayer's duly authorized agent having knowledge of the facts, and set forth with particularity the items of the determination objected to, together with the reasons for the objections.

(3) When a petition for refund or credit is properly filed, the procedures for hearing and for decision applicable when a petition for reassessment is timely filed shall be followed.

(e) Appeal. -- An appeal from the office of tax appeal's administrative decision upon the petition for refund or credit may be taken by the taxpayer in the same manner and under the same procedure as that provided for judicial review of an administrative decision on a petition for reassessment, but no bond is required of the taxpayer. An appeal from the administrative decision of the office of tax appeals on a petition for refund or credit, if taken by the taxpayer, shall be taken as provided in section nineteen, article ten-a of this chapter.

(f) Decision of the court. -- Where the appeal is to review an administrative decision on a petition for refund or credit, the court may determine the legal rights of the parties but in no event shall it enter a judgment for money.

(g) Refund made or credit established. -- The Tax Commissioner shall promptly issue his or her requisition on the treasury or establish a credit, as requested by the taxpayer, for any amount finally administratively or judicially determined to be an overpayment of any tax (or fee) administered under this article. The Auditor shall issue his or her warrant on the treasurer for any refund requisitioned under this subsection payable to the taxpayer entitled to the refund, and the treasurer shall pay the warrant out of the fund into which the amount refunded was originally paid: Provided, That refunds of personal income tax may also be paid out of the fund established pursuant to section ninety-three, article twenty-one of this chapter.

(h) Forms for claim for refund or a credit; where return constitutes claim. -- The Tax Commissioner may prescribe by rule or regulation the forms for claims for refund or credit. Notwithstanding the foregoing, where the taxpayer has overpaid the tax imposed by article twenty-one, twenty-three or twenty-four of this chapter, a return signed by the taxpayer which shows on its face that an overpayment of tax has been made constitutes a claim for refund or credit.

(i) Remedy exclusive. -- The procedure provided by this section constitutes the sole method of obtaining any refund, credit, or any tax (or fee) administered under this article, it being the intent of the Legislature that the procedure set forth in this article is in lieu of any other remedy, including the uniform declaratory judgments act embodied in article thirteen, chapter fifty-five of this code, and the provisions of section two-a, article one of this chapter.

(j) Applicability of this section. -- The provisions of this section apply to refunds or credits of any tax (or fee), additions to tax, penalties or interest imposed by this article, or any article of this chapter, or of this code, to which this article is applicable.

(k) Erroneous refund or credit. -- If the Tax Commissioner believes that an erroneous refund has been made or an erroneous credit has been established, he or she may proceed to investigate and make an assessment or institute civil action to recover the amount of the refund or credit, within two years from the date the erroneous refund was paid or the erroneous credit was established, except that the assessment may be issued or civil action brought within five years from the date if it appears that any portion of the refund or credit was induced by fraud or misrepresentation of a material fact.

(l) Limitation on claims for refund or credit. --

(1) General rule. -- Whenever a taxpayer claims to be entitled to a refund or credit of any tax (or fee), additions to tax, penalties or interest imposed by this article, or any article of this chapter, or of this code, administered under this article, paid into the treasury of this state, the taxpayer shall, except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, file a claim for refund, or credit, within three years after the due date of the return in respect of which the tax (or fee) was imposed, determined by including any authorized extension of time for filing the return, or within two years from the date the tax, (or fee), was paid, whichever of the periods expires the later, or if no return was filed by the taxpayer, within two years from the time the tax (or fee) was paid, and not thereafter.

(2) Extensions of time for filing claim by agreement. -- The Tax Commissioner and the taxpayer may enter into a written agreement to extend the period within which the taxpayer may file a claim for refund or credit, which period shall not exceed two years. The period agreed upon may be extended for additional periods not in excess of two years each by subsequent agreements in writing made before expiration of the period previously agreed upon.

(3) Special rule where agreement to extend time for making an assessment. -- Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection, if an agreement is made under the provisions of section fifteen of this article extending the time period in which an assessment of tax can be made, then the period for filing a claim for refund or credit for overpayment of the same tax made during the periods subject to assessment under the extension agreement are also extended for the period of the extension agreement plus ninety days.

(4) Overpayment of federal tax. -- Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection, in the event of a final determination by the United States Internal Revenue Service or other competent authority of an overpayment in the taxpayer's federal income or estate tax liability, the period of limitation upon claiming a refund reflecting the final determination in taxes imposed by articles eleven, twenty-one and twenty-four of this chapter shall not expire until six months after the determination is made by the United States Internal Revenue Service or other competent authority.

(5) Tax paid to the wrong state. -- Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection, when an individual, or the fiduciary of an estate, has in good faith erroneously paid personal income tax, estate tax or sales tax, to this state on income or a transaction which was lawfully taxable by another state and, therefore, not taxable by this state, and no dispute exists as to the jurisdiction to which the tax should have been paid, then the time period for filing a claim for refund, or credit, for the tax erroneously paid to this state does not expire until ninety days after the tax is lawfully paid to the other state.

(6) Exception for gasoline and special fuel excise tax, motor fuel excise tax and motor carrier road tax. -- This subsection does not apply to refunds or credits of gasoline and special fuel excise tax, motor carrier road tax, or motor fuel excise tax sought under the provisions of article fourteen, fourteen-a or fourteen-c of this chapter.


ARTICLE 13. BUSINESS AND OCCUPATION TAX.


§11-13-2p. Credit against tax based on the taxable generating capacity of a generating unit utilizing a turbine powered primarily by wind.

(a) For taxable periods beginning on or after January 1, 2008, a credit shall be allowed against tax imposed by this article and calculated based on the taxable generating capacity of a generating unit utilizing a turbine powered primarily by wind. The total credit shall be equal to the amount of qualified contractually agreed contributions as defined in this section. The amount of total credit shall be reduced each year by the amount of credit annually applied to reduce tax under this section.

(b) Definitions. -- For purposes of this section:

(1) "Qualified contractually agreed contribution" means money paid, or the lower of the cost or fair market value, at the time of transfer, of property transferred, by the taxpayer, the owner of the taxpayer or the operator or owner of the wind turbine unit to a county in which the wind turbine unit is located, a county school district board of the county school district in which the wind turbine unit is located or to a municipality located in the county in which the wind turbine unit is located pursuant to a written transfer agreement.

(A) The term "qualified contractually agreed contribution" does not include any payment in lieu of taxes or any tax, fee or levy paid to any county, county school district board or municipality or to any other governmental subdivision, agency or instrumentality of this state or of any county or municipality.

(B) The term "qualified contractually agreed contribution" does not include any payment in lieu of taxes or any tax, fee or levy paid to any county, county school district board or municipality or to any other governmental subdivision, agency or instrumentality of any state other than this state or of any county or municipality of any state other than this state.

(C) The term "qualified contractually agreed contribution" does not include any payment in lieu of taxes or any tax, fee or levy paid to the United States or to any governmental subdivision of the United States or to any agency or instrumentality of the United States or to any foreign government or subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof.

(2) "Taxpayer" means any person that is legally liable for tax imposed by this article that is calculated based on the taxable generating capacity of a generating unit utilizing a turbine powered primarily by wind.

(3) "Wind turbine unit" means, and is limited to, an electricity-generating unit utilizing a turbine powered primarily by wind that has a taxable generating capacity determined in accordance with subdivision (2), subsection (c), section two-o of this article.

(4) "Written transfer agreement" means a written contract or written promise to transfer money or property to a county in which the wind turbine unit is located, a county school district board of the county in which the wind turbine unit is located or a municipality located in the county in which the wind turbine unit is located, executed not later than March 1, 2007, by the taxpayer, the owner of the taxpayer or the operator or owner of the wind turbine unit and executed by the county commission of the county in which the wind turbine unit is located or by any officer or representative of the county commission having authority to execute binding legal documents for the county commission, the county school district board of the county school district in which the wind turbine unit is located or any officer or representative of the county school district board having authority to execute binding legal documents for the county school district board, or the city council, mayor or city manager of a municipality located in the county in which the wind turbine unit is located or any officer or representative of the municipality having authority to execute binding legal documents for the municipality.

(c) Credit limitations. -

(1) The total amount of credit allowable under this section is limited to the amount of qualified contractually agreed contributions made pursuant to a written transfer agreement.

(2) The credit allowed under this section may only be applied to offset annual tax imposed by this article that is measured by the taxable generating capacity of the wind turbine unit. No other tax imposed by or under this article may be offset by the credit allowed under this section and no other tax imposed by this code may be offset by the credit.

(3) The credit allowed under this section shall be applied after application of the credit allowed under article thirteen-d of this chapter, as applicable, and after any other applicable credits allowed by this chapter against tax imposed by this article.

(4) The amount of credit allowed under this section and the amount of the credit allowed under article thirteen-d of this chapter may not, in combination, reduce the amount of annual tax imposed by this article on the taxable generating capacity of the wind turbine unit to an amount that is less than fifty percent of the amount of annual tax that would have been imposed by this article on the wind turbine unit if the taxable generating capacity of the wind turbine unit was set at five percent of the official capacity of the wind turbine unit.

(d) Time over which credit may be applied. -

(1) The total amount of credit determined under subsection (a) of this section shall be reduced annually by the amount of credit applied in each tax year to offset tax under this section.

(2) The credit allowed under this section may be applied annually, beginning on the later of:

(A) The year a qualified contractually agreed contribution in money was paid or a qualified contractually agreed contribution in property was delivered to the county, the county school district board or the municipality; or

(B) The year in which title thereto irrevocably passed to the transferee;

(3) The credit may thereafter be taken in each succeeding tax year until the amount of total credit has been exhausted or until the ninth succeeding tax year after the contractually agreed contribution of money was so paid or the contractually agreed contribution of property was so delivered. Credit remaining after the ninth succeeding tax year is forfeited.

(4) Credit to which a taxpayer is entitled under this section shall be applied in an order and sequence such that the credit earned earliest in time shall be applied first in any tax year to offset tax under this section.

(e) Credit for successor businesses and transferees of a wind turbine unit; apportionment. --

(1) Mere change in form of business. - The credit allowed under this section shall not be forfeited by reason of a mere change in the form of the entity or organization that is conducting the business so long as the successor business continues to remain a taxpayer, as defined in this section, in this state, operating the wind turbine unit that was originally owned or operated by the predecessor taxpayer. Such successor shall acquire the amount of credit that remains available under this section for each subsequent taxable year until the credit expires or is exhausted, based on the years remaining and amount of credit remaining to which the transferor was entitled at the time of the transfer.

(2) Transfer or sale to successor. - The credit allowed under this section shall not be forfeited by reason of a transfer or sale to a successor business of a wind turbine unit so long as the successor business continues to remain a taxpayer, as defined in this section, in this state, operating the wind turbine unit that was originally owned or operated by the predecessor taxpayer. Upon transfer or sale of a wind turbine unit, the successor shall acquire the amount of credit that remains available under this section for each subsequent taxable year until the credit expires or is exhausted, based on the years remaining and amount of credit remaining to which the transferor was entitled at the time of the transfer.

(3) Apportionment in the year of transfer. - Upon transfer or sale, the successor shall acquire the amount of credit that remains available under this section for each taxable year subsequent to the taxable year of the transferor during which the transfer occurred and, for the year of transfer, an amount of annual credit for the year in the same proportion as the number of days remaining in the transferor's taxable year bears to the total number of days in the transferor's taxable year.


ARTICLE 14. GASOLINE AND SPECIAL FUEL EXCISE TAX.


§11-14-5. Exemptions from tax.

There shall be exempted from the excise tax on gasoline or special fuel imposed by this article the following:

(1) All gallons of gasoline or special fuel exported from this state to any other state or nation;

(2) All gallons of gasoline or special fuel sold to and purchased by the United States or any agency of the United States when delivered in bulk quantities of five hundred gallons or more;

(3) All gallons of gasoline or special fuel sold to and purchased by a county school district board of education when delivered in bulk quantities of five hundred gallons or more;

(4) All gallons of gasoline or special fuel sold pursuant to a government contract, in bulk quantities of five hundred gallons or more, for use in conjunction with any municipal, county, state or federal civil defense or emergency service program, or to any person on whom is imposed a requirement to maintain an inventory of gasoline or special fuel for the purpose of the program: Provided, That fueling facilities used for these purposes are not capable of fueling motor vehicles and the person in charge of the program has in his or her possession a letter of authority from the Tax Commissioner certifying his or her right to the exemption;

(5) All gallons of gasoline or special fuel imported into this state in the fuel supply tank or tanks of a motor vehicle, other than in the fuel supply tank of a vehicle being hauled. This exemption does not relieve a person owning or operating as a motor carrier of any taxes imposed by article fourteen-a of this chapter;

(6) All gallons of gasoline and special fuel used and consumed in stationary off-highway turbine engines;

(7) All gallons of special fuel for heating any public or private dwelling, building or other premises;

(8) All gallons of special fuel for boilers;

(9) All gallons of gasoline or special fuel used as a dry cleaning solvent or commercial or industrial solvent;

(10) All gallons of gasoline or special fuel used as lubricants, ingredients or components of any manufactured product or compound;

(11) All gallons of gasoline or special fuel sold to any municipality or agency of a municipality for use in vehicles or equipment owned and operated by the municipality or agency of a municipality and when purchased for delivery in bulk quantities of five hundred gallons or more;

(12) All gallons of gasoline or special fuel sold to any urban mass transportation authority, created pursuant to the provisions of article twenty-seven, chapter eight of this code, for use in an urban mass transportation system;

(13) All gallons of gasoline or special fuel sold for use as aircraft fuel;

(14) All gallons of gasoline or special fuel sold for use or used as a fuel for commercial watercraft;

(15) All gallons of special fuel sold for use or consumed in railroad diesel locomotives;

(16) All gallons of gasoline or special fuel sold to and purchased by a unit of county government when delivered in bulk quantities of five hundred gallons or more;

(17) All gallons of special dyed diesel fuel; and

(18) All gallons of propane gas for off road use.


§11-14-5b. Exemptions for sales made through special devices.

(a) Where the requirements of this section have been met, gasoline or special fuel sold by a distributor or producer to a customer described in subsection (b) of this section through a special device described in subsection (c) of this section is exempt from the taxes otherwise imposed by this article and article fifteen of this chapter.

(b) For purposes of this section, "customer" means any of the following entities that regularly purchase gasoline or special fuel for nontaxable uses for its exclusive use in vehicles it owns or leases:

(A) The United States government or any agency thereof;

(B) A municipality in this state;

(C) A county commission in this state;

(D) A county school district board of education in this state; and

(E) An organization in a county in this state that is certified annually by the county commission as a bona fide:

(i) Volunteer fire department;

(ii) Nonprofit ambulance service; or

(iii) Nonprofit emergency rescue service.

(c) For purposes of this section, "special device" means a device, such as a cardlock system, that accurately accounts for sales of gasoline or special fuel for nontaxable uses that is maintained by a distributor or producer at an attended or unattended location in this state.

(d) (1) To qualify for the exemption described in subsection (a) of this section, the distributor or producers must maintain accurate records that establish to the satisfaction of the Tax Commissioner the right to the exemption.

(2) The records must include purchase orders or contracts for the sale or sales of the gasoline or special fuel or, in the absence of such purchase orders or contracts, a certificate, signed by an authorized officer of the customer, that the gasoline or special fuel was purchased for the exclusive use of an entity described in subsection (b) of this section.

(3) The records must also include, for each nontaxable sale:

(A) The names of the customer and the person to whom the gasoline or special fuel was delivered;

(B) The date of delivery;

(C) The license number of the vehicle fueled;

(D) The type and quantity of gasoline or special fuel delivered; and

(E) Such other information as the Tax Commissioner may require.

(e) (1) A customer's privilege to purchase nontaxable gasoline or special fuel through a special device is subject to suspension or revocation by the Tax Commissioner.

(2) A customer is required to make and retain such records of its purchases of gasoline and special fuel through a special device as may be required by the Tax Commissioner.

(f) When the Tax Commissioner determines, as the result of an audit or investigation, that a customer purchasing gasoline or special fuel that is exempt from tax under subsection (a) of this section is reselling the gasoline or special fuel, is using the gasoline or special fuel for purposes other than the customer's exclusive use, or is failing to make and retain sufficient and adequate records showing the quantity of gasoline or special fuel used or consumed for the customer's exclusive use, the Tax Commissioner shall suspend the privilege of the customer to purchase untaxed gasoline or special fuel through any special device for such period as the Tax Commissioner by written order specifies. The order shall be served on the customer in the same manner as a notice of assessment may be served under article ten of this chapter. The customer may appeal the order in the same manner and within the same period of time as a notice of assessment may be appealed under article ten of this chapter. A copy of the order and any subsequent change or revision of the order shall also be served on any distributor or producer that maintains a special device through which the customer purchases untaxed gasoline or special fuel.

(g) When the Tax Commissioner determines, as the result of an audit or other investigation, that a customer purchasing gasoline or special fuel that is exempt from tax under subsection (a) of this section is knowingly and intentionally failing to comply with any requirements of this section, the Tax Commissioner shall by written order revoke the customer's privilege to purchase untaxed gasoline or special fuel through any special device. The order of the Tax Commissioner shall be served on the customer in the same manner as a notice of assessment is served under article ten of this chapter. The customer may appeal the order in the same manner and within the same period of time as a notice of assessment may be appealed under article ten of this chapter. A copy of the order and any subsequent change or revision of that order shall also be served on any distributor or producer that maintains a special device through which the customer purchases untaxed gasoline or special fuel.

(h) Notwithstanding the exemption provided under subsection (a) of this section to the contrary, a customer is liable for the taxes that would otherwise be imposed by this article and article fifteen of this chapter on the gasoline or special fuel delivered to the customer if the customer sells or uses the gasoline or special fuel in a manner or under circumstances that fails to meet the requirements of this article for the exemption of the gasoline or special fuel from taxation.

(i) A customer liable for the taxes described in subsection (h) of this section shall, in addition to paying the taxes described in subsection (h) of this section, pay a money penalty equal to twenty-five percent of the taxes plus interest calculated beginning with the day the gasoline or special fuel was received by the customer until the day the taxes, penalty and interest are paid to the Tax Commissioner. For each subsequent sale or use, during a fiscal year, of the gasoline or special fuel in a manner or under circumstances that fails to meet the requirements of this article for the exemption of the gasoline or special fuel from taxation, the purchaser shall pay the taxes and a money penalty equal to fifty percent of the tax plus interest calculated in the same manner. For purposes of this section, gasoline and special fuel is received by the customer when it is put into the supply tank of a vehicle owned or leased by the customer.

(j) A customer liable for the taxes described in subsection (h) of this section is not entitled to a refund or any credit for the taxes paid or required to be paid under subsection (i) of this section.

(k) The exemptions created by this section apply to gasoline or special fuel received by a customer through a special device on or after July 1, 1998.


§11-14-11a. Refund of tax on gasoline or special fuel paid by any municipality, county, county school district board of education, volunteer fire department, nonprofit ambulance service and emergency rescue service.

(a) Upon application by a municipality, county or county school district board of education, or upon application and certification by the county commission to the State Tax Commissioner that an organization in the county is a bona fide volunteer fire department, nonprofit ambulance service or emergency rescue service, the tax imposed by this article and paid by any municipality, unit of county government or any such organization shall be refunded.

(b) The tax shall be refunded upon presentation to the commissioner of an affidavit accompanied by the original or top copy sales slips or invoices, or certified copies thereof, from the distributor or producer or retail dealer, showing the purchases, together with evidence of payment thereof, which affidavit shall set forth the total amount of the gasoline or special fuel purchased and consumed by the user and the commissioner upon the receipt of the affidavit and the paid sales slips or invoices shall cause to be refunded the tax paid on gasoline or special fuel purchased and consumed as provided in this section.

(c) The right to receive any refund under the provisions of this section is not assignable and any assignment thereof is void and of no effect, nor shall any payment be made to any person other than the original person entitled thereto using gasoline or special fuel as set forth in this section. The commissioner shall cause a refund to be made under the authority of this section only when the application for the refund is filed with the commissioner, upon forms prescribed by the commissioner, no later than the thirty-first day of August for purchases of fuel made during the preceding fiscal year ending June 30. Any claim for a refund not timely filed shall not be construed to be or constitute a moral obligation of the State of West Virginia for payment. The claim for refund is also subject to the provisions of section fourteen, article ten of this chapter: Provided, That the refund established in this section for counties and municipalities shall only apply to those purchases of gasoline and special fuels made after June 30, 1995.


ARTICLE 14C. MOTOR FUEL EXCISE TAX.


§11-14C-9. Exemptions from tax; claiming refunds of tax.


(a) Per se exemptions from flat rate component of tax. — Sales of motor fuel to the following, or as otherwise stated in this subsection, are exempt per se from the flat rate of the tax levied by section five of this article and the flat rate may not be paid at the rack:

(1) All motor fuel exported from this state to any other state or nation: Provided, That the supplier collects and remits to the destination state or nation the appropriate amount of tax due on the motor fuel transported to that state or nation. This exemption does not apply to motor fuel which is transported and delivered outside this state in the motor fuel supply tank of a highway vehicle;

(2) Sales of aviation fuel;

(3) Sales of dyed special fuel; and

(4) Sales of propane unless sold for use in a motor vehicle.

(b) Per se exemptions from variable component of tax. — Sales of motor fuel to the following are exempt per se from the variable component of the tax levied by section five of this article and the variable component may not be paid at the rack:

All motor fuel exported from this state to any other state or nation: Provided, That the supplier collects and remits to the destination state or nation the appropriate amount of tax due on the motor fuel transported to that state or nation. This exemption does not apply to motor fuel which is transported and delivered outside this state in the motor fuel supply tank of a highway vehicle.

(c) Refundable exemptions from flat rate component of tax. — A person having a right or claim to any of the following exemptions from the flat rate component of the tax levied by section five of this article shall first pay the tax levied by this article and then apply to the Tax Commissioner for a refund:

(1) The United States or agency thereof: Provided, That if the United States government, or agency or instrumentality thereof, does not pay the seller the tax imposed by section five of this article on a purchase of motor fuel, the person selling tax previously paid motor fuel to the United States government, or its agencies or instrumentalities, may claim a refund of the flat rate component of tax imposed by section five of this article on those sales;

(2) A county government or unit or agency thereof;

(3) A municipal government or any agency thereof;

(4) A county school district board of education;

(5) An urban mass transportation authority created pursuant to the provisions of article twenty-seven, chapter eight of this code;

(6) A municipal, county, state or federal civil defense or emergency service program pursuant to a government contract for use in conjunction therewith or to a person who is required to maintain an inventory of motor fuel for the purpose of the program: Provided, That motor fueling facilities used for these purposes are not capable of fueling motor vehicles and the person in charge of the program has in his or her possession a letter of authority from the Tax Commissioner certifying his or her right to the exemption. In order for this exemption to apply, motor fuel sold under this subdivision and subdivisions (1) through (5), inclusive, of this subsection shall be used in vehicles or equipment owned and operated by the respective government entity or government agency or authority;

(7) All invoiced gallons of motor fuel purchased by a licensed exporter and subsequently exported from this state to any other state or nation: Provided, That the exporter has paid the applicable motor fuel tax to the destination state or nation prior to claiming this refund or the exporter has reported to the destination state or nation that the motor fuel was sold in a transaction not subject to tax in that state or nation. A refund may not be granted on motor fuel which is transported and delivered outside this state in the motor fuel supply tank of a highway vehicle;

(8) All gallons of motor fuel used and consumed in stationary off-highway turbine engines;

(9) All gallons of fuel used for heating any public or private dwelling, building or other premises;

(10) All gallons of fuel used for boilers;

(11) All gallons of motor fuel used as a dry cleaning solvent or commercial or industrial solvent;

(12) All gallons of motor fuel used as lubricants, ingredients or components of a manufactured product or compound;

(13) All gallons of motor fuel sold for use or used as a motor fuel for commercial watercraft;

(14) All gallons of motor fuel sold for use or consumed in railroad diesel locomotives;

(15) All gallons of motor fuel purchased in quantities of twenty-five gallons or more for use as a motor fuel for internal combustion engines not operated upon highways of this state;

(16) All gallons of motor fuel purchased in quantities of twenty-five gallons or more and used to power a power take-off unit on a motor vehicle. When a motor vehicle with auxiliary equipment uses motor fuel and there is no auxiliary motor for the equipment or separate tank for a motor, the person claiming the refund may present to the Tax Commissioner a statement of his or her claim and is allowed a refund for motor fuel used in operating a power take-off unit on a cement mixer truck or garbage truck equal to twenty-five percent of the tax levied by this article paid on all motor fuel used in such a truck;

(17) Motor fuel used by a person regularly operating a vehicle under a certificate of public convenience and necessity or under a contract carrier permit for transportation of persons when purchased in an amount of twenty-five gallons or more: Provided, That the amount refunded is equal to 6 cents per gallon: Provided, however, That the gallons of motor fuel have been consumed in the operation of urban and suburban bus lines and the majority of passengers use the bus for traveling a distance not exceeding forty miles, measured one way, on the same day between their places of abode and their places of work, shopping areas or schools; and

(18) All gallons of motor fuel that are not otherwise exempt under subdivisions (1) through (6), inclusive, of this subsection and that are purchased and used by any bona fide volunteer fire department, nonprofit ambulance service or emergency rescue service that has been certified by the municipality or county wherein the bona fide volunteer fire department, nonprofit ambulance service or emergency rescue service is located.

(d) Refundable exemptions from variable rate component of tax. — Any of the following persons may claim an exemption from the variable rate component of the tax levied by section five of this article on the purchase and use of motor fuel by first paying the tax levied by this article and then applying to the Tax Commissioner for a refund.

(1) The United States or agency thereof: Provided, That if the United States government, or agency or instrumentality thereof, does not pay the seller the tax imposed by section five of this article on any purchase of motor fuel, the person selling tax previously paid motor fuel to the United States government, or its agencies or instrumentalities, may claim a refund of the variable rate of tax imposed by section five of this article on those sales.

(2) This state and its institutions;

(3) A county government or unit or agency thereof;

(4) A municipal government or agency thereof;

(5) A county school district board of education;

(6) An urban mass transportation authority created pursuant to the provisions of article twenty-seven, chapter eight of this code;

(7) A municipal, county, state or federal civil defense or emergency service program pursuant to a government contract for use in conjunction therewith, or to a person who is required to maintain an inventory of motor fuel for the purpose of the program: Provided, That fueling facilities used for these purposes are not capable of fueling motor vehicles and the person in charge of the program has in his or her possession a letter of authority from the Tax Commissioner certifying his or her right to the exemption;

(8) A bona fide volunteer fire department, nonprofit ambulance service or emergency rescue service that has been certified by the municipality or county where the bona fide volunteer fire department, nonprofit ambulance service or emergency rescue service is located;

(9) All invoiced gallons of motor fuel purchased by a licensed exporter and subsequently exported from this state to any other state or nation: Provided, That the exporter has paid the applicable motor fuel tax to the destination state or nation prior to claiming this refund. A refund may not be granted on motor fuel which is transported and delivered outside this state in the motor fuel supply tank of a highway vehicle; or

(10) Beginning on January 1, 2018, all gallons of motor fuel sold for use or consumed in railroad diesel locomotives:  Provided, That the refundable exemption contained in this subdivision may not exceed an aggregate amount of $4,300,000 in any year to all taxpayers claiming the exemption and that if more than an aggregate amount of $4,300,000 is appropriately claimed in any year, then the refundable exemption shall be distributed proportionately to the taxpayers so that the total aggregate refund is $4,300,000 in that year.  The Tax Commissioner may propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code that the Tax Commissioner considers necessary to administer the exemption contained in this subdivision.

(e) The provision in subdivision (9), subsection (a), section nine, article fifteen of this chapter that exempts as a sale for resale those sales of gasoline and special fuel by a distributor or importer to another distributor does not apply to sales of motor fuel under this article.

CHAPTER 11A. COLLECTION AND ENFORCEMENT OF PROPERTY TAXES.


ARTICLE 1. ACCRUAL AND COLLECTION OF TAXES.


§11A-1-15. Payment by sheriff to municipal and county school district board of education treasuries.

Each month the sheriff shall pay all moneys collected for any municipal corporation and the county school district board of education into the respective treasuries of such municipal corporation and county school district board of education, payment to be made on or before the tenth day of each month of all moneys collected during the preceding month for such municipal corporation and the county school district board of education: Provided, That the sheriff shall not be required to make such monthly payments to the county school district board of education, if the county school district board has designated the sheriff as its treasurer pursuant to section six, article nine, chapter eighteen of this code. For the faithful performance of this duty, he or she shall execute a bond, to be approved by the municipal council or Board of Education, in the penalty to be fixed by the council or board, not to exceed the amount of municipal or school taxes which it is estimated he or she will collect within any period of two months. The premium on such bond shall be paid by the municipality or Board of Education. Every sheriff who fails to make any payment when due shall be charged with interest at the rate of twelve percent a year.


§11A-1-15. Payment by sheriff to municipal and county school district board of education treasuries.

Each month the sheriff shall pay all moneys collected for any municipal corporation and the county school district board of education into the respective treasuries of such municipal corporation and county school district board of education, payment to be made on or before the tenth day of each month of all moneys collected during the preceding month for such municipal corporation and the county school district board of education: Provided, That the sheriff shall not be required to make such monthly payments to the county school district board of education, if the county school district board has designated the sheriff as its treasurer pursuant to section six, article nine, chapter eighteen of this code. For the faithful performance of this duty, he or she shall execute a bond, to be approved by the municipal council or Board of Education, in the penalty to be fixed by the council or board, not to exceed the amount of municipal or school taxes which it is estimated he or she will collect within any period of two months. The premium on such bond shall be paid by the municipality or Board of Education. Every sheriff who fails to make any payment when due shall be charged with interest at the rate of twelve percent a year.


CHAPTER 11B. DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE.


ARTICLE 2. STATE BUDGET OFFICE.


§11B-2-3. Requests for appropriations; copies to legislative Auditor.

(a) The spending officer of each spending unit, other than the legislative and the judicial branches of state government, shall, on or before September 1, of each year, submit to the secretary a request for appropriations for the fiscal year next ensuing. On or before the same date, the spending officer shall also transmit two copies of the request to the Legislative Auditor for the use of the finance committees of the Legislature.

(b) If the spending officer of any spending unit fails to transmit to the Legislative Auditor two copies of the request for appropriations within the time specified in this section, the Legislative Auditor or the state budget office shall notify the secretary, Auditor and treasurer of the failure. Upon notification, no funds appropriated to that spending unit shall be encumbered or expended until the spending officer thereof has transmitted two copies of the request for appropriation to the Legislative Auditor.

(c) If a spending officer submits to the secretary an amendment to the request for appropriations, two copies of the amendment shall forthwith be transmitted to the Legislative Auditor.

(d) Notwithstanding any provision in this section to the contrary, the State Superintendent of Schools shall, on or before December 15, of each year, submit to the secretary a request for appropriations for the fiscal year next ensuing for state aid to schools and submit two copies of the request to the Legislative Auditor for the use of the finance committees of the Legislature. The request for appropriation shall be accompanied with copies of certified enrollment and employee lists from all county school district superintendents for the current school year. If certified enrollment and employee lists are not available to the state superintendent from any of the county school district boards, the state superintendent shall notify those school boards and no funds shall be expended for salary or compensation to their school district superintendent until the certified lists of enrollment and employees are submitted.


CHAPTER 12. PUBLIC MONEYS AND SECURITIES.


ARTICLE 3. APPROPRIATIONS, EXPENDITURES AND DEDUCTIONS.


§12-3-20. Electronic or wire transfer.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, whenever the treasurer of a county school district board of education, a county commission or a municipality is authorized or directed pursuant to law to disburse or transfer on behalf of the county school district board of education, county commission or municipality, funds in the custody of the treasurer or in the treasury of the county school district board of education, county commission or municipality, the treasurer is authorized to disburse or transfer the funds by means of electronic or wire transfer and that transfer shall include appropriate electronic remittance voucher information. The county school district of education, county commission or governing body of a municipality may enter into a written agreement with the banking institution in which the funds are deposited, prescribing the manner in which electronic or wire transfer of the funds shall be accomplished, identifying by number and name those accounts from which electronic or wire transfers may be made, identifying which person or persons are authorized to order the electronic or wire transfer of funds from those accounts, and implementing a security procedure as defined in section two hundred one, article four-a, chapter forty-six of this code.

(b) It is the duty of the county school district board of education, county commission or governing body of a municipality to adopt a system of internal controls satisfactory to the Tax Commissioner as ex officio, the chief inspector and supervisor of public offices for the documentation and reporting of all transfers or disbursements of funds accomplished by electronic or wire transfer to ensure the safety and integrity of the payment process.

(c) The county school district board of education, county commission or governing body of a municipality shall also adopt procedures:

(1) Governing the method by which the treasurer is authorized to direct payments from the funds of the county school district board of education, county commission or municipality on deposit with a banking institution;

(2) Governing the method of payment of obligations of the county school district board of education, county commission or municipality, including payment by check, draft, electronic or wire transfer, or other method of payment mutually acceptable to the county school district board of education, county commission or governing body of a municipality, and the banking institution; and

(3) Covering any other matters it believes necessary to ensure the safety and integrity of the payment process.

(d) A county school district board of education, county commission or governing body of a municipality shall file a copy of the procedures it adopts in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c) of this section with each banking institution in which its funds are deposited.

(e) The treasurer of the county school district board of education, county commission or municipality, and the banking institution shall agree to follow rules and procedures for electronic fund transfers promulgated by the federal reserve bank and the national clearing house association (NACHA) to ensure the safety and integrity of the payment process. These safeguards must be approved by the county school district board of education, county commission or governing body of a municipality. If the county school district board of education, county commission or governing body of a municipality finds that the safeguards are consistent with and do not contravene the procedures adopted under the provisions of subsection (c) of this section, the safeguards must be approved.

(f) This section applies to disbursements or transfers made after May 31, 1998.


ARTICLE 4. ACCOUNTS, REPORTS AND GENERAL PROVISIONS.

§12-4-15. Bank at school.

(a) The State Treasurer may conduct a program in West Virginia public schools to educate students about banking activities and to encourage savings. Banking institutions under the jurisdiction of the West Virginia commissioner of banking may participate in the program by assisting the treasurer in developing and producing materials for use in the schools, opening savings accounts for students at the schools and receiving and accepting deposits at the schools.

(b) The State Treasurer may not implement the banking program in any school in a county unless he or she obtains permission from the county school district board of education and the principal of the school; and

(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require any professional or service employee to perform additional duties as a result of the establishment of the banking program.

ARTICLE 6. WEST VIRGINIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT BOARD.


§12-6-2. Definitions.

As used in this article, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:

(1) "Beneficiaries" means those individuals entitled to benefits from the participant plans;

(2) "Board" means the governing body for the West Virginia Investment Management Board and any reference elsewhere in this code to Board of Investments or West Virginia Trust Fund means the board as defined in this subdivision;

(3) "401(a) plan" means a plan which is described in Section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and with respect to which the board has been designated to hold assets of the plan in trust pursuant to the provisions of section nine-a of this article;

(4) "Local government funds" means the moneys of a political subdivision, including policemen's pension and relief funds, firemen's pension and relief funds and volunteer fire departments, transferred to the board for deposit;

(5) "Participant plan" means any plan or fund subject now or hereafter to subsection (a), section nine-a of this article;

(6) "Political subdivision" means and includes a county, municipality or any agency, authority, board, county school district board of education, commission or instrumentality of a county or municipality and regional councils created pursuant to the provisions of section five, article twenty-five, chapter eight of this code;

(7) "Trustee" means any member serving on the West Virginia Investment Management Board: Provided, That in section nine-a of this article in which the terms of the trusts are set forth, "trustee" means the West Virginia Investment Management Board;

(8) "Securities" means all forms and types of investments, financial instruments or financial transactions which may be considered prudent for investment by the board under section eleven of this article; and

(9) "State funds" means all moneys of the state which may be lawfully invested except the "school fund" established by section four, article XII of the State Constitution.


§12-6-9c. Authorization of additional investments.

Notwithstanding the restrictions which may otherwise be provided by law with respect to the investment of funds, all administrators, custodians or trustees of pension funds other than the board, each political subdivision of this state and each county school district board of education may invest funds in the securities of or any other interest in any investment company or investment trust registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, 15 U.S.C. §80a, the portfolio of which is limited: (i) To obligations issued by or guaranteed as to the payment of both principal and interest by the United States of America or its agencies or instrumentalities; and (ii) to repurchase agreements fully collateralized by obligations of the United States government or its agencies or instrumentalities: Provided, That the investment company or investment trust takes delivery of the collateral either directly or through an authorized custodian: Provided, however, That the investment company or investment trust is rated within one of the top two rating categories of any nationally recognized rating service such as Moody's or Standard & Poor's.


ARTICLE 6C. WEST VIRGINIA BOARD OF TREASURY INVESTMENTS.


12-6C-3. Definitions.

As used in this article, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:

(1) "Board" means the governing body for the West Virginia Board of Treasury Investments. References in this code to the entity investing the moneys of the Consolidated Fund, to the West Virginia Board of Investments, to the West Virginia Trust Fund or to the West Virginia Investment Management Board in connection with investing moneys in the Consolidated Fund means the Board as defined in this subdivision;

(2) "Consolidated fund" means the investment fund continued in section six of this article and transferred to the Board by the West Virginia Investment Management Board for Management and Investment;

(3) "Director" means any member serving on the Board;

(4) "Local government funds" means the moneys of a political subdivision, including policemen's and firemen's pension and relief funds, and volunteer fire department funds, transferred to the Board for deposit;

(5) "Participant" means any state government spending unit or political subdivision which transfers moneys to the Board for investment;

(6) "Political subdivision" means and includes a county, municipality or any agency, authority, board, county school district board of education, commission or instrumentality of a county or municipality and regional councils created pursuant to the provisions of section five, article twenty-five, chapter eight of this code;

(7) "Securities" means all bonds, notes, debentures or other evidences of indebtedness and other lawful investment instruments; and

(8) "State funds" means all moneys of the state which may be lawfully invested except for the "school fund" established by section four, article XII of the State Constitution.


CHAPTER 13. PUBLIC BONDED INDEBTEDNESS.


ARTICLE 1. BOND ISSUES FOR ORIGINAL INDEBTEDNESS.


§13-1-3. Amount and purpose of indebtedness for which bonds may be issued.

No political division authorized by this article to issue bonds, except county school district boards of education, shall by any bond issue, become indebted to an amount, including all other indebtedness, exceeding two and one-half percent of the value of the taxable property therein, as shown by the last assessment thereof, for state and county purposes, next prior to the issuing of such bonds: Provided, That any county for the erection and equipment of a courthouse and/or jail for such county, with funds borrowed from the government of the United States or any governmental agency, federal or state, and any municipal corporation of three hundred inhabitants or more, for the purpose of grading, paving, sewering, and otherwise improving or reimproving its streets and alleys, or for establishing and maintaining a library or museum for the public use, or a building or structure for educational purposes, or acquiring a recreation park for the public use, or for acquiring, constructing, furnishing, equipping and maintaining civic arenas, Auditoriums, exhibition halls and theaters, may become indebted and issue bonds in an additional sum not exceeding two and one-half percent of the value of the taxable property therein, ascertained as aforesaid: Provided, however, That no county school district board of education authorized by this article to issue bonds, shall, by any bond issue, become indebted, in any manner, or for any purpose, to an amount, including all other indebtedness, in the aggregate, exceeding five percent on the value of the taxable property therein, in the county school district to be ascertained by the last assessment for state and county taxes, previous to the incurring of such indebtedness, in the manner provided by the "School Bond Amendment," as ratified.

The term "sewering" as used herein shall be treated in a comprehensive sense, so as to include all mains, laterals, connections, traps, incinerating and disposal plants, and other necessary and convenient accessories to a modern sanitary and efficient sewerage system and shall include storm sewers.

The county court of any county is hereby authorized and empowered to negotiate and sell to the government of the United States or to any governmental agency, federal or state, at private sale, at not less than par any bonds issued for the purpose of erecting and equipping a courthouse or other public buildings for such county, under and by virtue of this article, without first offering them for sale at public auction, or to any other person or agency.


§13-1-4. Bond issue proposal to be submitted to voters; election order.

No debt shall be contracted or bonds issued under this article until all questions connected with the same are first submitted to a vote of the qualified electors of the political division for which the bonds are to be issued, and receive three fifths of all the votes cast for and against the same: Provided, That a county school district board of education may contract indebtedness and issue bonds for public school purposes when submitted to a vote of the people of the county school district if the question of contracting indebtedness and issuing bonds is approved by a majority of all the votes cast for and against the same pursuant to section ten, article X of the Constitution. The governing body of any political division referred to in this article may, and when requested so to do by a petition in writing, praying that bonds be issued and stating the purpose and amount thereof, signed by legal voters of the political division equal to twenty percent of the votes cast in a county for Governor, or in a municipal corporation or school district for mayor or member of the Board of Education, as the case may be, shall, by order entered of record, direct that an election be held for the purpose of submitting to the voters of the political division all questions connected with the contracting of debt and the issuing of bonds. The order shall state:

(a) The necessity for issuing the bonds or, if a petition has been filed as provided herein, that the petition has been filed;

(b) If for the construction of a county-district road or bridge thereon, a summary of the engineer's report provided for in the following section setting forth the approximate extent and the estimated cost of the proposed improvement and the kind or class of work to be done thereon;

(c) Purpose or purposes for which the proceeds of bonds are to be expended;

(d) Valuation of the taxable property as shown by the last assessment thereof for state and county purposes;

(e) Indebtedness, bonded or otherwise;

(f) Amount of the proposed bond issue;

(g) Maximum term of bonds;

(h) Maximum rate of interest;

(i) Date of election;

(j) That the levying body is authorized to lay a sufficient levy annually to provide funds for the payment of the interest upon the bonds and the principal at maturity and the approximate rate of levy necessary for this purpose; the bonds in that year, together with any deficiencies for prior years, within, and not exceeding thirty-four years, which tax levies will be laid separate and apart and in addition to the maximum rates provided for tax levies by school districts on the several classes of property in section one, article X of the Constitution, but in the same proportions as the maximum rates are levied on the several classes of property; and the tax may be levied outside the limits fixed by section one, article X of the Constitution.

Any other provision which does not violate any provision of law, or transgress any principle of public policy, may be incorporated in the order

(k) In the case of school bonds, that the bonds, together with all existing bonded indebtedness, will not exceed in the aggregate five percent of the value of the taxable property in the school district ascertained in accordance with section eight, article X of the Constitution; and that the bonds will be payable from a direct annual tax levied and collected in each year on all taxable property in the school district sufficient to pay the principal and the interest maturing on

§13-1-19. Signing, sealing and delivery of bonds.


All bonds issued under this article by any county shall be signed by the president of the county commission and countersigned by the clerk of the county commission; bonds issued by any municipality shall be signed by the mayor or other chief executive and countersigned by the clerk, recorder or secretary; bonds issued by a county school district board of education shall be signed by the president of the Board of Education and countersigned by the secretary thereof. The seal of the political division shall be affixed to the bonds. The delivery of any bonds so executed at any time thereafter shall be valid, although before the date of delivery the person signing the bonds shall have ceased to hold office.


ARTICLE 2H. LOTTERY REVENUE BOND ACT.


§13-2H-2. Definitions.

Unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, as used in this article:

(a) "Board of education" means a county school district board of education of a growth county, as that term is defined in section three, article twenty, chapter seven of this code, which has enacted the Local Powers Act and in which county a racetrack is located that has participated in the West Virginia Thoroughbred Development Fund since on or before January 1, 1991, and is receiving lottery revenues.

(b) "Governmental body" means any municipality, county school district or board of education that receives lottery revenues.

(c) "Lottery revenues" means the funds distributed to a governmental body pursuant to the provisions of sections ten and ten-b, article twenty-two-a, chapter twenty-nine of this code; section one thousand four hundred eight, article twenty-two-b of said chapter, or section twenty-seven, article twenty-two-c of said chapter or section twenty-two, article twenty-five, chapter twenty-nine of this code.

(d) "Lottery revenue bonds" means bonds, debentures, notes, certificates of participation, certificates of beneficial interest, certificates of ownership or other evidences of indebtedness or ownership that are issued by a governmental body, the proceeds of which are used directly or indirectly to finance or refinance public projects pursuant to this article and are secured by the lottery revenues of the governmental body.

(e) "Lottery revenue fund" means the fund required to be established by the governmental body to deposit lottery revenues if the governmental body issues lottery revenue bonds.

(f) "Public project" means any project approved by a governmental body to acquire, improve, renovate, extend, enlarge, increase, repair, construct, equip, maintain and operate public buildings, structures, fixtures, property, public infrastructure and appurtenant facilities of any type or types for which the governmental body is permitted by law to expend public funds including, but not limited to, those projects as defined in section one, article sixteen, chapter eight of this code. Additionally, a public project would include all roads and transportation infrastructure.


CHAPTER 15. PUBLIC SAFETY.

ARTICLE 1I. THE CHILD PROTECTION ACT OF 2006.


§15-1I-2. Legislative findings.

(a) The purpose of "The Child Protection Act of 2006" is to put in place a series of programs, criminal law revisions and other reforms to provide and promote the ability of the children of this state to live their lives without being exposed and subjected to neglect and physical and sexual abuse. The targeted increases in terms of incarceration, enhanced treatment, post-release supervision and new approaches toward the state's child protection system will, in the aggregate, strengthen government's ability to address this most serious problem. The Legislature finds that the broad reaching measures encompassed in this Act will provide for greater intervention among and punishment and monitoring of individuals who create a risk to our children's safety and well-being.

(b) The Legislature further finds that the following reforms implemented as part of this Act will provide protections to the children of this state and are all important to eliminate risks to children and are essential elements of "The Child Protection Act of 2006":

(1) Creating a special unit in the State Police specializing in the investigation of child abuse and neglect -- section fifteen, article two, chapter fifteen of this code;

(2) Modifying the Sex Offender Registration Act to ensure more effective registration, identification and monitoring of persons convicted of sexual offenses - article twelve, chapter fifteen of this code;

(3) Establishing the Child Abuse and Neglect Registry, requiring the registry to disclose information to certain state and local officials - article thirteen, chapter fifteen of this code;

(4) Providing for coded driver's licenses and nondriver identification cards to more easily identify sexually violent predators - section three, article two, chapter seventeen-b of this code;

(5) Prohibiting contractors and service providers convicted of certain offenses from accessing school grounds and providing for the release of criminal history information by the central abuse registry to county school district boards - section fifteen-c, article five, chapter eighteen of this code;

(6) Establishing a task force to study the feasibility of constructing separate correctional facilities for the incarceration and treatment of sex offenders - section twenty-two, article one, chapter twenty-five of this code;

(7) Requiring the State Police and the Department of Health and Human Resources to maintain statewide child abuse and neglect statistical indexes of all convictions and allegations, respectively - section fifteen, article two, chapter fifteen and section eleven, article six-a, chapter forty-nine of this code;

(8) Providing for increased terms of incarceration for first degree sexual assault and first degree sexual abuse committed against children under the age of twelve -- sections three and seven of article eight-b, chapter sixty-one of this code;

(9) Eliminating eligibility of certain sex offenders for probation, home incarceration and alternative sentences and providing for enhanced terms of incarceration for certain subsequent sex offenses committed by recidivist sex offenders -- sections nine-a and nine-b of article eight-b, chapter sixty-one of this code;

(10) Providing for polygraph examinations for certain sex offenders on probation, parole or supervised release -- article eleven-d, chapter sixty-two of this code;

(11) Providing for electronic monitoring of certain sex offenders on probation, parole and supervised release - article eleven-d, chapter sixty-two of this code;

(12) Establishing a task force to develop measures aimed at managing sexually violent predators released from confinement -- article eleven-e, chapter sixty-two of this code;

(13) Making psychiatric evaluations a condition of probation eligibility for certain sex offenders - section two, article twelve, chapter sixty-two of this code;

(14) Authorizing the Department of Health and Human Resources to establish qualifications for sex offender treatment programs and counselors -- sections two and twenty-six, article twelve, chapter sixty-two of this code;

(15) Providing for extended supervision of certain offenders and supervised release requirements for sexually violent offenders - section twenty-six, article twelve, chapter sixty-two of this code; and

(16) Providing for prerelease risk assessments of certain sex offenders -- section twenty-seven, article twelve, chapter sixty-two of this code.

(c) In addition, the Legislature finds that those enhanced terms of incarceration and post-conviction measures provided for in this Act which impact certain offenders convicted of sexual offenses against adults are necessary and appropriate to protect children from neglect and physical and sexual abuse given that: (1) Clinical research indicates that a substantial percentage of sexual offenders "cross over" among age groups in selecting their victims; (2) many of the risk factors prevalent among sex offenders that "cross over" (e.g., substance abuse, lack of empathy toward victim, inability to control inappropriate impulses, childhood abuse) also are prevalent among perpetrators of child abuse and neglect; and (3) enhanced terms of incarceration, post-conviction supervision, monitoring and treatment measures will enable the criminal justice system to identify and address those "cross over" offenders before they can victimize additional children.


ARTICLE 6. STATE ARMORY BOARD.


§15-6-17. Disposition of abandoned and unsuitable armories or armory facilities.

Whenever any armory shall be no longer needed by the National Guard, or other military organization, or in the judgment of the board is unsuitable for military purposes, the board shall have the authority, and it is hereby expressly empowered to sell, transfer and convey such armory to the municipality, county or county school district board of education or any two or more of the same or combination thereof in which the same is located, for public purposes, upon such terms as the board may deem to be in the best interest of the state: Provided, That if such municipality, county or Board of Education shall not purchase such armory, the board shall then be authorized to sell, transfer and convey the same to any person, firm, or corporation upon such terms as the board may deem to be in the best interest of the state: Provided further, That if the armory cannot be sold in this manner, the board may lease it for other than military purposes as provided in section ten of this article.

CHAPTER 16. PUBLIC HEALTH.


ARTICLE 9A. TOBACCO USAGE RESTRICTIONS.


§16-9A-4. Use of tobacco, tobacco products, alternative nicotine products or vapor products in certain areas of certain public schools prohibited; penalty.

Every person who shall smoke a cigarette or cigarettes, pipe, cigar or other implement, of any type or nature, designed, used or employed for smoking any tobacco or tobacco product; or who shall use any tobacco product or tobacco-derived product in any building or part thereof used for instructional purposes, in any school of this state, as defined in section one, article one, chapter eighteen of this code, or on any lot or grounds actually used for instructional purposes of any such school of this state while such school is used or occupied for school purposes, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished for each offense by a fine of not less than one nor more than five dollars: Provided, That this prohibition shall not be construed to prevent the use of any tobacco or tobacco product or tobacco-derived product, in any faculty lounge or staff lounge or faculty office or other area of said public school not used for instructional porposes: Provided, however, That students do not have access thereto: Provided further, That nothing herein contained shall be construed to prevent any county school district board of education from promulgating rules and regulations that further restrict the use of tobacco products or tobacco-derived products, in any form, from any other part or section of any public school building under its jurisdiction.


CHAPTER 17B. MOTOR VEHICLE DRIVER'S LICENSES.


ARTICLE 2. ISSUANCE OF LICENSE, EXPIRATION AND RENEWAL.


§17B-2-3a. Graduated driver's license.

(a) Any person under the age of eighteen may not operate a motor vehicle unless he or she has obtained a graduated driver's license in accordance with the three-level graduated driver's license system described in the following provisions.

(b) Any person under the age of twenty-one, regardless of class or level of licensure, who operates a motor vehicle with any measurable alcohol in his or her system is subject to the provisions of section two, article five, chapter seventeen-c of this code and section two, article five-a of said chapter. Any person under the age of eighteen, regardless of class or licensure level, is subject to the mandatory school attendance and satisfactory academic progress provisions of section eleven, article eight, chapter eighteen of this code.

(c) Level one instruction permit. - An applicant who is fifteen years or older meeting all other requirements prescribed in this code may be issued a level one instruction permit.

(1) Eligibility. - The division shall not issue a level one instruction permit unless the applicant:

(A) Presents a completed application, as prescribed by the provisions of section six of this article, and which is accompanied by a writing, duly acknowledged, consenting to the issuance of the graduated driver's license and executed by a parent or guardian entitled to custody of the applicant;

(B) Presents a certified copy of a birth certificate issued by a state or other governmental entity responsible for vital records unexpired, or a valid passport issued by the United States government evidencing that the applicant meets the minimum age requirement and is of verifiable identity;

(C) Passes the vision and written knowledge examination and completes the driving under the influence awareness program, as prescribed in section seven of this article;

(D) Presents a driver's eligibility certificate or otherwise shows compliance with the provisions of section eleven, article eight, chapter eighteen of this code; and

(E) Pays a fee of $5, which shall permit the applicant two attempts at the written knowledge test.

(2) Terms and conditions of instruction permit. - A level one instruction permit issued under the provisions of this section is valid until thirty days after the date the applicant attains the age of eighteen and is not renewable. However, any permit holder who allows his or her permit to expire prior to successfully passing the road skills portion of the driver examination, and who has not committed any offense which requires the suspension, revocation or cancellation of the instruction permit, may reapply for a new instruction permit under the provisions of section six of this article. The division shall immediately revoke the permit upon receipt of a second conviction for a moving violation of traffic regulations and laws of the road or violation of the terms and conditions of a level one instruction permit, which convictions have become final unless a greater penalty is required by this section or any other provision of this code. Any person whose instruction permit has been revoked is disqualified from retesting for a period of ninety days. However, after the expiration of ninety days, the person may retest if otherwise eligible. In addition to all other provisions of this code for which a driver's license may be restricted, suspended, revoked or canceled, the holder of a level one instruction permit may only operate a motor vehicle under the following conditions:

(A) Under the direct supervision of a licensed driver, twenty-one years of age or older, or a driver's education or driving school instructor who is acting in an official capacity as an instructor, who is fully alert and unimpaired, and the only other occupant of the front seat. The vehicle may be operated with no more than two additional passengers, unless the passengers are family members;

(B) Between the hours of five a.m. and ten p.m.;

(C) All occupants must use safety belts in accordance with the provisions of section forty-nine, article fifteen, chapter seventeen-c of this code;

(D) Without any measurable blood alcohol content, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (h), section two, article five, chapter seventeen-c of this code; and

(E) Maintains current school enrollment and is making satisfactory academic progress or otherwise shows compliance with the provisions of section eleven, article eight, chapter eighteen of this code.

(F) A holder of a level one instruction permit who is under the age of eighteen years shall be prohibited from using a wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle, unless the use of the wireless communication device is for contacting a 9-1-1 system. A person violating the provisions of this paragraph is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall for the first offense be fined $25; for a second offense be fined $50; and for a third or subsequent offense be fined $75.

(d) Level two intermediate driver's license. - An applicant sixteen years of age or older, meeting all other requirements of the code, may be issued a level two intermediate driver's license.

(1) Eligibility. - The division shall not issue a level two intermediate driver's license unless the applicant:

(A) Presents a completed application as prescribed in section six of this article;

(B) Has held the level one instruction permit conviction-free for the one hundred eighty days immediately preceding the date of application for a level two intermediate license;

(C) Has completed either a driver's education course approved by the state Department of Education or fifty hours of behind-the-wheel driving experience, including a minimum of ten hours of nighttime driving, certified by a parent or legal guardian or other responsible adult over the age of twenty-one as indicated on the form prescribed by the division: Provided, That nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to require any school or any county school district board of education to provide any particular number of driver's education courses or to provide driver's education training to any student;

(D) Presents a driver's eligibility certificate or otherwise shows compliance with the provisions of section eleven, article eight, chapter eighteen of this code;

(E) Passes the road skills examination as prescribed by section seven of this article; and

(F) Pays a fee of $5.

(2) Terms and conditions of a level two intermediate driver's license. - A level two intermediate driver's license issued under the provisions of this section shall expire thirty days after the applicant attains the age of eighteen, or until the licensee qualifies for a level three full Class E license, whichever comes first. In addition to all other provisions of this code for which a driver's license may be restricted, suspended, revoked or canceled, the holder of a level two intermediate driver's license may only operate a motor vehicle under the following conditions:

(A) Unsupervised between the hours of five a.m. and ten p.m.;

(B) Only under the direct supervision of a licensed driver, age twenty-one years or older, between the hours of ten p.m. and five a.m. except when the licensee is going to or returning from:

(i) Lawful employment;

(ii) A school-sanctioned activity;

(iii) A religious event; or

(iv) An emergency situation that requires the licensee to operate a motor vehicle to prevent bodily injury or death of another;

(C) All occupants shall use safety belts in accordance with the provisions of section forty-nine, article fifteen, chapter seventeen-c of this code;

(D) For the first six months after issuance of a level two intermediate driver's license, the licensee may not operate a motor vehicle carrying any passengers less than twenty years old, unless these passengers are family members of the licensee; for the second six months after issuance of a level two intermediate driver's license, the licensee may not operate a motor vehicle carrying more than one passenger less than twenty years old, unless these passengers are family members of the licensee;

(E) Without any measurable blood alcohol content in accordance with the provisions of subsection (h), section two, article five, chapter seventeen-c of this code;

(F) Maintains current school enrollment and is making satisfactory academic progress or otherwise shows compliance with the provisions of section eleven, article eight, chapter eighteen of this code;

(G) A holder of a level two intermediate driver's license who is under the age of eighteen years shall be prohibited from using a wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle, unless the use of the wireless communication device is for contacting a 9-1-1 system. A person violating the provisions of this paragraph is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall for the first offense be fined $25; for a second offense be fined $50; and for a third or subsequent offense be fined $75.

(H) Upon the first conviction for a moving traffic violation or a violation of paragraph (A), (B), (C), (D) or (G), subdivision (1), subsection (d) of this section of the terms and conditions of a level two intermediate driver's license, the licensee shall enroll in an approved driver improvement program unless a greater penalty is required by this section or by any other provision of this code; and

At the discretion of the commissioner, completion of an approved driver improvement program may be used to negate the effect of a minor traffic violation as defined by the commissioner against the one year conviction-free driving criteria for early eligibility for a level three driver's license and may also negate the effect of one minor traffic violation for purposes of avoiding a second conviction under paragraph (I) of this subdivision; and

(I) Upon the second conviction for a moving traffic violation or a violation of the terms and conditions of the level two intermediate driver's license, the licensee's privilege to operate a motor vehicle shall be revoked or suspended for the applicable statutory period or until the licensee's eighteenth birthday, whichever is longer unless a greater penalty is required by this section or any other provision of this code. Any person whose driver's license has been revoked as a level two intermediate driver, upon reaching the age of eighteen years and if otherwise eligible may reapply for an instruction permit, then a driver's license in accordance with the provisions of sections five, six and seven of this article.

(e) Level three, full Class E license. - The level three license is valid until thirty days after the date the licensee attains his or her twenty-first birthday. Unless otherwise provided in this section or any other section of this code, the holder of a level three full Class E license is subject to the same terms and conditions as the holder of a regular Class E driver's license.

A level two intermediate licensee whose privilege to operate a motor vehicle has not been suspended, revoked or otherwise canceled and who meets all other requirements of the code may be issued a level three full Class E license without further examination or road skills testing if the licensee:

(1) Has reached the age of seventeen years; and

(A) Presents a completed application as prescribed by the provisions of section six of this article;

(B) Has held the level two intermediate license conviction free for the twelve-month period immediately preceding the date of the application;

(C) Has completed any driver improvement program required under paragraph (G), subdivision (2), subsection (d) of this section; and

(D) Pays a fee of $2.50 for each year the license is valid. An additional fee of $.50 shall be collected to be deposited in the Combined Voter Registration and Driver's Licensing Fund established in section twelve, article two, chapter three of this code;

(E) Presents a driver's eligibility certificate or otherwise shows compliance with the provisions of section eleven, article eight, chapter eighteen of this code; or

(2) Reaches the age of eighteen years; and

(A) Presents a completed application as prescribed by the provisions of section six of this article; and

(B) Pays a fee of $2.50 for each year the license is valid. An additional fee of $.50 shall be collected to be deposited in the Combined Voter Registration and Driver's Licensing Fund established in section twelve, article two, chapter three of this code.

(f) A person violating the provisions of the terms and conditions of a level one or level two intermediate driver's license is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall for the first offense be fined $25; for a second offense be fined $50; and for a third or subsequent offense be fined $75.


CHAPTER 17C. TRAFFIC REGULATIONS AND LAWS OF THE ROAD.


ARTICLE 6. SPEED RESTRICTIONS.


§17C-6-1. Speed limitations generally; penalty.


(a) No person may drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the existing conditions and the actual and potential hazards. In every event speed shall be controlled as necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle or other conveyance on or entering the highways in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to use due care.

(b) Where no special hazard exists that requires lower speed for compliance with subsection (a) of this section, the speed of any vehicle not in excess of the limits specified in this section or established as authorized in this section is lawful, but any speed in excess of the limits specified in this subsection or established as authorized in this section is unlawful. The following speed limits apply:

(1) Fifteen miles per hour in a school zone during school recess or while children are going to or leaving school during opening or closing hours. A school zone is all school property, including school grounds and any street or highway abutting the school grounds and extending one hundred twenty-five feet along the street or highway from the school grounds. The West Virginia Division of Highways shall erect signage indicating the place of entry and exit of each school zone. Upon a formal vote and a written request by a county school district board of education to expand a school zone to a road that is adjacent to school property, the West Virginia Division of Highways shall expand the school zone by erecting new signage indicating the expanded school zone’s location and speed limit within ninety days of receiving the request: Provided, That the school zone may not be expanded more than one hundred twenty-five feet along an adjacent road unless the division determines that the additional extension is needed and necessary for the safety of the school children. The speed restriction does not apply to vehicles traveling on a controlled-access highway which is separated from the school or school grounds by a fence or barrier approved by the Division of Highways;

(2) Twenty-five miles per hour in any business or residence district; and

(3) Fifty-five miles per hour on open country highways, except as otherwise provided by this chapter.

The speeds set forth in this section may be altered as authorized in sections two and three of this article.

(c) The driver of every vehicle shall, consistent with the requirements of subsection (a) of this section, drive at an appropriate reduced speed when approaching and crossing an intersection or railway grade crossing, when approaching and going around a curve, when approaching a hill crest, when traveling upon any narrow or winding roadway and when a special hazard exists with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or highway conditions.

(d) The speed limit on controlled access highways and interstate highways, where no special hazard exists that requires a lower speed, shall be not less than fifty-five miles per hour and the speed limits specified in subsection (b) of this section do not apply.

(e) Unless otherwise provided in this section, any person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $100; upon a second conviction within one year thereafter, shall be fined not more than $200; and, upon a third or subsequent conviction within two years thereafter, shall be fined not more than $500: Provided, That if the third or subsequent conviction is based upon a violation of the provisions of this section where the offender exceeded the speed limit by fifteen miles per hour or more, then upon conviction, shall be fined not more than $500 or confined in jail for not more than six months, or both fined and confined.

(f) Any person who violates the provisions of subdivision (1), subsection (b) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500: Provided, That if the conviction is based upon a violation of the provisions of subdivision (1), subsection (b) of this section where the offender exceeded the speed limit by fifteen miles per hour or more in the presence of one or more children, then upon conviction, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500 or confined in jail for not more than six months, or both fined and confined: Provided, that if the signage required by subdivision (1) is not present in the school zone at the time of the violation, then any person who violates said provision is guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $25.

(g) If an owner or driver is arrested under the provisions of this section for the offense of driving above the posted speed limit on a controlled access highway or interstate highway and if the evidence shows that the motor vehicle was being operated at ten miles per hour or less above the speed limit, then, upon conviction thereof, that person shall be fined not more than $5, plus court costs.

(h) Any person operating a commercial motor vehicle engaged in the transportation of coal on the coal resource transportation road system who violates subsection (a), (b) or (c) of this section shall, upon conviction, be subject to fines in triple the amount otherwise provided in subsection (e) of this section.

(i) If an owner or driver is convicted under the provisions of this section for the offense of driving above the speed limit on a controlled access highway or interstate highway of this state and if the evidence shows that the motor vehicle was being operated at ten miles per hour or less above the speed limit, then notwithstanding the provisions of section four, article three, chapter seventeen-b of this code, a certified abstract of the judgment on the conviction shall not be transmitted to the Division of Motor Vehicles: Provided, That the provisions of this subsection do not apply to conviction of owners or drivers who have been issued a commercial driver’s license as defined in chapter seventeen-e of this code, if the offense was committed while operating a commercial vehicle.

(j) If an owner or driver is convicted in another state for the offense of driving above the maximum speed limit on a controlled access highway or interstate highway and if the maximum speed limit in the other state is less than the maximum speed limit for a comparable controlled access highway or interstate highway in this state, and if the evidence shows that the motor vehicle was being operated at ten miles per hour or less above what would be the maximum speed limit for a comparable controlled access highway or interstate highway in this state, then notwithstanding the provisions of section four, article three, chapter seventeen-b of this code, a certified abstract of the judgment on the conviction shall not be transmitted to the Division of Motor Vehicles or, if transmitted, shall not be recorded by the division, unless within a reasonable time after conviction, the person convicted has failed to pay all fines and costs imposed by the other state: Provided, That the provisions of this subsection do not apply to conviction of owners or drivers who have been issued a commercial driver’s license as defined in chapter seventeen-e of this code, if the offense was committed while operating a commercial vehicle.

ARTICLE 12. SPECIAL STOPS REQUIRED.


§17C-12-7. Overtaking and passing school bus; penalties; signs and warning lights upon buses; requirements for sale of buses; mounting of cameras; educational information campaign; limitation on idling.


(a) The driver of a vehicle, upon meeting or overtaking from either direction any school bus which has stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging any school children, shall stop the vehicle before reaching the school bus when there is in operation on the school bus flashing warning signal lights, as referred to in section eight of this article, and the driver may not proceed until the school bus resumes motion, or is signaled by the school bus driver to proceed or the visual signals are no longer actuated. This section applies wherever the school bus is receiving or discharging children including, but not limited to, any street, highway, parking lot, private road or driveway: Provided, That the driver of a vehicle upon a controlled access highway need not stop upon meeting or passing a school bus which is on a different roadway or adjacent to the highway and where pedestrians are not permitted to cross the roadway.

(b) Any driver acting in violation of subsection (a) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction for a first offense, shall be fined not less than $250 or more than $500, or confined in jail not more than six months, or both fined and confined. Upon conviction of a second violation of subsection (a), the driver shall be fined not less than $500 nor more than $1,000, or confined in jail not more than six months, or both fined and confined. Upon conviction of a third or subsequent violation of subsection (a), the driver shall be fined $1,000, and confined not less than forty-eight hours in jail but not more than six months.

(c) Where the actual identity of the operator of a motor vehicle operated in violation of subsection (a) of this section is unknown but the license plate number of the motor vehicle is known, it may be inferred that the operator was an owner or lessee of the motor vehicle for purposes of the probable cause determination. Where there is more than one registered owner or lessee, the inference created by this subsection shall apply to the first listed owner or lessee as found on the motor vehicle registration: Provided, That a person charged with a violation of subsection (a) of section under the provisions of this subsection where the sole evidence against the owner or lessee is the presence of the vehicle at the scene at the time of the offense shall only be subject to the applicable fine set forth in subsection (b) of this section upon conviction: Provided, however, That, the offenses set forth in subsection (f) and (g) of this section are separate and distinct from that set forth in subsection (a) of this section.

(d) Service of process of a complaint issued pursuant to subsection (c) of this section shall be effected consistent with West Virginia Rule of Criminal Procedure 4.

(e) In addition to the penalties prescribed in subsections (b) of this section, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall, upon conviction, suspend the driver’s license of the person so convicted:

(1) Of a first offense under subsection (b) of this section, for a period of thirty days;

(2) Of a second offense under subsection (b) of this section, for a period of ninety days; or

(3) Of a third or subsequent offense under subsection (b) of this section, for a period of one hundred eighty days.

(f) Any driver of a vehicle who willfully violates the provisions of subsection (a) of this section and the violation causes serious bodily injury to any person other than the driver, is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be confined in a state correctional facility not less than one year nor more than three years and fined not less than $500 nor more than $2,000.

(g) Any driver of a vehicle who willfully violates the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, and the violation causes death, is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be confined in a state correctional facility not less than one year nor more than ten years and fined not less than $1,000 nor more than $3,000.

(h) Every bus used for the transportation of school children shall bear upon the front and rear of the bus a plainly visible sign containing the words “school bus” in letters not less than eight inches in height. When a contract school bus is being operated upon a highway for purposes other than the actual transportation of children either to or from school, all markings on the contract school bus indicating “school bus” shall be covered or concealed. Any school bus sold or transferred to another owner by a county school district board of education, agency or individual shall have all flashing warning lights disconnected and all lettering removed or permanently obscured, except when sold or transferred for the transportation of school children.

(i) Every county school district board of education is hereby authorized to mount a camera on any school bus for the purpose of enforcing this section or for any other lawful purpose.

(j) To the extent that state, federal or other funds are available, the State Police shall conduct an information campaign to educate drivers concerning the provisions of this section and the importance of school bus safety.

(k) The State Board of Education shall promulgate a rule in accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code governing the idling of school buses.

ARTICLE 14. MISCELLANEOUS RULES.


§17C-14-12. School bus rules.

(a) The West Virginia Board of Education by and with the advice of the motor vehicle commissioner shall adopt and enforce rules consistent with this chapter, including the provisions of subsection (c), section nineteen, article fifteen of this chapter, to govern the design and operation of all school buses used for the transportation of school children when owned and operated by any county school district board of education or privately owned and operated under contract with any county school district board of education in this state and these rules shall by reference be made a part of any such contract with a county school district board of education. Every county school district board of education, its officers and employees, and every person employed under contract by a county school district board of education shall be subject to these rules.

(b) Any officer or employee of any county school district board of education who violates any of said rules or who fails to include the obligation to comply with said rules in any contract executed by him or her on behalf of a county school district board of education is guilty of misconduct and subject to removal from office or employment. Any person operating a school bus under contract with county school district board of education who fails to comply with any of said rules is guilty of breach of contract and the contract shall be canceled after notice and hearing by the responsible officers of the county school district board of education.


ARTICLE 15. EQUIPMENT.


§17C-15-19. Additional lighting equipment.


(a) Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not more than two side cowl or fender lamps which shall emit an amber or white light without glare.

(b) Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not more than one running board courtesy lamp on each side thereof which shall emit a white or amber light without glare.

(c)  All motor vehicles shall be equipped with a minimum of at least two functioning back-up lamps either separately or in combination with other lamps, unless the vehicle was originally equipped with one lamp. Any such back-up lamp shall not be lighted when the motor vehicle is in forward motion. School buses used for the transportation of school children in this state, whether owned and operated by a county school district board of education or privately owned and operated under contract with a county school district Board of Education, shall be equipped with at least two back-up lamps, one on each side of the rear door, with white lens or reflectors, capable of lighting the roadway and objects to the rear of the bus for safe backing during darkness, and which, at the option of the county school district board of education, may each provide fifty candlepower in illumination intensity instead of thirty-two candlepower.

(d) Any vehicle may be equipped with lamps which may be used for the purpose of warning the operators of other vehicles of the presence of a vehicular traffic hazard requiring the exercise of unusual care in approaching, overtaking or passing, and when so equipped may display such warning in addition to any other warning signals required by this article. The lamps used to display such warning to the front shall be mounted at the same level and as widely spaced laterally as practicable and shall display simultaneously flashing white or amber lights, or any shade of color between white and amber. The lamps used to display such warning to the rear shall be mounted at the same level and as widely spaced laterally as practicable, and shall show simultaneously flashing amber or red lights, or any shade of color between amber and red.

(e) Vehicles used by "rural mail carriers" in carrying or delivering mail in rural areas may be equipped with amber flashing lights. Such lights shall be on the front and rear of the vehicle and may be activated when the vehicle is stopped or decreasing speed in order to stop in the course of carrying, delivering or picking up mail along the route.

(f) Vehicles used as the lead car in a funeral procession are hereby authorized to be equipped with, but are not required to use, purple lamps or purple flashing lights. Such lamps may be used for the purpose of warning the operators of other vehicles of the presence of a vehicular traffic hazard requiring the exercise of unusual care in approaching, overtaking or passing a funeral procession, and when so equipped may display such warning in addition to any other warning signals required by this article. The lamps or flashing lights used to display such warning to the front shall be mounted at the same level and as widely spaced laterally as practicable and shall display simultaneously either illuminated or flashing purple lights. The lamps used to display such warning to the rear shall be mounted at the same level and as widely spaced laterally as practicable, and shall show simultaneously flashing or illuminated purple light.

§17C-15-26. Special restrictions on lamps.


(a) Any lighted lamp or illuminating device upon a motor vehicle other than head lamps, spot lamps, auxiliary lamps or flashing front-direction signals which projects a beam of light of an intensity greater than three hundred candlepower shall be so directed that no part of the beam will strike the level of the roadway on which the vehicle stands at a distance of more than seventy-five feet from the vehicle.

(b) No person may drive or move any vehicle or equipment upon any highway with any lamp or device on the vehicle displaying other than a white or amber light visible from directly in front of the center of the vehicle except as authorized by subsection (d) of this section.

(c) Except as authorized in subsections (d) and (g) of this section and authorized in section nineteen of this article, flashing lights are prohibited on motor vehicles: Provided, That any vehicle as a means for indicating right or left turn or any vehicle as a means of indicating the same is disabled or otherwise stopped for an emergency may have blinking or flashing lights.

(d) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, the following colors of flashing warning lights are restricted for the use of the type of vehicle designated:

(1) Blue flashing warning lights are restricted to police vehicles. Authorization for police vehicles shall be designated by the chief administrative official of each police department.

(2) Except for standard vehicle equipment authorized by section nineteen of this article, red flashing warning lights are restricted to the following:

(A) Ambulances;

(B) Firefighting vehicles;

(C) Hazardous material response vehicles;

(D) Industrial fire brigade vehicles;

(E) Rescue squad vehicles not operating out of a fire department;

(F) School buses;

(G) Class A vehicles, as defined by section one, article ten, chapter seventeen-a of this code, of those firefighters who are authorized by their fire chiefs to have the lights;

(H) Class A vehicles of members of duly chartered rescue squads not operating out of a fire department;

(I) Class A vehicles of members of ambulance services or duly chartered rescue squads who are authorized by their respective chiefs to have the lights;

(J) Class A vehicles of out-of-state residents who are active members of West Virginia fire departments, ambulance services or duly chartered rescue squads who are authorized by their respective chiefs to have the lights;

(K) West Virginia Department of Agriculture emergency response vehicles;

(L) Vehicles designated by the Secretary of the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety for emergency response or emergency management by the Division of Corrections, Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority, Division of Juvenile Services and Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management; and

(M) Class A vehicles of emergency response or emergency management personnel as designated by the Secretary of the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety and the county commission of the county of residence.

Red flashing warning lights attached to a Class A vehicle may be operated only when responding to or engaged in handling an emergency requiring the attention of the firefighters, members of the ambulance services or chartered rescue squads.

(3) The use of red flashing warning lights is authorized as follows:

(A) Authorization for all ambulances shall be designated by the Department of Health and Human Resources and the sheriff of the county of residence.

(B) Authorization for all fire department vehicles shall be designated by the fire chief and the State Fire Marshal's Office.

(C) Authorization for all hazardous material response vehicles and industrial fire brigades shall be designated by the chief of the fire department and the State Fire Marshal's Office.

(D) Authorization for all rescue squad vehicles not operating out of a fire department shall be designated by the squad chief, the sheriff of the county of residence and the Department of Health and Human Resources.

(E) Authorization for school buses shall be designated as set out in section twelve, article fourteen of this chapter.

(F) Authorization for firefighters to operate Class A vehicles shall be designated by their fire chiefs and the state Fire Marshal's office.

(G) Authorization for members of ambulance services or any other emergency medical service personnel to operate Class A vehicles shall be designated by their chief official, the Department of Health and Human Resources and the sheriff of the county of residence.

(H) Authorization for members of duly chartered rescue squads not operating out of a fire department to operate Class A vehicles shall be designated by their squad chiefs, the sheriff of the county of residence and the Department of Health and Human Resources.

(I) Authorization for out-of-state residents operating Class A vehicles who are active members of a West Virginia fire department, ambulance services or duly chartered rescue squads shall be designated by their respective chiefs.

(J) Authorization for West Virginia Department of Agriculture emergency response vehicles shall be designated by the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture.

(K) Authorization for vehicles for emergency response or emergency management by the Division of Corrections, Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority, Division of Juvenile Services and Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management shall be designated by the Secretary of the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety.

(L) Authorization for Class A vehicles of emergency response or emergency management personnel as designated by the Secretary of the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety and the county commission of the county of residence.

(4) Yellow or amber flashing warning lights are restricted to the following:

(A) All other emergency vehicles, including tow trucks and wreckers, authorized by this chapter and by section twenty-seven of this article;

(B) Postal service vehicles and rural mail carriers, as authorized in section nineteen of this article;

(C) Rural newspaper delivery vehicles;

(D) Flag car services;

(E) Vehicles providing road service to disabled vehicles;

(F) Service vehicles of a public service corporation;

(G) Snow removal equipment;

(H) School buses; and

(I) Automotive fire apparatus owned by a municipality or other political subdivision, by a volunteer or part-volunteer fire company or department or by an industrial fire brigade.

(5) The use of yellow or amber flashing warning lights shall be authorized as follows:

(A) Authorization for tow trucks, wreckers, rural newspaper delivery vehicles, flag car services, vehicles providing road service to disabled vehicles, service vehicles of a public service corporation and postal service vehicles shall be designated by the sheriff of the county of residence.

(B) Authorization for snow removal equipment shall be designated by the Commissioner of the Division of Highways.

(C) Authorization for school buses shall be designated as set out in section twelve, article fourteen of this chapter.

(D) Authorization for automotive fire apparatus shall be designated by the fire chief in conformity with the NFPA 1901 Standard for Automotive Fire Apparatus as published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) on July 18, 2003, and adopted by the state Fire Commission by legislative rule (87 CSR 1, et seq.), except as follows:

(i) With the approval of the State Fire Marshal, used automotive fire apparatus may be conformed to the NFPA standard in effect on the date of its manufacture or conformed to a later NFPA standard; and

(ii) Automotive fire apparatus may be equipped with blinking or flashing headlamps.

(e) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, any vehicle belonging to a county school district board of education, an organization receiving funding from the state or Federal Transit Administration for the purpose of providing general public transportation or hauling solid waste may be equipped with a white flashing strobotron warning light. This strobe light may be installed on the roof of a school bus, a public transportation vehicle or a vehicle hauling solid waste not to exceed one-third the body length forward from the rear of the roof edge. The light shall have a single clear lens emitting light three hundred sixty degrees around its vertical axis and may not extend above the roof more than six and one-half inches. A manual switch and a pilot light must be included to indicate the light is in operation.

(f) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, any waste service vehicle as defined in section eleven, article six of this chapter may be equipped with yellow or amber flashing warning lights.

(g) It is unlawful for flashing warning lights of an unauthorized color to be installed or used on a vehicle other than as specified in this section, except that a police vehicle may be equipped with either or both blue or red warning lights.


CHAPTER 18. EDUCATION.


ARTICLE 1. DEFINITIONS; LIMITATIONS OF CHAPTER; GOALS FOR EDUCATION.


§18-1-1. Definitions.


The following words used in this chapter and in any proceedings pursuant thereto have the meanings ascribed to them unless the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

(a) "School" means the students and teachers assembled in one or more buildings, organized as a unit;

(b) "District" means county school district;

(c) "State board" means the West Virginia Board of Education;

(d) "County board" or "Board" means a county board of education.

(d) “School district board” or “board” means a school district board of education.

(e) "State superintendent" means the state superintendent of free Schools;

(f) "County superintendent"  “School district superintendent” or "superintendent" means a county school district superintendent of schools;

(g) "Teacher" means a teacher, supervisor, principal, superintendent, public school librarian or any other person regularly employed for instructional purposes in a public school in this state;

(h) "Service person" or "service personnel," whether singular or plural, means any nonteaching school employee who is not included in the meaning of "teacher" as defined in this section, and who serves the school or schools as a whole, in a nonprofessional capacity, including such areas as secretarial, custodial, maintenance, transportation, school lunch and aides. Any reference to "service employee" or "service employees" in this chapter or chapter eighteen-a of this code means service person or service personnel as defined in this section;

(i) "Social worker" means a nonteaching school employee who, at a minimum, possesses an undergraduate degree in social work from an accredited institution of higher learning and who provides various professional social work services, activities or methods as defined by the state board for the benefit of students;

(j) "Regular full-time employee" means any person employed by a county school district board who has a regular position or job throughout his or her employment term, without regard to hours or method of pay;

(k) "Career clusters" means broad groupings of related occupations;

(l) "Work-based learning" means a structured activity that correlates with and is mutually supportive of the school-based learning of the student and includes specific objectives to be learned by the student as a result of the activity;

(m) "School-age juvenile" means any individual who is entitled to attend or who, if not placed in a residential facility, would be entitled to attend public schools in accordance with: (1) Section five, article two of this chapter; (2) sections fifteen and eighteen, article five of this chapter; or (3) section one, article twenty of this chapter;

(n) "Student with a disability" means an exceptional child, other than gifted, pursuant to section one, article twenty of this chapter;

(o) "Casual deficit" means a deficit of not more than three percent of the approved levy estimate or a deficit that is nonrecurring from year to year; and

(p) "Athletic director" means a person employed by a county school district board to work in a school's athletic program pursuant to section one-a, article two, chapter eighteen-a of this code.


ARTICLE 2. STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION.


§18-2-5. Powers and duties generally; specific powers and duties for alternatives that improve student learning.

(a) Subject to and in conformity with the Constitution and laws of this state, the State Board of Education shall exercise general supervision of the public schools of the state, and shall promulgate rules in accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code for carrying into effect the laws and policies of the state relating to education. The rules shall relate to the following:

(1) Standards for performance and measures of accountability;

(2) Physical welfare of students;

(3) Education of all children of school age;

(4) School attendance;

(5) Evening and continuation or part-time day schools;

(6) School extension work;

(7) Classification of schools;

(8) Issuing certificates based upon credentials;

(9) Distribution and care of instructional resources by county school district boards;

(10) General powers and duties of county school district boards, teachers, principals, supervisors and superintendents; and

(11) Such other matters pertaining to the public schools of the state as the state board considers necessary and expedient.

(b) The state board, in exercising its constitutional responsibility for the general supervision of public schools, must do so as provided by general law. Included within the general law is the process for improving education which has been recognized by the court as the method chosen by the Legislature to measure whether a thorough and efficient education is being provided. The court further recognized that the resulting student learning is the ultimate measure of a thorough education and that it must be achieved in an efficient manner. To achieve this result, the state board must have reasonable discretion to balance the local autonomy and flexibility needed by schools to deliver a thorough and efficient education with the letter of the laws as enacted for school operations.

(c) The purpose of this subsection is to authorize the state board to approve alternatives to the letter of the laws enacted for school operations in the areas enumerated in this subsection. The state board may approve such alternatives as proposed by a county school district board or school if, in the sole judgment of the state board, the alternatives meet the spirit and intent of the applicable statutes and are intended solely to optimize student learning.

(1) The Legislature finds that alternatives are warranted and may be approved by the state board on a case-by-case basis when a county school district board submits to the state board a comprehensive plan for optimizing student learning that:

(A) Achieves the spirit and intent of the laws for an instructional term that provide the instructional time necessary for students to meet or exceed the high quality standards for student performance adopted by the state board;

(B) Ensures sufficient time within the instructional term to promote the improvement of instruction and instructional practices;

(C) Incorporates a school calendar approved in accordance with the approval process required by section forty-five, article five of this chapter;

(D) Allows for school-level determination of alternatives affecting time within the school day that preserve the spirit and intent of providing teachers with: (i) Sufficient planning time to develop engaging, differentiated instruction for all students in all classes, which includes at least forty minutes in length for the elementary level and as required by section fourteen, article four, chapter eighteen-a of this code for the secondary level; and (ii) Collaborative time for teachers to undertake and sustain instructional improvement. This determination may be made only in the form of a school policy that is part of the school's strategic improvement plan and is approved by a vote of the faculty senate; and

(E) Has the sole purpose of improving student learning and that improvement is evident within a reasonable period.

(2) The Legislature makes the following findings for consideration by the state board with respect to optimizing student learning:

(A) Maximizing learning time is a critical factor needed to improve student learning and requires multiple strategies and policies that support great teaching and learning;

(B) Learning time is that portion of instructional time in the school day during which a student is paying attention and receiving instruction that is appropriately leveled, and learning is taking place. Learning time must not be assumed to be the time that a student is seated at a desk, but may be achieved through a variety of methods that actively engage students in learning;

(C) A student's time engaged in learning is maximized when the student is allowed to progress and acquire competency at a pace which challenges his or her interest and intellect while receiving guidance and assistance when needed. Instructional strategies to help personalize student learning in this manner are frequently assisted by technology;

(D) Providing teachers with the resources and support needed to engage students in meaningful, appropriately leveled learning for as much time as is possible during the school day may be as important as facilities, equipment and staff development for maximizing learning time and improving student learning;

(E) Successful schools are distinguishable from unsuccessful schools by the frequency and extent to which teachers discuss professional practices, collectively design materials and inform and critique one another;

(F) Even successful schools must be self-renewing systems and learning organizations marked by deliberate effort to identify helpful knowledge and spread its use within the organization;

(G) Unless teachers are collectively involved in planning and implementing school improvement, it is unlikely to be sustained; and

(H) Given sufficient control over their own programs and supportive district leadership and policies, schools themselves may best be suited to determine the variety of methods through which time during the school day is allocated for teachers to plan individually and collectively to maximize learning time. Examples of methods used by successful schools include, but are not limited to, scheduling, using special subject teachers and guest presenters, dedicating time set aside for staff development, implementing alternative staff utilization patterns, providing opportunities for administrators to teach, and utilizing accrued instructional time.


§18-2-5f. Use of student social security numbers.

(a) Restrictions on use of student social security numbers. -- No public or private elementary or secondary school or college or university shall display any student's social security number to identify students for posting or public listing of grades, on class rosters or other lists provided to teachers, on student identification cards, in student directories or similar listings, or, unless specifically authorized or required by law, for any public identification purpose: Provided, That any student identification cards, directories or similar listings produced prior to July 1, 2002 shall not be subject to the provisions of this section.

(b) Use of social security numbers. -- Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting the Higher Education Policy Commission, state institutions of higher education, state Board of Education, county school district boards of education or the public or private schools from using a student's social security number for internal record keeping purposes or studies.

(c) Social security number or alternative required for enrollment or attendance in public school. --

(1) Effective on July 1, 2003, the appropriate county school district board shall request the parent, guardian, or other responsible person to furnish the social security number of each child who is currently enrolled in a public school under the jurisdiction of the county school district board.

(2) Prior to admitting a child to a public school in this state, the appropriate county school district board shall request the parent, guardian, or other responsible person to furnish the social security number for each child who is to be enrolled after July 1, 2003.

(3) The county school district board shall inform the parent, guardian or other responsible person that, if he or she declines to provide a social security number for a child who is currently enrolled or for a child to be enrolled, the county school district board shall assign to the child a nine-digit number as designated by the state board.

(4) For any student who is attending a public school and for whom a social security number has not been provided, the county school district board shall make a request annually to the parent, guardian, or other responsible person to furnish the social security number.


§18-2-5h. Student Data Accessibility, Transparency and Accountability Act.


(a) Title. -- This section shall be known and may be cited as the “Student Data Accessibility, Transparency and Account-ability Act.”

(b) Definitions. -- As used in this section, the following words have the meanings ascribed to them unless the context clearly implies a different meaning:

(1) “Board” means the West Virginia Board of Education;

(2) “Department” means the West Virginia Department of Education;

(3) “Student Data system” means the West Virginia Department of Education statewide longitudinal data system;

(4) “Aggregate data” means data collected that is reported at the group, cohort, or institutional level with a data set of sufficient size that no information for an individual parent or student is identifiable;

(5) “Redacted data” means a student dataset in which parent and student identifying information has been removed;

(6) “State-assigned student identifier” means the unique student identifier assigned by the state to each student that shall not be or include the Social Security number of a student in whole or in part;

(7) “Student data” means data collected or reported at the individual student level included in a student’s educational record;

(8) “Provisional student data” means new student data proposed for inclusion in the student data system;

(9) “School district” means a county school district board of education, the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind and the West Virginia Department of Education with respect to the education programs under its jurisdiction that are not in the public schools;

(10) “Directory information” means the following individual student information that is subject to disclosure for school-related purposes only: Student name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, indication of “graduate” or “nongraduate,” degrees and awards receives, most recent previous school attended, and photograph.

(11) “Confidential student information” means data relating to a person’s Social Security number, or other identification number issued by a state or federal agency, except for the state-assigned student identifier as defined in this section, religious affiliation, whether the person or a member of their household owns or possesses a firearm, whether the person or their family are or were recipients of financial assistance from a state or federal agency, medical, psychological or behavioral diagnoses, criminal history, criminal history of parents, siblings or any members of the person’s household, vehicle registration number, driver’s license number, biometric information, handwriting sample, credit card numbers, consumer credit history, credit score, or genetic information;

(12) “Affective computing” means human-computer interaction in which the device has the ability to detect and appropriately respond to its user’s emotions and other stimuli; and

(13) “Fair Information Practice Principles” are United States Federal Trade Commission guidelines that represent widely accepted concepts concerning fair information practice in an electronic marketplace.

(c) Data Inventory -- State Responsibilities. -- The Department of Education shall:

(1) Create, publish, and make publicly available a data inventory and dictionary or index of data elements with definitions of individual student data fields in the student data system to include, but not be limited to:

(A) Any individual student data required to be reported by state and federal education mandates;

(B) Any individual student data which has been proposed in accordance with paragraph (A), subdivision (7) of this subsection for inclusion in the student data system with a statement regarding the purpose or reason and legal authority for the proposed collection; and

(C) Any individual student data that the department collects or maintains with no current identified purpose;

(2) Develop, publish, and make publicly available policies and procedures to comply with all relevant state and federal privacy laws and policies, including, but not limited to, the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and other relevant privacy laws and policies. The policies and procedures specifically shall include, but are not limited to:

(A) Access to student and redacted data in the statewide longitudinal data system shall be restricted to:

(i) The authorized staff of the department and the contractors working on behalf of the department who require access to perform their assigned duties as required by law and defined by interagency data-sharing agreements;

(ii) District administrators, teachers and school personnel who require access to perform their assigned duties;

(iii) Students and their parents; and

(iv) The authorized staff of other West Virginia state agencies as required by law and defined by interagency data-sharing agreements;

(B) Ensure that any inter-agency data-sharing agreements shall be posted on the Department website, and parents shall be notified of their right to opt out of sharing the child’s data pursuant to agreements.

(C) Use only aggregate data in public reports or in response to record requests in accordance with this section;

(D) Unless otherwise prohibited by law, develop criteria for the approval of research and data requests from state and local agencies, the Legislature, researchers working on behalf of the department, and the public. Student data maintained by the department shall remain redacted; and

(E) Notification to students and parents regarding student privacy rights under federal and state law;

(3) Unless otherwise provided by law, the department shall not transfer confidential student information or redacted data that is confidential under this section to any federal, state or local agency or other person or entity, public or private, with the following exceptions:

(A) A student transfers out-of-state or a school or school district seeks help with locating an out-of-state transfer;

(B) A student leaves the state to attend an out-of-state institution of higher education or training program;

(C) A student registers for or takes a national or multistate assessment;

(D) A student voluntarily participates in a program for which a data transfer is a condition or requirement of participation;

(E) The department enters into a contract that governs databases, assessments, student or redacted data, special education or instructional supports with an in-state or out-of-state contractor for the purposes of state level reporting;

(F) A student is classified as “migrant” for federal reporting purposes;

(G) A federal agency is performing a compliance review; or

(H) In the event that the ACT or the SAT tests are adopted for use as the state summative assessment, nothing in this article prevents the ACT or the College Board from using a student’s assessment results and necessary directory or other permissible information under this Act. If information classified as confidential is required, the ACT, SAT or College Board shall obtain affirmative written consent from the student if the student is eighteen years of age or older, or from the student’s parent or guardian if the student is under eighteen years of age. The consent shall contain a detailed list of confidential information required and the purpose of its requirement.

(4)  Develop a detailed data security plan that includes:

(A) Guidelines for the student data system and for individual student data including guidelines for authentication of authorized access;

(B) Privacy compliance standards;

(C) Privacy and security audits;

(D) Breach planning, notification and procedures;

(E) Data retention and disposition policies; and

(F) Data security policies including electronic, physical, and administrative safeguards, such as data encryption and training of employees;

(5) Ensure routine and ongoing compliance by the department with FERPA, other relevant privacy laws and policies, and the privacy and security policies and procedures developed under the authority of this act, including the performance of compliance audits;

(6) Ensure that any contracts that govern databases, assessments or instructional supports that include student or redacted data and are outsourced to private vendors include express provisions that safeguard privacy and security and include penalties for noncompliance; and

(7) Notify the Governor and the Legislature annually of the following:

(A) New student data proposed for inclusion in the state student data system. Any proposal by the Department of Education to collect new student data must include a statement regarding the purpose or reason and legal authority for the proposed collection. The proposal shall be announced to the general public for a review and comment period of at least sixty days and approved by the state board before it becomes effective. Any new student data collection approved by the state board is a provisional requirement for a period sufficient to allow schools and school districts the opportunity to meet the new requirement;

(B) Changes to existing data collections required for any reason, including changes to federal reporting requirements made by the U.S. Department of Education and a statement of the reasons the changes were necessary;

(C) An explanation of any exceptions granted by the state board in the past year regarding the release or out-of-state transfer of student or redacted data; and

(D) The results of any and all privacy compliance and security audits completed in the past year. Notifications regarding privacy compliance and security audits shall not include any information that would itself pose a security threat to the state or local student information systems or to the secure transmission of data between state and local systems by exposing vulnerabilities.

(8) Notify the Governor upon the suspicion of a data security breach or confirmed breach and upon regular intervals as the breach is being managed. The parents shall be notified as soon as possible after the suspected or confirmed breach.

(9) Prohibit the collection of confidential student information as defined in subdivision ten of subsection (b) of this section.

(d) Data Inventory -- District Responsibilities. -- A school district shall not report to the state the following individual student data:

(1) Juvenile delinquency records;

(2) Criminal records;

(3) Medical and health records; and

(4) Student biometric information.

(e) Data Inventory -- School Responsibilities. -- Schools shall not collect the following individual student data:

(1) Political affiliation and beliefs;

(2) Religion and religious beliefs and affiliations;

(3) Any data collected through affective computing;

(4) Any data concerning the sexual orientation or beliefs about sexual orientation of the student or any student’s family member; and

(5) Any data concerning firearm’s ownership by any member of a student's family.

(f) Data Governance Manager. -- The state superintendent shall appoint a data governance manager, who shall report to and be under the general supervision of the state superintendent. The data governance manager shall have primary responsibility for privacy policy, including:

(1) Assuring that the use of technologies sustain, and do not erode, privacy protections relating to the use, collection, and disclosure of student data;

(2) Assuring that student data contained in the student data system is handled in full compliance with the Student Data Accessibility, Transparency, and Accountability Act, FERPA, and other state and federal privacy laws;

(3) Evaluating legislative and regulatory proposals involving collection, use, and disclosure of student data by the Department of Education;

(4) Conducting a privacy impact assessment on proposed rules of the state board and department in general and on the privacy of student data, including the type of personal information collected and the number of students affected;

(5) Coordinating with the general counsel of the state board and department, other legal entities, and organization officers to ensure that programs, policies, and procedures involving civil rights, civil liberties, and privacy considerations are addressed in an integrated and comprehensive manner;

(6) Preparing a report to the Legislature on an annual basis on activities of the department that affect privacy, including complaints of privacy violations, internal controls, and other matters;

(7) Establishing department-wide policies necessary for implementing Fair Information Practice Principles to enhance privacy protections;

(8) Working with the Office of Data Management and Analysis, the general counsel, and other officials in engaging with stakeholders about the quality, usefulness, openness, and privacy of data;

(9) Establishing and operating a department-wide Privacy Incident Response Program to ensure that incidents are properly reported, investigated and mitigated, as appropriate;

(10) Establishing and operating a process for parents to file complaints of privacy violations;

(11) Establishing and operating a process to collect and respond to complaints of privacy violations and provides redress, as appropriate; and

(12) Providing training, education and outreach to build a culture of privacy across the department and transparency to the public.

The data governance manager shall have access to all records, reports, audits, reviews, documents, papers, recommendations, and other materials available to the department that relate to programs and operations with respect to his or her responsibilities under this section and shall make investigations and reports relating to the administration of the programs and operations of the department as are necessary or desirable.

(g) Parental rights regarding child’s information and education record. -- Parents have the right to inspect and review their child’s education record maintained by the school and to request student data specific to their child’s educational record. School districts must provide parents or guardians with a copy of their child’s educational record upon request. Whenever possible, an electronic copy of the educational record must be provided if requested and the identity of the person requesting the information is verified as the parent or guardian.

The state board shall develop guidance for school district policies that:

(1) Annually notify parents of their right to request student information;

(2) Ensure security when providing student data to parents;

(3) Ensure student data is provided only to the authorized individuals;

(4) Detail the timeframe within which record requests must be provided;

(5) Ensure that school districts have a plan to allow parents to view and access data specific to their child’s educational record and that any electronic access provided is restricted to eligible parties;

(6) Ensure compliance in the collection, use and disclosure of directory information and providing parents or guardians with a form to limit the information concerning their child in directory and subject to release; and

(7) Informing parents of their rights and the process for filing complaints of privacy violations.

(h) State Board Rules. -- The state board shall adopt rules necessary to implement the provisions of the Student Data Accessibility, Transparency, and Accountability Act.

(i) Effect on Existing Data. -- Upon the effective date of this section, any existing student data collected by the Department of Education shall not be considered a new student data collection under this section.

§18-2-6. Classification and standardization of schools; standards for degrees and diplomas; certificates of proficiency; establishment of alternative education programs.


(a) The state board shall promulgate rules for the accreditation, classification and standardization of all schools in the state, except institutions of higher education, and shall determine the minimum standards for granting diplomas and certificates of proficiency by those schools.

(1) The certificates of proficiency shall include specific information regarding the graduate's skills, competence and readiness for employment or honors and advanced education and shall be granted, along with the diploma, to every eligible high school graduate.

(2) The certificate of proficiency shall include the program of study major completed by the student only for those students who have completed the required major courses, or higher level courses, advanced placement courses, college courses or other more rigorous substitutes related to the major, and the recommended electives.

(b) An institution of less than collegiate or university status may not grant any diploma or certificate of proficiency on any basis of work or merit below the minimum standards prescribed by the state board.

(c) A charter or other instrument containing the right to issue diplomas or certificates of proficiency may not be granted by the State of West Virginia to any institution or other associations or organizations of less than collegiate or university status within the state until the condition of granting or issuing the diplomas or other certificates of proficiency has first been approved in writing by the state board.

(d) The state board shall promulgate a rule for the approval of alternative education programs for disruptive students who are at risk of not succeeding in the traditional school structure.

(1) This rule may provide for the waiver of other policies of the state board, the establishment and delivery of a nontraditional curriculum, the establishment of licensure requirements for alternative education program teachers, and the establishment of performance measures for school accreditation.

(2) This rule shall provide uniform definitions of disruptive student behavior and uniform standards for the placement of students in alternative settings or providing other interventions including referrals to local juvenile courts to correct student behavior so that they can return to a regular classroom without engaging in further disruptive behavior.

(e) The state board shall establish up to five pilot projects at the elementary or middle school levels, or both, that employ alternative schools or other placements for disruptive students to learn appropriate behaviors so they can return to the regular classroom without further disrupting the learning environment. The state board shall report to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability by December 1, 2010, on its progress in establishing the pilot projects and by December 1 in each year after that for the duration of the pilot projects on the effect of the projects on maintaining student discipline.

(f) If a student attends an approved alternative education program or the Mountaineer Challenge Academy, which is designated as a special alternative education program pursuant to section twenty-four, article one-b, chapter fifteen of this code, and the student graduates or passes the General Equivalency Development (GED) Tests within five years of beginning ninth grade, that student shall be considered graduated for the purposes of calculating the high school graduation rate used for school accreditation and school system approval, subject to the following:

(1) The student shall be considered graduated only to the extent that this is not in conflict with any provision of federal law relating to graduation rates;

(2) If the state board determines that this is in conflict with a provision of federal law relating to graduation rates, the state board shall request a waiver from the United States department of education; and

(3) If the waiver is granted, notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection, the student graduating or passing the General Educational Development (GED) Tests within five years shall be considered graduated.

(g) The state board shall promulgate a rule to support the operation of the National Guard Youth Challenge Program operated by the Adjutant General and known as the Mountaineer Challenge Academy which is designated as a special alternative education program pursuant to section twenty-four, article one-b, chapter fifteen of this code for students who are at risk of not succeeding in the traditional school structure. The rule shall set forth policies and procedures applicable only to the Mountaineer Challenge Academy that provide for, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) Implementation of provisions set forth in section twenty-four, article one-b, chapter fifteen of this code;

(2) Precedence of the policies and procedures designated by the National Guard Bureau for the operation of the Mountaineer Challenge Academy special alternative education program;

(3) Consideration of a student participating in the Mountaineer Challenge Academy special alternative education program at full enrollment status in the referring county school district for the purposes of funding and calculating attendance and graduation rates, subject to the following:

(A) The student shall be considered at full enrollment status only for the purposes of calculating attendance and graduation rates to the extent that this is not in conflict with any provision of federal law relating to attendance or graduation rates;

(B) If the state board determines that this is in conflict with a provision of federal law relating to attendance or graduation rates, the state board shall request a waiver from the United States Department of Education;

(C) If the waiver is granted, notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (A) of this subdivision, the student shall be considered at full enrollment status in the referring county school district for the purposes of calculating attendance and graduation rates; and

(D) Consideration of the student at full enrollment status in the referring county school district is for the purposes of funding and calculating attendance and graduation rates only. For any other purpose, a student participating in the academy is considered withdrawn from the public school system;

(4) Articulation of the knowledge, skills and competencies gained through alternative education so that students who return to regular education may proceed toward attainment or may attain the standards for graduation without duplication;

(5) Consideration of eligibility to take the General Educational Development (GED) Tests by qualifying within the extraordinary circumstances provisions established by state board rule for a student participating in the Mountaineer Challenge Academy special alternative education program who does not meet any other criteria for eligibility; and

(6) Payment of tuition by a county school district board to the Mountaineer Challenge Academy for each student graduating from the academy with a high school diploma that resides in that county board’s school district.  For purposes of this subdivision, “tuition” means an amount equal to seventy-five percent of the amount allotted per pupil under the school aid formula.

(h) Nothing in this section or the rules promulgated under this section compels the Mountaineer Challenge Academy to be operated as a special alternative education program or to be subject to any other laws governing the public schools except by its consent.

(i) The Legislature makes the following findings regarding students at risk:

(1) Defeated and discouraged learners. —

(A) Any child who is unlikely to graduate on schedule with both the skills and self esteem necessary to exercise meaningful options in the areas of work, leisure, culture, civic affairs and personal relationships may be defined as being an at-risk student;

(B) Problems associated with students at risk often begin for them in the early grades as they gradually fall further behind in the essential skills of reading, writing and math;

(C) These problems may be accompanied by such behavior patterns as poor attendance, inattentiveness, negative attitudes and acting out in class. These patterns are both symptoms of and added catalysts for students to become increasingly defeated and discouraged learners;

(D) By the middle grades, students with growing skill deficits usually know they are behind other students and have good reason to feel discouraged. A growing lack of self confidence and self worth, limited optimism for the future, avoidance of school and adults and a dimming view of the relationship between effort and achievement are among the characteristics of defeated and discouraged learners;

(E) Public schools are expected to address the needs of all students, minimizing the likelihood that they will become at risk and giving additional attention to those who do; however, the circumstances involved with a child becoming at risk often are complex and may include influences both within and outside of the school environment; and

(F) In fragile homes, a child who is at risk and is becoming a discouraged and defeated learner often lacks adequate support and may develop peer relationships that further exacerbate the difficulty of reengaging him or her in learning, school and responsible social behavior.

(2) The Legislature further finds that the public schools should not be deterred from seeking and assisting with enrollment of students in an alternative program that helps remedy the discouragement, lessens skill deficits and facilitates a successful return to public school.

 For this purpose, subject to approval of the county school district superintendent, a student enrolled in the public schools of the county school district may continue to be enrolled while also enrolled in an alternative program subject to the following conditions:

(1) The alternative program is approved by the state board;

(2) The student meets the general description of an at-risk student and exhibits behaviors and characteristics associated with a discouraged and defeated learner;

(3) The alternative program complies with all requests of the county school district superintendent for information on the educational program and progress of the student;

(4) The alternative program includes a family involvement component in its program. This component shall include, but is not limited to, providing for student and parent participation in activities that help address the challenging issues that have hindered the student's engagement and progress in learning;

(5) The alternative program includes an on-site boarding option for students;

(6) The alternative program provides an individualized education program for students that is designed to prepare them for a successful transition back into the public schools; and

(7) The parents or legal guardian of the student make application for enrollment of the student in the alternative program, agree to the terms and conditions for enrollment, and enroll the student in the program.

§18-2-9. Required courses of instruction.


(a) In all public, private, parochial and denominational schools located within this state there shall be given prior to the completion of the eighth grade at least one year of instruction in the history of the State of West Virginia. The schools shall require regular courses of instruction by the completion of the twelfth grade in the history of the United States, in civics, in the Constitution of the United States and in the government of the State of West Virginia for the purpose of teaching, fostering and perpetuating the ideals, principles and spirit of political and economic democracy in America and increasing the knowledge of the organization and machinery of the government of the United States and of the State of West Virginia. The state board shall, with the advice of the state superintendent, prescribe the courses of study covering these subjects for the public schools. It shall be the duty of the officials or boards having authority over the respective private, parochial and denominational schools to prescribe courses of study for the schools under their control and supervision similar to those required for the public schools. To further such study, every high school student eligible by age for voter registration shall be afforded the opportunity to register to vote pursuant to section twenty-two, article two, chapter three of this code.

(b) The state board shall cause to be taught in all of the public schools of this state the subject of health education, including instruction in any of the grades six through twelve as considered appropriate by the county school district board, on: (1) The prevention, transmission and spread of acquired immune deficiency syndrome and other sexually transmitted diseases; (2) substance abuse, including the nature of alcoholic drinks and narcotics, tobacco products and other potentially harmful drugs, with special instruction as to their effect upon the human system and upon society in general; (3) the importance of healthy eating and physical activity to maintaining healthy weight; and (4) education concerning cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid, including instruction in the care for conscious choking, and recognition of symptoms of drug or alcohol overdose. The course curriculum requirements and materials for the instruction shall be adopted by the state board by rule in consultation with the Department of Health and Human Resources. The state board shall prescribe a standardized health education assessment to be administered within health education classes to measure student health knowledge and program effectiveness.

(c) An opportunity shall be afforded to the parent or guardian of a child subject to instruction in the prevention, transmission and spread of acquired immune deficiency syndrome and other sexually transmitted diseases to examine the course curriculum requirements and materials to be used in the instruction. The parent or guardian may exempt the child from participation in the instruction by giving notice to that effect in writing to the school principal.

(d) After July 1, 2015, the required instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation in subsection (b) of this section shall include at least thirty minutes of instruction for each student prior to graduation on the proper administration of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the psychomotor skills necessary to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The term "psychomotor skills" means the use of hands-on practicing to support cognitive learning. Cognitive-only training does not qualify as "psychomotor skills". The CPR instruction must be based on an instructional program established by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross or another program which is nationally recognized and uses the most current national evidence!based Emergency Cardiovascular Care guidelines and incorporates psychomotor skills development into the instruction. A licensed teacher is not required to be a certified trainer of cardiopulmonary resuscitation to facilitate, provide or oversee such instruction. The instruction may be given by community members, such as emergency medical technicians, paramedics, police officers, firefighters, licensed nurses and representatives of the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross. These community members are encouraged to provide necessary training and instructional resources such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation kits and other material at no cost to the schools. The requirements of this subsection are minimum requirements. A local school district may offer CPR instruction for longer periods of time and may enhance the curriculum and training components, including, but not limited to, incorporating into the instruction the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED): Provided, That any instruction that results in a certification being earned must be taught by an authorized CPR/AED instructor.


§18-2-11. Sabbatical leaves for teachers and certain aides.


(a) The state board shall by December 1, 1988, establish by policy a sabbatical leave program. Such program participation shall be considered optional for each county school district board. Individuals employed as professional educators, as defined in section one, article one, chapter eighteen-a of this code, and aides shall be eligible for the sabbatical leave program: Provided, That such aides have a cumulative grade point of three and two tenths on a possible four point scale pursuant to successful completion of at least sixty-four semester hours of course work at an approved institution of higher education. Such policy shall establish the educational objectives, peer selection criteria and other guidelines the board deems necessary. The sabbatical leave policy shall provide that not less than ninety-five percent of sabbatical leaves granted shall be for classroom teachers and such policy shall not provide for the granting of sabbatical leave to any employee who has fewer than ten years of West Virginia public school service, nor shall compensation during such leave be more than one half of the employee's regular salary. While on sabbatical leave the employee shall be deemed to be a full-time employee for purposes of years of experience and participation in the Teachers Retirement System and the public employee insurance program. Any employee receiving a sabbatical leave shall be required to return to employment by the board which granted the leave for a period of at least one year or repay the compensation and benefits received during that time and have deducted the retirement credit and years of service credit accrued during sabbatical leave: Provided, however, That sabbatical leaves for teachers and certain aides shall be optional by the respective boards.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, if the state teacher of the year either works with programs approved by the state department or attends school at a college or university to further his or her education, the teacher shall receive a sabbatical from his or her position for up to one year in which the teacher has been selected as state teacher of the year: Provided, That if the state teacher of the year chooses to take a sabbatical, then the state department shall provide the county school district from where the teacher is taking the sabbatical with an allowance equal to the state average contractual salary for teachers.


§18-2-25. Authority of county school district boards to regulate athletic and other extracurricular activities of secondary schools; delegation of authority to West Virginia secondary school activities commission; authority of commission; approval of rules and regulations by state board; incorporation; funds; participation by private and parochial schools.


The county school district boards of education are hereby granted and shall exercise the control, supervision and regulation of all interscholastic athletic events, and other extracurricular activities of the students in public secondary schools, and of said schools of their respective counties school districts. The county school district board of education may delegate such control, supervision and regulation of interscholastic athletic events and band activities to the "West Virginia secondary school activities commission," which is hereby established.

The West Virginia secondary school activities commission shall be composed of the principals, or their representatives, of those secondary schools whose county school district boards of education have certified in writing to the state Superintendent of Schools that they have elected to delegate the control, supervision and regulation of their interscholastic athletic events and band activities of the students in the public secondary schools in their respective counties school districts to said commission. The West Virginia secondary school activities commission is hereby empowered to exercise the control, supervision and regulation of interscholastic athletic events and band activities of secondary schools, delegated to it pursuant to this section. The rules and regulations of the West Virginia secondary school activities commission shall contain a provision for a proper review procedure and review board and be promulgated in accordance with the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, but shall, in all instances be subject to the prior approval of the state board. The West Virginia secondary school activities commission, may, with the consent of the state Board of Education, incorporate under the name of "West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission, Inc.," as a nonprofit, nonstock corporation under the provisions of chapter thirty-one of this code. County boards of education are hereby authorized to expend moneys for and pay dues to the West Virginia secondary school activities commission, and all moneys paid to such commission, as well as moneys derived from any contest or other event sponsored by said commission, shall be quasi-public funds as the same are defined in article five, chapter eighteen, and such funds of the commission shall be subject to an annual audit by the State Tax Commissioner.

The West Virginia secondary school activities commission shall promulgate reasonable rules and regulations providing for the control, supervision and regulation of the interscholastic athletic events and other extracurricular activities of such private and parochial secondary schools as elect to delegate to such commission such control, supervision and regulation, upon the same terms and conditions, subject to the same regulations and requirements and upon the payment of the same fees and charges as those provided for public secondary schools. Any such private or parochial secondary school shall receive any monetary or other benefits in the same manner and in the same proportion as any public secondary school.


§18-2-26. Establishment of multicounty regional educational service agencies; purpose; authority of state board; governance; annual performance standards.


(a) Legislative intent. -- The intent of the Legislature in providing for establishment of regional education service agencies, hereinafter referred to in this section as agency or agencies, is to provide for high quality, cost effective education programs and services to students, schools and school systems.

Since the first enactment of this section in 1972, the focus of public education has shifted from a reliance on input models to determine if education programs and services are providing to students a thorough and efficient education to a performance based accountability model which relies on the following:

(1) Development and implementation of standards which set forth the things that students should know and be able to do as the result of a thorough and efficient education including measurable criteria to evaluate student performance and progress;

(2) Development and implementation of assessments to measure student performance and progress toward meeting the standards;

(3) Development and implementation of a system for holding schools and school systems accountable for student performance and progress toward obtaining a high quality education which is delivered in an efficient manner; and

(4) Development and implementation of a method for building the capacity and improving the efficiency of schools and school systems to improve student performance and progress.

(b) Purpose. -- In establishing the agencies the Legislature envisions certain areas of service in which the agencies can best assist the state board in implementing the standards based accountability model pursuant to subsection (a) of this section and, thereby, in providing high quality education programs. These areas of service include the following:

(1) Providing technical assistance to low performing schools and school systems;

(2) Providing high quality, targeted staff development designed to enhance the performance and progress of students in state public education;

(3) Facilitating coordination and cooperation among the county school district boards within their respective regions in such areas as cooperative purchasing; sharing of specialized personnel, communications and technology; curriculum development; and operation of specialized programs for exceptional children;

(4) Installing, maintaining and/or repairing education related technology equipment and software with special attention to the state level technology learning tools for public schools program;

(5) Receiving and administering grants under the provisions of federal and/or state law; and

(6) Developing and/or implementing any other programs or services as directed by law, the state board or the regional council.

(c) State board rule. -- The state board shall reexamine the powers and duties of the agencies in light of the changes in state level education policy that have occurred and shall establish multicounty regional education service agencies by rule, promulgated in accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.

The rule shall contain all information necessary for the effective administration and operation of the agencies. In developing the rule, the state board may not delegate its Constitutional authority for the general supervision of schools to the agencies, however, it may allow the agencies greater latitude in the development and implementation of programs in the service areas outlined in subsection (b) of this section with the exceptions of providing technical assistance to low performing schools and school systems and providing high quality, targeted staff development designed to enhance the performance and progress of students in state public education. These two areas constitute the most important responsibilities for the agencies.

The rule establishing the agencies shall be promulgated before November 1, 2015, and shall be consistent with the provisions of this section. It shall include, but is not limited to, the following procedures:

(1) Providing for a uniform governance structure for the agencies containing at least these elements:

(A) Selection by the state board of an executive director who shall be responsible for the administration of his or her respective agency. The rule shall provide for the state board to select the executive director only upon the nomination of one or more candidates by the regional council of the agency. In case the board refuses to select any of the candidates nominated, the regional council shall nominate others and submit them to the board. All candidates nominated must meet the qualifications for the position established by the state board. Nothing shall prohibit the timely employment of persons to perform necessary duties;

(B) Development of a job description and qualifications for the position of executive director, together with procedures for informing the public of position openings, for taking and evaluating applications, for making nominations for these positions, and for annually evaluating the performance of persons employed as executive director. The state board shall consult with the regional councils on the development of the job description, qualifications and procedures;

(C) Provisions for the annual performance evaluation of the executive director that provide for one half of the evaluation rating to be determined by the regional council;

(D) Provisions for the agencies to employ other staff, as necessary, with the approval of the state board and upon the recommendation of the executive director: Provided, That prior to July 1, 2003, no person who is an employee of an agency on the effective date of this section may be terminated or have his or her salary and benefit levels reduced as the sole result of the changes made to this section or by state board rule;

(E) Appointment by the county school district boards of a regional council in each agency area consisting of representatives of county school district boards and county school district superintendents from within that area for the purpose of advising, assisting and informing the executive director in carrying out his or her duties to achieve the purposes of this section and provide educational services to the county school district school systems within the region. The state board may provide for membership on the regional council for representatives from other agencies and institutions who have interest or expertise in the development or implementation of regional education programs; and

(F) Selection by the state superintendent of a representative from the state Department of Education to serve on each regional council. These representatives shall meet with their respective regional councils at least quarterly;

(2) Establishing statewide standards by the state board for service delivery by the agencies. These standards may be revised annually and shall include, but are not limited to, programs and services to fulfill the purposes set forth in subsection (b) of this section;

(3) Establishing procedures for developing and adopting an annual basic operating budget for each agency and for other budgeting and accounting procedures as the state board may require;

(4) Establishing procedures clarifying that agencies may acquire and hold real property;

(5) Dividing the state into appropriate, contiguous geographical areas and designating an agency to serve each area. The rule shall provide that each of the state's counties is contained within a single service area and that all counties school districts located within the boundaries of each agency, as determined by the state board, shall be members of that agency; and

(6) Such other standards or procedures as the state board finds necessary or convenient.

(d) Regional services. -- In furtherance of the purposes provided for in this section, the state board and the regional council of each agency shall continually explore possibilities for the delivery of services on a regional basis which will facilitate equality in the education offerings among counties school districts in its service area, permit the delivery of high quality education programs at a lower per student cost, strengthen the cost effectiveness of education funding resources, reduce administrative and/or operational costs, including the consolidation of administrative, coordinating and other county school district level functions into region level functions, and promote the efficient administration and operation of the public school systems generally.

Technical, operational, programmatic or professional services are among the types of services appropriate for delivery on a regional basis. Nothing in this section prohibits regional education service agencies from cooperating, sharing or combining services or programs with each other, at their discretion, to further the purposes of this section.

(e) Virtual education. -- The state board, in conjunction with the various agencies, shall develop an effective model for the regional delivery of instruction in subjects where there exists low student enrollment or a shortage of certified teachers or where the delivery method substantially improves the quality of an instructional program. The model shall incorporate an interactive electronic classroom approach to instruction. To the extent funds are appropriated or otherwise available, county school district boards or regional education service agencies may adopt and utilize the model for the delivery of the instruction.

(f) Computer information system. -- Each county school district board of education shall use the statewide electronic information system established by the state board for data collection and reporting to the state Department of Education.

(g) Reports and evaluations. -- Each agency shall submit to the state superintendent on such date and in such form as specified in the rules adopted by the state board a report and evaluation of the technical assistance and other services provided and utilized by the schools within each respective region and their effectiveness. Additionally, any school may submit an evaluation of the services provided by the agency to the state superintendent at any time. This report shall include an evaluation of the agency program, suggestions on methods to improve utilization and suggestions on the development of new programs and the enhancement of existing programs. The reports and evaluations submitted pursuant to this subsection shall be submitted to the state board and shall be made available upon request to the standing committees on education of the West Virginia Senate and House of Delegates and to the secretary of education and the arts.

(h) Funding sources. -- An agency may receive and disburse funds from the state and federal governments, from member counties, or from gifts and grants.

(i) Employee expenses. -- Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, employees of agencies shall be reimbursed for travel, meals and lodging at the same rate as state employees under the travel management office of the Department of Administration.

A county school district board member may not be an employee of an agency.

(j) Meetings and compensation. --

(1) Agencies shall hold at least one half of their regular meetings during hours other than those of a regular school day. The executive director of each agency shall attend at least one meeting of each of the member county school district boards of education each year to explain the agency's services, garner suggestions for program improvement and provide any other information as may be requested by the county school district board.

(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, county school district board members serving on regional councils may receive compensation at a rate not to exceed $100 per meeting attended, not to exceed fifteen meetings per year. county School district board members serving on regional councils may be reimbursed for travel at the same rate as state employees under the rules of the travel management office of the Department of Administration.


§18-2-26a. Regional meetings on shared services and functions; notice, solicitation of input and approval; reports.


(a) During the months of July and August, 2013, and thereafter biennially within two months following the organizational meetings of county school district boards required by section one-c, article five of this chapter, all county school district superintendents of schools and members of county school district boards belonging to the same regional educational service agency shall meet together to identify administrative, coordinating and other county school district level services and functions that may be shared between or among the county school district boards, especially when resignations, retirements, staffing realignments or similar events may occur. The meeting shall be a special meeting of each participating county school district board, to be called pursuant to section four, article five of this chapter solely for the purposes set forth in this section.

(b) As soon as each meeting is scheduled, the West Virginia School Board Association shall notify the State Superintendent in writing of the time, place and date of the meeting. The association shall conduct the meetings and for that purpose may consult with the regional educational service agencies. The format of the meetings shall be approved by the state board in advance.

(c) Prior to seeking the approval of the state board for the format of the meetings, the association shall solicit input from statewide organizations that have an interest in public education, including organizations representing the interests of parents, business and industry, public school administrators, teachers and service personnel.

(d) By October 1, following the meetings required by this section, the West Virginia School Board Association shall provide a report of the meetings to the state board and the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability. The report shall include, but is not limited to, the following items:

(1) Identification of the administrative, coordinating and other county school district level services and functions that may be shared between or among the county school district boards;

(2) An analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of sharing services in each instance; and

(3) A process for implementing recommended changes.

(e) Subject to state board approval, the county school district board member training standards review committee established by section one-a, article five of this chapter may determine that the attendance of a county school district board member at the meeting required by subsection (a) of this section shall be approved as training related to boardsmanship and governance effectiveness.

(f) Nothing in this section requires the elimination or consolidation of county school districts.


§18-2-34. High school diplomas for surviving veterans of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam Conflict.


(a) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, the state board shall provide for the awarding of a high school diploma to any surviving veteran of World War II, the Korean War, or the Vietnam Conflict, who:

(1) Left school prior to graduation and served in the Armed Forces of the United States;

(2) Did not receive a high school diploma;

(3) Was discharged from the armed forces under honorable conditions; and

(4) Completes the application process as provided by the joint rules of the state board and the veterans' council.

(b) The state board and the veterans' council, created in article one, chapter nine-a of this code, shall jointly propose rules for the identification of eligible veterans and for awarding high school diplomas. The rules shall provide for an application process and the credentials required to receive a high school diploma.

(c) A diploma shall be awarded by the county school district board in the county in which the veteran resides or in the county in which the veteran would have received his or her diploma, whichever location the veteran chooses.

(d) For purposes of this section:

(1)"World War II veteran" means any veteran who performed wartime service between September 16, 1940, and December 31, 1946;

(2) "Korean War veteran" means any veteran who performed military service between June 27, 1950, and January 31, 1955;

(3) "Vietnam Conflict veteran" means any veteran who performed military service between February 28, 1961, and May 7, 1975.

§18-2-35. Dress codes requiring school uniforms for students.


(a) The Legislature hereby finds that the clothing and footwear worn by students in public schools often preoccupy and distract students from their major purpose for being in school, which is obtaining an education. The Legislature finds that in schools that have adopted a dress code requiring students to wear school uniforms, disparities in student socioeconomic levels are less obvious and disruptive incidents are less likely to occur.

(b) The state board shall promulgate rules in accordance with article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code that allow a county school district board to implement a dress code requiring students to wear a school uniform. The uniforms may be required by the county school district board for either a school district, or for any certain school within the district. The rules shall provide at least the following:

(1) The county school district board may create an advisory committee comprised of parents, school employees and students for the purpose of considering whether the board should adopt a dress code requiring school uniforms for students in the district;

(2) The county school district board may create an advisory committee comprised of parents, school employees and students for the purpose of considering whether the board should adopt a dress code requiring school uniforms for students in any certain school within the district;

(3) If the advisory committee recommends to the board that a dress code requiring school uniforms for students be adopted either for the district or for any certain school within the district, the advisory committee also shall make recommendations on alternative methods of paying for the school uniforms; and

(4) If the advisory committee recommends to the board that a dress code requiring school uniforms for students be adopted either for the district or for any certain school within the district and if the advisory committee reports its recommendations on alternative methods of paying for the school uniforms to the board, the board may adopt a dress code requiring school uniforms for students.

(c) Nothing in this section requires a county school district board to adopt a dress code requiring school uniforms for students.

(d) Nothing in this section requires any level of funding by the Legislature, boards of education or any other agency of government.


§18-2-36. Framework for initiating comprehensive transformation of school leadership.


(a) Legislative findings.--

(1) The report and recommendations of Imagine West Virginia on Transforming School Leadership in West Virginia are clearly on point that school leadership and the essential role of the principal in achieving a high performing school are well documented, long studied and too often set aside. The report and recommendations also clearly recognize the value of providing teachers with authentic opportunities and resources to lead, influence professional practice, and assume shared responsibility for school and classroom improvement. The recommendations related to school leadership, the role, preparation and selection of the principal and a career ladder for teacher leaders once again bring the importance of strong school-level instructional leadership, including mechanisms for career advancement for teachers in leadership roles, to the forefront of discussions on school improvement. The state board posted the report recommendations for comment with the intent of providing a starting point for deeper deliberation and stakeholder input.

(2) Among the general conclusions of the Education Efficiency Audit of West Virginia’s Primary and Secondary Education System is the need to drive more educational decision-making down to the level closest to the students, to the classroom and building level, allowing principals to lead and teachers to deliver the most effective curriculum for their students, and then holding them accountable for student success.  Such a system heightens the imperative for strong school leadership.  The school climate and culture observed in high quality schools reflects strong leadership that develops shared beliefs and values among the staff, high expectations for all, and a safe, orderly and engaging environment.  A key concept in developing good school leadership and then holding schools accountable for student performance is that they have the authority, resources and flexibility to affect the outcome.

(3) An increasing body of knowledge concludes that unless teachers are collectively involved in the planning and implementation of school improvement, it is unlikely to be sustained.  Successful schools are distinguishable from unsuccessful ones by the frequency and extent to which teachers discuss professional practices, collectively design materials and inform and critique one another.  Even successful schools must be self-renewing systems, learning organizations marked by deliberate effort to identify helpful knowledge and spread its use within the organization.  Again, leadership by the principal combined with authentic roles for teacher leaders are necessary ingredients.

(4) The school responsibilities for accreditation adopted by the state board to implement West Virginia’s performance based accreditation system embodied in section five, article two-e of this chapter, the Process for Improving Education, include a collective and collaborative process for continuous school improvement led by the principal.  The process includes data analysis, goal setting, strategic planning, progress review and results analysis.  It includes identifying what and where improvement is needed, establishing goals and a strategic plan for improved student learning, defining the roles and responsibilities of all team members, securing the professional development needed to achieve the goals, and sharing the responsibility and rewards for the results.  The principal must foster and develop distributed leadership in order to focus collective action for improved school performance.  The school’s faculty and members of the Local School Improvement Council must participate effectively in the self-assessment and annual and cyclical reviews of school performance to effect a process of continuous improvement.

(5) The prior studies and Imagine WV report in which they are cited recognize that the job of principal has become overwhelming.  The report focuses on instructional leadership as the most important role of the principal, but notes that it has become a less prominent function in the overall job of being a principal.  The diminished time devoted to instructional leadership has been a gradual crowding out by other necessary functions, rather than a conscience choice.   Just as important for high performing schools is the strong leadership role necessary for operations management, establishing the climate and culture of the school as a learning environment, and instructional leadership.  All require strong leadership skills, but in a different context.  They require different skill sets, all of which are needed to lead high quality schools.  The reality, however, is that these many responsibilities inherent in the operation of high quality schools compete for time and it is difficult for principals to do them all well.  Various scenarios have been discussed for enabling a heightened focus on instructional leadership, including the introduction of school manager positions or the broader use of assistant principals in all schools to allow greater principal attention to instructional improvement.  A further scenario builds upon the research that high quality schools are distinguishable by the collective and collaborative involvement of teachers in sustained school improvement.  It brings a heightened focus on instructional leadership to assist, and under direction of, the principal by providing authentic opportunities for teacher leaders to participate and assume greater responsibility.  This scenario involves various approaches to reward excellent teaching, to provide the time necessary for excellent teachers to lead instructional improvement, and to enable excellent teachers to advance in their teaching careers and levels of compensation through instructional leadership positions without leaving the classroom completely.

(6) Emerging research and policy direction toward distributed leadership and shared responsibility for results as cited in these findings, elevate the focus for all teachers on instructional improvement, and particularly for excellent teachers to assume instructional leadership roles.  In most schools today, excellent teachers rarely have authority, time, or sustained incentives to lead while teaching.  Developing models for supporting new teacher induction, for professional development and mentoring for struggling teachers, and for teacher collaboration on instructional improvement all involve a role for teacher leaders.  As professional educators, teachers should have an established structure through which they can advance their careers as experienced instructional leaders without leaving classroom teaching completely.  Like other professionals, teachers should be afforded an opportunity to take on more responsibility, share their expertise with other less experienced teachers and advance their teaching career as teacher leaders.  Like other professions, teaching should provide for a routine progression of continuing education for license maintenance and opportunities for salary advancement as additional knowledge, skill and expertise are acquired that directly affect student learning.  Examples of leadership roles that may be performed by teachers include serving on the school leadership team, leading collective and collaborative processes for strategic improvement planning, leading teacher collaboration processes within the school day, leading the faculty senate, serving on the local school improvement council, supervising student teachers, serving as mentors and models for new and struggling teachers and teachers-in-residence, and helping arrange school level professional development.  Ideally, in an opportunity culture for teachers, career paths and teacher pay will recognize and reward the value of excellent teaching and teacher leadership roles for extending excellent teaching to all students consistently.

(7) Education is a human resources intensive endeavor.  It competes for talented professionals with other occupations with higher levels of compensation, particularly in the STEM fields. While opportunities for career advancement and added compensation for teachers under career ladder type arrangements may improve the attractiveness of the profession for excellent teachers, it will not replace the need for general salary increases.  In West Virginia and nationally, the enrollments in college and university teacher preparation programs are declining.  For West Virginia particularly, the need to recruit and retain excellent teachers is exacerbated by the increasing numbers of retirements of a very senior teaching force.  Increasingly important will be a variety of methods for encouraging and supporting an interest in the teaching profession, preparing the next generation of educators, actively recruiting top talent graduating from teacher preparation programs and supporting their development through the first years of their careers.  In the human resources intensive business of education, human resource development should not be left to chance.

(b) Legislative purpose, intent, process for stakeholder input; items for recommendation.--

(1) The purpose of this section is to provide a framework for development of the statutory and policy changes needed to support and sustain a comprehensive transformation of school leadership.  A further purpose of this section is to initiate the comprehensive transformation of school leadership through a general statement of legislative intent to pursue this change in public policy and, thereby, provide assurances and parameters under which the work toward this change may proceed. It is expected that the transformation will affect both the public education system and the educator preparation programs at institutions of higher education to develop, prepare and credential teacher, principal and administrative leaders to accomplish a systemic change in school leadership.  It is expected that the transformation will involve multiple, and in some cases sequential, steps that may require a period of years to accomplish to ensure that the necessary supports are in place to enable school leaders to meet the expectations of new roles and responsibilities and to finance the necessary improvements.

(2) It is further expected that the transformation will involve roles and responsibilities for leadership that may not match the certification and training of all of those currently in leadership positions. Therefore, the options for implementation will need to take the existing legacy into account to minimize cost and system disruption while bringing new models of leadership for instructional improvement to every school expeditiously.  Finally, it is expected that district size and resources, school size and programmatic level, existing leadership positions, and differences in school performance may all be factors that will affect the transformation of school leadership within the various school systems and they should be afforded ample local flexibility for establishing priorities and implementation within their schools.

(3) The findings set forth in subsection (a) of this section provide a context for considering a leadership framework that promotes instructional improvement and for determining the statutory and policy changes needed to enable it.  It is the intent of the Legislature to begin this transformation through a process of broad stakeholder input to consider and make recommendations to accomplish this task.  Therefore, the state board shall convene the relevant stakeholders, including, but not limited to, principals, teachers, superintendents, county school district board members, educator preparation program personnel, legislators or their designees and a Governor’s designee to assist the state board in developing state board policies, practices and recommended statutory changes consistent with the findings of this section.  Among the issues the state board shall consider are:

(A) Issues relating to principal leadership that include, but are not limited to, the following:

(i) A clear definition of the role and responsibilities of principals and assistant principals in statute and policy that include leadership for instructional improvement;

(ii) The role and responsibilities of the principal as the legally responsible party in charge of the school with the added need for authority and flexibility to delegate responsibilities to accomplish a distributed leadership model for instructional improvement;

(iii) Leadership standards that include the essential role of the principal for leadership in developing a culture of collegiality and professionalism among the staff so that improving student learning is a shared responsibility;

(iv) The scope of topics to be covered in the preparation programs and certifications for principals and assistant principals;

(v) A process of preparing new principals that may include clinical experiences and mentoring through a partnership between higher education and county school district boards.  It may include a commitment of county school district board resources to assist in the training, as well as a commitment from the candidate to stay in the system for some period of time;

(vi) The additional school-level tools needed to give good principals the flexibility and authority necessary for success, including additional independent, school-level authority needed to adequately fulfill the responsibilities;

(vii) A method of implementation under which the capacity of the principal for leading is a condition precedent to implementation of methods for distributed leadership;

(viii) Limitations on the employment of new principals to those candidates prepared and credentialed under the new standards, or some comparable standards approved by the state board, and limitations on the applicability of Master’s degrees in education administration for advanced salary classification if earned after a certain date following state board approval of a new preparation program; and

(ix) Differentiation and improvements in the salary schedules and increments for principals subject to the newly defined roles and responsibilities for school leadership;

(B) Issues relating to teacher leadership that include, but are not limited to, the following:

(i) Various approaches that reward excellent teaching, provide authentic opportunities for excellent teachers to influence professional practice and enable excellent teachers to advance in their teaching careers and compensation without leaving the classroom completely including, but are not limited to, incentive increments, career lattice steps and career ladder positions;

(ii) Incentive increments in the salary scale for advanced degrees, approved course work or advanced certification in the teacher’s area of certification and for excellent teaching;

(iii) Career lattice steps that provide extra pay and/or extra time for teachers for specific types of assignments made by the principal or, in some cases, by the faculty senate for instructional and school improvement work.  These types of steps may not be permanent and may change or involve different teachers and team members from time to time depending on the needs of the school and the ability of teachers to participate;

(iv) Career ladder steps that are permanent steps for master teachers who possess the appropriate leadership certification to progress in teacher leadership positions with additional compensation and reduced teaching load to assume duties under the direction of the principal without leaving the classroom completely;

(v) A clear definition in statute and policy of the role and responsibilities of career ladder teacher leaders that includes leadership for instructional improvement;

(vi) Career ladder teacher leader standards that include the essential role of leadership in developing a culture of collegiality and professionalism among the staff so that improving student learning is a shared responsibility;

(vii) The scope of topics to be covered in the preparation programs and certifications for career ladder teacher leaders;

(viii) Appropriate limitations on the number of teachers in career lattice positions and on the number of teachers in career ladder positions, separately, for schools of different size and programmatic level; and

(ix) An additional incentive increment in the salary scale for excellent teachers and principals who accept transfer to a low performing school for a certain number of years;

(C) Issues relating to a leadership development pipeline that include, but are not limited to, the following:

(i) A comprehensive leadership development process for school systems to identify, recruit and train outstanding leadership candidates consistent with numbers needed to meet the projected needs of the school system;

(ii) A method for school-level identification of those teachers who most clearly demonstrate budding leadership qualities as potential candidates for development into the career ladder teacher leaders, assistant principals and principals of the future;

(iii) Appropriate school district and higher education partnerships for preparation, support and credentialing at each step so the focus on instructional leadership will become pervasive; and

(iv) Allowances that may be necessary to fill positions during the transition to new leadership models; and

(D) Issues related to local and state systems of support that include, but are not limited to, the following:

(i) Information management tools that enhance the capacity of school leaders and leadership teams to quickly assemble performance information on student learning and other aspects of the school’s learning environment into the actionable intelligence needed for strategic planning, adjusting instructional strategies and focusing on individual student needs;

(ii) School-level tools or resources that give principals a flexible, timely and targeted way to meet the professional development needs of teachers at their school;

(iii) Methods to help ensure the uniformity and inter-rater reliability of the portion of the professional personnel performance evaluation based on teaching standards;

(iv) Additional state-level infrastructure that may be needed to support the additional credentialing and monitoring of course work and degree attainment for salary progressions and new leadership positions;

(v) Methods to support, encourage and facilitate school-level leadership for instructional improvement, to endorse and encourage innovation to improve the success of all students rather than rely on top-down enforcement of one size fits all approaches to education; and

 (vi) Methods to establish an emphasis on human resource management including, but not limited to, approaches to improve the position posting and recruitment of new graduates for shortage area positions, and improving the retention of new professional personnel.

(c) Reports and recommendations to Legislature and Governor.--

(1) Not later than regular session of the Legislature, 2018, the state board shall make a report to the Joint Standing Committee on Education and the Governor on transforming school leadership including, at a minimum:

(A) Recommendations on a general leadership structure and definitions of the roles and responsibilities for principals and teacher leaders;

(B) Identification of affected statutes and policies, including pending and completed policy revisions, and recommendations for statutory amendments, if any, needed to effectuate its recommendations;

(C) An outline of sequential implementation of the changes needed to transform school leadership, and recommendations for phased implementation, if any; and

(D) The estimated costs of implementation of the recommendations and statutory changes necessary to effectuate the recommendations along with potential funding sources from improved efficiencies or other cost savings from the 5 elimination of unnecessary operations or programs.

ARTICLE 2A. ADOPTION OF TEXTBOOKS, INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS AND LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES.


§18-2A-1. Definition; adoption groups; adoption schedule.

(a) "Instructional Resources" include print materials, electronic resources and systems, or combinations of such instructional resources which convey information to the pupil.

 (b) Instructional resources approved for adoption and listed on the state multiple list shall substantially cover the required content and skills for the subject as approved by the state board. The instructional resources shall be current and the information shall be presented accurately. The instructional resources may consist of a single resource, print or electronic, or a compilation of resources, print or electronic, that together cover the required criteria established for approval as a primary instructional resource. The resources may be updated or otherwise changed and improved on an ongoing basis to ensure that they are current and accurate.

(c) On or before July 1 of each year, the state board shall classify the elementary and secondary school subjects required to be taught in the schools of our state into adoption groups by related subject fields as nearly as possible. A schedule for the periods of adoption, not to exceed six years, shall be determined by the state board. However, during the school year beginning on July 1, 2010, the state board shall develop a method by which newly developed and substantially revised instructional materials submitted by vendors or available as open resources may be reviewed for compliance with established criteria. When an instructional resource is found to be in compliance with established criteria, it may be added to the official multiple list and thereafter be available for adoption by a county school district board. County school district board instructional resources adoption committees may request a waiver of the adoption cycles from the state board. Software, print and electronic magazines, print and electronic newspapers and other print and electronic periodicals and other licensed or subscription-based instructional resources may be purchased county school district board for classroom use to supplement those items adopted on the state multiple list without having to comply with the adoption procedures provided in this article.

(d) Software, print and electronic magazines, print and electronic newspapers and print and electronic periodicals are considered to be instructional resources for purposes of special excess levies subject to the provisions of section sixteen, article eight, chapter eleven of this code when the described purpose under that section is for textbooks or instructional resources.

(e) A county school district board that selects an electronic instructional resource may, subject to the approval by the state board of its request to do so, choose not to renew that option before the end of the established contract period and select a new or different instructional resource from the official multiple listing before the end of the established contract period.

(f) The vendor of an adopted electronic resource, after notice of explanation to the state board, may offer an update to the navigational features or management system, or both, related to the learning technology and may update the content of the learning technology as needed to accurately reflect current knowledge or information without charge. Vendor changes to the electronic resources may not require the purchase of a new operating system during the established contract period. Vendors shall continue to provide support for the version adopted.

(g) The state board shall adopt guidelines and procedures for updates and changes to electronic instructional resources submitted by vendors.

§18-2A-2. Request for samples and bids; deposit by bidder; selection, approval and publication of multiple list.


(a) Prior to each adoption year, and not later than August 1, the state board by written request or otherwise shall ask the various vendors of instructional resources, print or electronic, or any combination thereof, to submit samples and prices on items considered appropriate by the state board to teach the curriculum in the public elementary and secondary schools of the state for the current adoption period. The state board also shall accept for consideration newly developed and substantially revised instructional resources for content areas not in the current adoption cycle.

(b) All bids or proposals shall be under seal, and each bidder shall deposit in the State Treasury such sum of money as the state board may designate, such deposit to be not less than $1,000, and not more than $3,000 and such deposit shall be forfeited to the general school fund if such bidder shall fail or refuse to make and execute such contract and bond as are herein required in case of acceptance of all or part of the vendor's bid, and otherwise shall be returned to such bidder after the contract has been made. The state board reserves the right to set the sum of money a vendor is required to deposit in the State Treasury upon submitting a bid: Provided, That the vendor has a previous history of failure or refusal to execute contracts or bonds with the State of West Virginia. The state board may set and collect review fees from publishers and vendors participating in the state instructional resources approval and adoption process.

(c) All bids shall be opened by the state board, or its designee, in public session. After considering the subject matter, product quality, general suitableness, and prices of items submitted, the state board shall, prior to March 1 of each year in which approvals for adoption are made by it, establish a committee of teachers and other educational specialists, including a sufficient number with experience with electronic instructional resources, and with the aid of the committee, shall on or before December 1, prior to county school district adoptions, select, approve and publish a list of items in each subject and grade in the elementary and secondary subjects required to be taught by the state board. The committee of teachers and other educational specialists shall report their recommendations to the state board on or before November 15 of the year preceding the adoption by the county school district board. The state board may create a standing committee of teachers and other education specialists, including a sufficient number with experience with electronic instructional resources, for each subject and grade level to review all new or revised instructional resources submitted after the initial approvals for adoption.


§18-2A-3. Disposition of and requests for samples.

(a) Items to be reviewed in excess of the official sample submitted to the state board for examination shall remain the property of the vendor submitting them if claimed within thirty days after state board adoption of the multiple list. If not claimed within that period, the items may be sold by the state board and the money credited to the Department of Education Instructional Resources Fund or items may be distributed to state educational agencies.

(b) Sample items submitted to county school district boards or regional education service agency selection teams remain the property of the vendor submitting them if claimed within thirty days after instructional materials have been formally adopted. Unclaimed items may be distributed free of charge by the respective county school district board or regional educational service agency to any school, library or individual who may have need for the sample items.

(c) Vendors claiming samples within the thirty-day period shall notify the respective board of education or regional education service agency at the time samples are submitted for study of their intent to recall the samples. All costs shall be borne by the vendors.

(d) No county school district or regional education service agency adoption committee is entitled to request or receive more than eight free samples of any multigrade program being considered for adoption. Any single grade level subject area items used above grade six shall be limited to five free samples per county school district selection committee. Any individual requesting samples in excess of these limits shall be billed by the vendor at the lowest wholesale price plus shipping. In the case of electronic instructional resources, it is sufficient for vendors to provide access for the purpose of reviewing the resources via a user name and password to a web-based resource or through on-line file transfer or download.


§18-2A-4. Execution of contracts; bond.

(a) When the selection and approval of the multiple list have been properly made, it is the duty of the state board to furnish contracts for the selected items with the vendors within thirty days of the approval and adoption of the multiple list, prepare a list of the adopted resources on the multiple list and publish it in electronic format and make the list available through a page on the West Virginia Department of Education web page. The contract for adoption shall run for a period of time as designated by the state board.

(b) Each vendor awarded a contract by the West Virginia Department of Education shall enter into a bond payable to the State of West Virginia in the penal sum of not less than $2,000 and not more than $10,000 to be approved by the state board of public works. The bond shall be executed as surety by a responsible surety company authorized to carry on its business in West Virginia. The contract shall be prepared by the Attorney General in accordance with the terms and provisions of this article. The contract shall be executed in triplicate, one copy to be held by the vendor, one by the state board and one attached to the bond filed with the board of public works.

(c) Bonds required of successful vendors shall provide that:

(1) The vendor will furnish any of the instructional resources on the multiple list under vendors contract for the period of the adoption, from the date of the bond, to any county school district, a dealer appointed by the county school district, or any state board approved depository or depositories as defined in section seven of this article, at the lowest wholesale price contained in the bids or contracts made to any other county school district unit, dealer, county, school or depository in any other state, like conditions prevailing. The state board shall determine, from time to time, the terms of the bids and contracts and may require the vendor to bear the costs of shipping, mail or transportation or offer any other financial benefit available in the highest amount paid by a vendor to any other county school district unit, dealer, county school district or depository in any other state: Provided, That the state board shall decide whether from time to time bids and contracts for instructional resources are to be for the delivery directly to each county school district unit, dealer appointed by the county school district, county school district or to each depository or depositories, or any combination thereof, under this section.

(2) The vendor will automatically reduce the prices in West Virginia when prices are reduced anywhere in the United States, so that no such item or items shall at any time be sold in West Virginia at a higher wholesale price than received for items elsewhere in the United States, like conditions prevailing.

(3) All items sold in West Virginia will be identical with the official samples submitted to the state board as regards quality standards, specifications, subject matter, and other particulars which may affect the value of the items. The state board may, however, during the period of the contract approve revised editions of adopted items, which will authorize a vendor to furnish such revisions. All contracts and bonds shall be filed in accordance with the appropriate state board process prior to July 1.


§18-2A-5. Selection by county school district boards; school curriculum teams.

(a) Vendors, upon requests of county school district superintendents, shall furnish to county school district boards the requested sample copies of resources that were selected and placed on the state multiple list by the state board in accordance with the provisions of section three of this article. In the case of electronic instructional resources, it is sufficient for vendors to provide access for the purpose of reviewing the resources via a web-hosted online format.

(b) School curriculum teams shall make their curriculum and instructional needs known to the county school district superintendent and selection committees prior to the consideration of any adopted grouping in accordance with the provisions of section three of this article. The county school district board shall, upon recommendation of the county school district superintendent with the aid of a committee of teachers and not later than May 1 of the year following that in which the multiple list for the group was made and approved, select from the state multiple list one or more resources to deliver instruction for a period as provided for elsewhere in this article. Counties School Districts are authorized to include nonvoting advisors from the general public in the adoption process, but shall require advisors to provide their assessment of the resources appropriate for the subject before the voting committee commences the selection process.

(c) In order to avoid duplication and to maximize resources, with agreement of all county school district superintendents within a regional education service agency area and subsequent regional education service agency actions, a regional education service agency instructional resources selection team may be established to conduct a review of selected resources placed on the state multiple list by the state board. The membership of the selection team will be established through agreement of the county school district superintendents with representation of all counties school districts, including any nonvoting advisors from the general public. The resource selection team will provide recommendations to each county school district superintendent for consideration, review and adoption by each county school district board.

(d) County School district boards adopting electronic instructional resources shall ensure equity of access for all students at school and shall have a plan to provide equity of access at home if necessary through alternate avenues including, but not limited to, print, software, and hardware support.


§18-2A-8. Instructional resources must be approved and listed; when changes may be effected; rules.

(a) No instructional resource, print or electronic, may be used in any public elementary or secondary school in West Virginia as the primary source to deliver the instructional goals and objectives for state required courses unless it has been approved and listed on the state multiple list by the state board, except as otherwise provided in this section. Any changes of items made by the state board shall become effective upon approval. The state board may upon request by a county school district board and upon justification of that request, and subsequent to the adoption by a county school district board approve the adoption of additional items to meet the needs of specific children which were not provided for in the original adoption, or waive the requirement to adopt and use resources in a particular school as provided for in section six, article five-a of this chapter. Nothing in this section shall apply to the supplementary items that are needed from time to time.

(b) The state board may grant permission to county school district boards for the continued use of previously adopted resources that are listed on the most recently expired multiple list appropriate for the subject category under consideration. The continued use shall not exceed a period as designated by the state board. The state board may make such rules as it may deem necessary and expedient to carry out the provisions of this article.


§18-2A-9. Gifts and bribes to influence adoption of instructional resources a felony; penalty.

Any member of the state board, any county school district superintendent, any member of a county school district board or any other person who shall receive, solicit, or accept any gift, present, or thing of value to influence that individual in the vote for the adoption of instructional resources, print or electronic, or any combination thereof, or any person who shall either directly or indirectly give or offer to give any such gift, present, or thing of value to any person to influence that individual in voting for the adoption of instructional resources, print or electronic, or any combination thereof, shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in a correctional facility for not less than one year nor more than three years.


ARTICLE 2C. HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION OR BULLYING PROHIBITION.


§18-2C-3. Policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying.

(a) Each county school district board shall establish a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying. Each county school district board has control over the content of its policy as long as the policy contains, at a minimum, the requirements of subdivision (b) of this section. The policy shall be adopted through a process that includes representation of parents or guardians, school employees, school volunteers, students and community members.

(b) Each county school district board policy shall, at a minimum, include the following components:

(1) A statement prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying of any student on school property, a school bus, at a school bus stop or at school sponsored events;

(2) A definition of harassment, intimidation or bullying no less inclusive than that in section two of this article;

(3) A procedure for reporting prohibited incidents;

(4) A requirement that school personnel report prohibited incidents of which they are aware;

(5) A requirement that parents or guardians of any student involved in an incident prohibited pursuant to this article be notified;

(6) A procedure for documenting any prohibited incident that is reported;

(7) A procedure for responding to and investigating any reported incident;

(8) A strategy for protecting a victim from additional harassment, intimidation or bullying, and from retaliation following a report;

(9) A disciplinary procedure for any student guilty of harassment, intimidation or bullying;

(10) A requirement that any information relating to a reported incident is confidential, and exempt from disclosure under the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-b of this code; and

(11) A requirement that each county school district board shall input into the uniform integrated regional computer information system (commonly known as the West Virginia Education Information System) described in section twenty-six, article two of this chapter, and compile an annual report regarding the means of harassment, intimidation or bullying that have been reported to them, and the reasons therefor, if known. The West Virginia Department of Education shall compile the information and report it annually beginning July 1, 2012, to the Legislative Oversight Committee on Education Accountability.

(c) Each county school district board shall adopt the policy and submit a copy to the State Superintendent of Schools by December 1, 2011.

(d) To assist county school district boards in developing their policies, the West Virginia Department of Education shall develop a model policy applicable to grades kindergarten through twelfth. The model policy shall be issued by September 1, 2011.

(e) Notice of the county school district board's policy shall appear in any student handbook, and in any county school district board publication that sets forth the comprehensive rules, procedures and standards of conduct for the school.

§18-2C-5. Policy training and education.


(a) Schools and county school district boards are encouraged, but not required, to form bullying prevention task forces, programs and other initiatives involving school staff, students, teachers, administrators, volunteers, parents, law enforcement and community members.

(b) To the extent state or federal funds are appropriated for these purposes, each school district shall:

(1) Provide training on the harassment, intimidation or bullying policy to school employees and volunteers who have direct contact with students; and

(2) Develop a process for educating students on the harassment, intimidation or bullying policy.

(c) Information regarding the county school district board policy against harassment, intimidation or bullying shall be incorporated into each school's current employee training program.


ARTICLE 2D. COMMUNITY EDUCATION.


§18-2D-4. County School district boards of education authorized to participate.

Each county school district board of education in this state is hereby authorized, but not obligated, to coordinate a community education program within its county district.


ARTICLE 2E. HIGH QUALITY EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS.


§18-2E-3a. Honors and advanced placement programs.

(a) The purpose of this section is to provide honors and advanced placement programs to meet the needs of students who have the potential and desire to complete curriculum more demanding than that offered in the regular classroom for their current grade level. Honors programs are those programs offering courses to expand the academic content in a given program of study and may include but shall not be limited to research and in-depth studies, mentorships, content-focused seminars, and extended learning outcomes instruction in the content area. Advanced placement programs are those programs offering classes which are advanced in terms of content and performance expectations of those normally available for the age/grade level of the student and providing credit toward graduation and possible college credit. Advanced placement classes also include those recognized or offered by the college board, postsecondary institutions and other recognized foundations, corporations or institutions.

Curriculum approved under this section shall be designed to advance the achievement of students in the subject area or areas in which the student has achieved at least two of the following three criteria: (a) Demonstrated exceptional ability and interest through past performance, (b) obtained the prerequisite knowledge and skills to perform honors or advanced placement work, and (c) recommended by the student's former or present teachers. Honors and advanced placement curriculum may include advanced placement courses offered through the college board or other public or private foundations, corporations, institutions, or businesses whose courses are generally accepted as leading to advanced placement or standing in a postsecondary institution, accelerated instructional courses offered via satellite and other courses and arrangements, approved by the state board, which provide students an opportunity to advance their learning above that offered through the regular curriculum. To the maximum extent possible, honors and advanced placement courses shall be taught by a regular classroom teacher. Such classroom teacher shall have adequate knowledge in the subject area for the instruction of such course. If a teacher, licensed by the state board, with adequate knowledge in the advanced subject area is not available, an adjunct teacher or other qualified person may be employed, contracted for, or shared between schools to instruct such course: Provided, That the position shall be posted annually prior to the beginning of the school year immediately following the school year in which the adjunct teacher or other qualified person is employed. The state board may grant waivers to existing certification requirements for an adjunct teacher or other qualified person who has an earned bachelors degree and has demonstrated competence in the subject to be taught.

(b) The honors and advanced placement curriculum shall be phased-in in accordance with the following schedule:

(1) Prior to June 1, 1989, the state board shall establish a program coordinated through the colleges and universities or some other entity, to provide training to teachers in the instruction of honors and advanced placement courses: Provided, That the state board shall not establish an additional certification area for the teaching of honors or advanced placement courses.

(2) To assist in the implementation of teacher training for honors and advanced placement instruction, there shall be an appropriation to the state board;

(3) On or before June 1, 1989, and each year thereafter, teachers shall be selected to teach honors and advanced placement courses based upon the teacher's qualifications and academic interests and the needs of the students. The county school district boards of education shall, if necessary, make arrangements for the teachers to attend a training program;

(4) Beginning in the school year 1990-91, each county school district board shall provide in grades nine through twelve honors and advanced placement courses as provided under subsection (a) of this section.

(c) The state board shall designate one employee who is an expert in the area of higher education financial aid, including, but not limited to, loans, grants and work studies, to work on a full-time continuous basis with high school counselors to ensure that all high school students are informed of the availability of financial assistance to attend college.


§18-2E-4. Better schools accountability; school, school district and statewide school report cards.

(a) For the purpose of providing information to the parents of public school children and the general public on the quality of education in the public schools which is uniform and comparable between schools within and among the various school districts, the state board shall prepare forms for school, school district and statewide school report cards and shall promulgate rules concerning the collection and reporting of data and the preparation, printing and distribution of report cards under this section. The forms shall provide for brief, concise reporting in nontechnical language of required information. Any technical or explanatory material a county school district board wishes to include shall be contained in a separate appendix available to the general public upon request.

(b) The school report cards shall include information as prescribed by lawfully promulgated rule by the state board to give the parents of students at the school and the general public an indication of the quality of education at the school and other programs supportive of community needs, including, but not limited to, the following:

(1) Indicators of student performance at the school in comparison with the county school district, state, regional and national student performance, as applicable, including student performance by grade level in the various subjects measured pursuant to a uniform statewide assessment program adopted by the state board; school attendance rates; the percent of students not promoted to next grade; and the graduation rate;

(2) Indicators of school performance in comparison with the aggregate of all other schools in the county school district and the state, as applicable, including average class size; percent of enrollments in courses in high school mathematics, science, English and social science; amount of time per day devoted to mathematics, science, English and social science at middle, junior high and high school grade levels; percentage distribution of students by career cluster as indicated on the individualized student transition plan; pupil-teacher ratio; number of exceptions to pupil-teacher ratio requested by the county school district board and the number of exceptions granted; the number of split-grade classrooms; pupil-administrator ratio; operating expenditure per pupil; county school district expenditure by fund in graphic display; and the average degree classification and years of experience of the administrators and teachers at the school;

(3) The names of the members of the local school improvement council, created pursuant to section two, article five-a of this chapter; and

(4) The name or names of the business partner or partners of the school.

 In addition, every county school district board annually shall determine the number of administrators, classroom teachers and service personnel employed that exceeds the number allowed by the public school support plan and determine the amount of salary supplements that would be available per state authorized employee if all expenditures for the excess employees were converted to annual salaries for state authorized administrators, classroom teachers and service personnel within their county school district. The information shall be published annually in each school report card of each such county school district.

(c) The school district report card shall include the data for each school for each separately listed applicable indicator and the aggregate of the data for all schools, as applicable, in the county school district for each indicator. The statewide school report card shall include the data for each county school district for each separately listed indicator and the aggregate for all counties school districts for each indicator.

(d) The report cards shall be prepared using actual local school, county, state, regional and national data indicating the present performance of the school and also shall include the state norms and the upcoming year's targets for the school and the county school district board.

The state board shall provide technical assistance to each county school district board in preparing the school and school district report cards.

Each county school district board shall prepare report cards in accordance with the guidelines set forth in this section. The school district report cards shall be presented at a regular school board meeting subject to applicable notice requirements and shall be made available to a newspaper of general circulation serving the district. The school report cards shall be mailed directly to the parent or parents of each child enrolled in that school. In addition, each county school district board shall submit the completed report cards to the state board which shall make copies available to any person requesting them.

The report cards shall be completed and disseminated prior to January 1, 1989, and in each year thereafter, and shall be based upon information for the current school year, or for the most recent school year for which the information is available, in which case the year shall be clearly footnoted.

(e) In addition to the requirements of subsection (c) of this section, the school district report card shall list the following information:

(1) The names of the members of the county school district board, the dates upon which their terms expire and whether they have attended an orientation program for new members approved by the state board and conducted by the West Virginia School Board Association or other approved organizations;

(2) The number of hours of training that meets state board standards that county school district board members have received during the school term reported; and

(3) The names of the county school school district superintendent and every assistant and associate superintendent and any training programs related to their area of school administration which they have attended.

The information also shall be reported by district in the statewide school report card.

(f) The state board shall develop and implement a separate report card for nontraditional public schools pursuant to the appropriate provisions of this section to the extent practicable.


            §18-2E-4a. Exception to requirement of mailing school report cards.

Notwithstanding the provisions of section four of this article requiring school report cards to be mailed directly to the parent or parents of each child enrolled in the school, such report cards may, at the option of the county school district board of education, be mailed as provided in said section four or be given to each child for delivery to his or her parent, parents, custodian or legal guardian: Provided, That if the school report card is delivered by the child, written verification must be received by the school indicating the parent, parents, custodian or legal guardian has received the school report card.


§18-2E-5. Process for improving education; education standards; statewide assessment program; accountability measures; Office of Education Performance Audits; school accreditation and school system approval; intervention to correct low performance.


(a) Legislative findings, purpose and intent. — The Legislature makes the following findings with respect to the process for improving education and its purpose and intent in the enactment of this section:

(1) The process for improving education includes four primary elements, these being:

(A) Standards which set forth the knowledge and skills that students should know and be able to perform as the result of a thorough and efficient education that prepares them for the twenty-first century, including measurable criteria to evaluate student performance and progress;

(B) Assessments of student performance and progress toward meeting the standards;

(C) A system of accountability for continuous improvement defined by high-quality standards for schools and school systems articulated by a rule promulgated by the state board and outlined in subsection (c) of this section that will build capacity in schools and districts to meet rigorous outcomes that assure student performance and progress toward obtaining the knowledge and skills intrinsic to a high-quality education rather than monitoring for compliance with specific laws and regulations; and

(D) A method for building the capacity and improving the efficiency of schools and school systems to improve student performance and progress;

(2) As the constitutional body charged with the general supervision of schools as provided by general law, the state board has the authority and the responsibility to establish the standards, assess the performance and progress of students against the standards, hold schools and school systems accountable and assist schools and school systems to build capacity and improve efficiency so that the standards are met, including, when necessary, seeking additional resources in consultation with the Legislature and the Governor;

(3) As the constitutional body charged with providing for a thorough and efficient system of schools, the Legislature has the authority and the responsibility to establish and be engaged constructively in the determination of the knowledge and skills that students should know and be able to do as the result of a thorough and efficient education. This determination is made by using the process for improving education to determine when school improvement is needed by evaluating the results and the efficiency of the system of schools, by ensuring accountability and by providing for the necessary capacity and its efficient use;

(4) In consideration of these findings, the purpose of this section is to establish a process for improving education that includes the four primary elements as set forth in subdivision (1) of this subsection to provide assurances that the high-quality standards are, at a minimum, being met and that a thorough and efficient system of schools is being provided for all West Virginia public school students on an equal education opportunity basis; and

(5) The intent of the Legislature in enacting this section and section five-c of this article is to establish a process through which the Legislature, the Governor and the state board can work in the spirit of cooperation and collaboration intended in the process for improving education, to consult and examine the performance and progress of students, schools and school systems and, when necessary, to consider alternative measures to ensure that all students continue to receive the thorough and efficient education to which they are entitled. However, nothing in this section requires any specific level of funding by the Legislature.

(b) Electronic county school district and school strategic improvement plans. — The state board shall promulgate a rule consistent with the provisions of this section and in accordance with article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code establishing an electronic county school district strategic improvement plan for each county school district board and an electronic school strategic improvement plan for each public school in this state. Each respective plan shall be for a period of no more than five years and shall include the mission and goals of the school or school system to improve student, school or school system performance and progress, as applicable. The strategic plan shall be revised annually in each area in which the school or system is below the standard on the annual performance measures. The plan shall be revised when required pursuant to this section to include each annual performance measure upon which the school or school system fails to meet the standard for performance and progress, the action to be taken to meet each measure, a separate time line and a date certain for meeting each measure, a cost estimate and, when applicable, the assistance to be provided by the department and other education agencies to improve student, school or school system performance and progress to meet the annual performance measure.

The department shall make available to all public schools through its website or the West Virginia Education Information System an electronic school strategic improvement plan boilerplate designed for use by all schools to develop an electronic school strategic improvement plan which incorporates all required aspects and satisfies all improvement plan requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act.

(c) High-quality education standards and efficiency standards. — In accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, the state board shall adopt and periodically review and update high-quality education standards for student, school and school system performance and processes in the following areas:

(1) Curriculum;

(2) Workplace readiness skills;

(3) Finance;

(4) Transportation;

(5) Special education;

(6) Facilities;

(7) Administrative practices;

(8) Training of county school district board members and administrators;

(9) Personnel qualifications;

(10) Professional development and evaluation;

(11) Student performance, progress and attendance;

(12) Professional personnel, including principals and central office administrators, and service personnel attendance;

(13) School and school system performance and progress;

(14) A code of conduct for students and employees;

(15) Indicators of efficiency; and

(16) Any other areas determined by the state board.

(d) Comprehensive statewide student assessment program. — The state board shall establish a comprehensive statewide student assessment program to assess student performance and progress in grades three through twelve. The assessment program is subject to the following:

(1) The state board shall promulgate a rule in accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code establishing the comprehensive statewide student assessment program;

(2) Prior to the 2014-2015 school year, the state board shall align the comprehensive statewide student assessment for all grade levels in which the test is given with the college-readiness standards adopted pursuant to section thirty-nine, article two of this chapter or develop other aligned tests to be required at each grade level so that progress toward college readiness in English/language arts and math can be measured;

(3) The state board may require that student proficiencies be measured through the ACT EXPLORE and the ACT PLAN assessments or other comparable assessments, which are approved by the state board and provided by future vendors;

(4) The state board may require that student proficiencies be measured through the West Virginia writing assessment at any grade levels determined by the state board to be appropriate; and

(5) The state board may provide, through the statewide assessment program, other optional testing or assessment instruments applicable to grade levels kindergarten through grade twelve which may be used by each school to promote student achievement. The state board annually shall publish and make available, electronically or otherwise, to school curriculum teams and teacher collaborative processes the optional testing and assessment instruments.

(e) State annual performance measures for school and school system accreditation. —

The state board shall promulgate a rule in accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code that establishes a system to assess and weigh annual performance measures for state accreditation of schools and school systems. The state board also may establish performance incentives for schools and school systems as part of the state accreditation system. On or before December 1, 2013, the state board shall report to the Governor and to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability the proposed rule for establishing the measures and incentives of accreditation and the estimated cost therefore, if any. Thereafter, the state board shall provide an annual report to the Governor and to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability on the impact and effectiveness of the accreditation system. The rule for school and school system accreditation proposed by the board may include, but is not limited to, the following measures:

(1) Student proficiency in English and language arts, math, science and other subjects determined by the board;

(2) Graduation and attendance rate;

(3) Students taking and passing AP tests;

(4) Students completing a career and technical education class;

(5) Closing achievement gaps within subgroups of a school's student population; and

(6) Students scoring at or above average attainment on SAT or ACT tests.

(f) Indicators of efficiency. — In accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, the state board shall adopt by rule and periodically review and update indicators of efficiency for use by the appropriate divisions within the department to ensure efficient management and use of resources in the public schools in the following areas:

(1) Curriculum delivery including, but not limited to, the use of distance learning;

(2) Transportation;

(3) Facilities;

(4) Administrative practices;

(5) Personnel;

(6) Use of regional educational service agency programs and services, including programs and services that may be established by their assigned regional educational service agency or other regional services that may be initiated between and among participating county school district boards; and

(7) Any other indicators as determined by the state board.

(g) Assessment and accountability of school and school system performance and processes. — In accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, the state board shall establish by rule a system of education performance audits which measures the quality of education and the preparation of students based on the annual measures of student, school and school system performance and progress. The system of education performance audits shall provide information to the state board, the Legislature and the Governor, upon which they may determine whether a thorough and efficient system of schools is being provided. The system of education performance audits shall include:

(1) The assessment of student, school and school system performance and progress based on the annual measures established pursuant to subsection (e) of this section;

(2) The evaluation of records, reports and other information collected by the Office of Education Performance Audits upon which the quality of education and compliance with statutes, policies and standards may be determined;

(3) The review of school and school system electronic strategic improvement plans; and

(4) The on-site review of the processes in place in schools and school systems to enable school and school system performance and progress and compliance with the standards.

(h) Uses of school and school system assessment information. — The state board shall use information from the system of education performance audits to assist it in ensuring that a thorough and efficient system of schools is being provided and to improve student, school and school system performance and progress. Information from the system of education performance audits further shall be used by the state board for these purposes, including, but not limited to, the following:

(1) Determining school accreditation and school system approval status;

(2) Holding schools and school systems accountable for the efficient use of existing resources to meet or exceed the standards; and

(3) Targeting additional resources when necessary to improve performance and progress.

The state board shall make accreditation information available to the Legislature, the Governor, the general public and to any individual who requests the information, subject to the provisions of any act or rule restricting the release of information.

(i) Early detection and intervention programs. — Based on the assessment of student, school and school system performance and progress, the state board shall establish early detection and intervention programs using the available resources of the Department of Education, the regional educational service agencies, the Center for Professional Development and the Principals Academy, or other resources as appropriate, to assist underachieving schools and school systems to improve performance before conditions become so grave as to warrant more substantive state intervention. Assistance shall include, but is not limited to, providing additional technical assistance and programmatic, professional staff development, providing monetary, staffing and other resources where appropriate.

(j) Office of Education Performance Audits. —

(1) To assist the state board in the operation of a system of education performance audits, the state board shall establish an Office of Education Performance Audits consistent with the provisions of this section. The Office of Education Performance Audits shall be operated under the direction of the state board independently of the functions and supervision of the State Department of Education and state superintendent. The Office of Education Performance Audits shall report directly to and be responsible to the state board in carrying out its duties under the provisions of this section.

(2) The office shall be headed by a director who shall be appointed by the state board and who serves at the will and pleasure of the state board. The annual salary of the director shall be set by the state board and may not exceed eighty percent of the salary of the State Superintendent of Schools.

(3) The state board shall organize and sufficiently staff the office to fulfill the duties assigned to it by law and by the state board. Employees of the State Department of Education who are transferred to the Office of Education Performance Audits shall retain their benefits and seniority status with the Department of Education.

(4) Under the direction of the state board, the Office of Education Performance Audits shall receive from the West Virginia education Information System staff research and analysis data on the performance and progress of students, schools and school systems, and shall receive assistance, as determined by the state board, from staff at the State Department of Education, the regional education service agencies, the Center for Professional Development, the Principals Academy and the School Building Authority to carry out the duties assigned to the office.

(5) In addition to other duties which may be assigned to it by the state board or by statute, the Office of Education Performance Audits also shall:

(A) Assure that all statewide assessments of student performance used as annual performance measures are secure as required in section one-a of this article;

(B) Administer all accountability measures as assigned by the state board, including, but not limited to, the following:

(i) Processes for the accreditation of schools and the approval of school systems; and

(ii) Recommendations to the state board on appropriate action, including, but not limited to, accreditation and approval action;

(C) Determine, in conjunction with the assessment and accountability processes, what capacity may be needed by schools and school systems to meet the standards established by the state board and recommend to the state board plans to establish those needed capacities;

(D) Determine, in conjunction with the assessment and accountability processes, whether statewide system deficiencies exist in the capacity of schools and school systems to meet the standards established by the state board, including the identification of trends and the need for continuing improvements in education, and report those deficiencies and trends to the state board;

(E) Determine, in conjunction with the assessment and accountability processes, staff development needs of schools and school systems to meet the standards established by the state board and make recommendations to the state board, the Center for Professional Development, the regional educational service agencies, the Higher Education Policy Commission and the county school district boards;

(F) Identify, in conjunction with the assessment and accountability processes, school systems and best practices that improve student, school and school system performance and communicate those to the state board for promoting the use of best practices. The state board shall provide information on best practices to county school district systems; and

(G) Develop reporting formats, such as check lists, which shall be used by the appropriate administrative personnel in schools and school systems to document compliance with applicable laws, policies and process standards as considered appropriate and approved by the state board, which may include, but is not limited to, the following:

(i) The use of a policy for the evaluation of all school personnel that meets the requirements of sections twelve and twelve-a, article two, chapter eighteen-a of this code;

(ii) The participation of students in appropriate physical assessments as determined by the state board, which assessment may not be used as a part of the assessment and accountability system;

(iii) The appropriate licensure of school personnel; and

(iv) The appropriate provision of multicultural activities.

Information contained in the reporting formats is subject to examination during an on-site review to determine compliance with laws, policies and standards. Intentional and grossly negligent reporting of false information are grounds for dismissal of any employee.

(k) On-site reviews. —

(1) The system of education performance audits shall include on-site reviews of schools and school systems which shall be conducted only at the specific direction of the state board upon its determination that circumstances exist that warrant an on-site review. Any discussion by the state board of schools to be subject to an on-site review or dates for which on-site reviews will be conducted may be held in executive session and is not subject to the provisions of article nine-a, chapter six of this code relating to open governmental proceedings. An on-site review shall be conducted by the Office of Education Performance Audits of a school or school system for the purpose of making recommendations to the school and school system, as appropriate, and to the state board on such measures as it considers necessary. The investigation may include, but is not limited to, the following:

(A) Verifying data reported by the school or county school district board;

(B) Examining compliance with the laws and policies affecting student, school and school system performance and progress;

(C) Evaluating the effectiveness and implementation status of school and school system electronic strategic improvement plans;

(D) Investigating official complaints submitted to the state board that allege serious impairments in the quality of education in schools or school systems;

(E) Investigating official complaints submitted to the state board that allege that a school or county school district board is in violation of policies or laws under which schools and county school district boards operate; and

(F) Determining and reporting whether required reviews and inspections have been conducted by the appropriate agencies, including, but not limited to, the State Fire Marshal, the Health Department, the School Building Authority and the responsible divisions within the department of education, and whether noted deficiencies have been or are in the process of being corrected.

(2) The Director of the Office of Education Performance Audits shall notify the county school district superintendent of schools five school days prior to commencing an on-site review of the county school district system and shall notify both the county school district superintendent and the principal five school days before commencing an on-site review of an individual school: Provided, That the state board may direct the Office of Education Performance Audits to conduct an unannounced on-site review of a school or school system if the state board believes circumstances warrant an unannounced on-site review.

(3) The Office of Education Performance Audits shall conduct on-site reviews which are limited in scope to specific areas in which performance and progress are persistently below standard as determined by the state board unless specifically directed by the state board to conduct a review which covers additional areas.

(4) The Office of Education Performance Audits shall reimburse a county school district board for the costs of substitutes required to replace county school district board employees who serve on a review team.

(5) At the conclusion of an on-site review of a school system, the director and team leaders shall hold an exit conference with the superintendent and shall provide an opportunity for principals to be present for at least the portion of the conference pertaining to their respective schools. In the case of an on-site review of a school, the exit conference shall be held with the principal and curriculum team of the school and the superintendent shall be provided the opportunity to be present. The purpose of the exit conference is to review the initial findings of the on-site review, clarify and correct any inaccuracies and allow the opportunity for dialogue between the reviewers and the school or school system to promote a better understanding of the findings.

(6) The Office of Education Performance Audits shall report the findings of an on-site review to the county school district superintendent and the principals whose schools were reviewed within thirty days following the conclusion of the on-site review. The Office of Education Performance Audits shall report the findings of the on-site review to the state board within forty-five days after the conclusion of the on-site review. A school or county school district that believes one or more findings of a review are clearly inaccurate, incomplete or misleading, misrepresent or fail to reflect the true quality of education in the school or county school district or address issues unrelated to the health, safety and welfare of students and the quality of education, may appeal to the state board for removal of the findings. The state board shall establish a process for it to receive, review and act upon the appeals.

(7) The Legislature finds that the accountability and oversight of some activities and programmatic areas in the public schools are controlled through other mechanisms and agencies and that additional accountability and oversight may be unnecessary, counterproductive and impair necessary resources for teaching and learning. Therefore, the Office of Education Performance Audits may rely on other agencies and mechanisms in its review of schools and school systems.

(l) School accreditation. —

(1) The state board shall establish levels of accreditation to be assigned to schools. The establishment of levels of accreditation and the levels shall be subject to the following:

(A) The levels will be designed to demonstrate school performance in all the areas outlined in this section and also those established by the state board;

(B) The state board shall promulgate legislative rules in accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to establish the performance and standards required for a school to be assigned a particular level of accreditation; and

(C) The state board will establish the levels of accreditation in such a manner as to minimize the number of systems of school recognition, both state and federal, that are employed to recognize and accredit schools.

(2) The state board annually shall review the information from the system of education performance audits submitted for each school and shall issue to every school a level of accreditation as designated and determined by the state board.

(3) The state board, in its exercise of general supervision of the schools and school systems of West Virginia, may exercise any or all of the following powers and actions:

(A) To require a school to revise its electronic strategic plan;

(B) To define extraordinary circumstances under which the state board may intervene directly or indirectly in the operation of a school;

(C) To appoint monitors to work with the principal and staff of a school where extraordinary circumstances are found to exist and to appoint monitors to assist the school principal after intervention in the operation of a school is completed;

(D) To direct a county school district board to target resources to assist a school where extraordinary circumstances are found to exist;

(E) To intervene directly in the operation of a school and declare the position of principal vacant and assign a principal for the school who will serve at the will and pleasure of the state board. If the principal who was removed elects not to remain an employee of the county school district board, then the principal assigned by the state board shall be paid by the county school district board. If the principal who was removed elects to remain an employee of the county school district board, then the following procedure applies:

(i) The principal assigned by the state board shall be paid by the state board until the next school term, at which time the principal assigned by the state board shall be paid by the county school district board;

(ii) The principal who was removed is eligible for all positions in the county school district, including teaching positions, for which the principal is certified, by either being placed on the transfer list in accordance with section seven, article two, chapter eighteen-a of this code, or by being placed on the preferred recall list in accordance with section seven-a, article four, chapter eighteen-a of this code; and

(iii) The principal who was removed shall be paid by the county school district board and may be assigned to administrative duties, without the county school district board being required to post that position until the end of the school term; and

(F) Other powers and actions the state board determines necessary to fulfill its duties of general supervision of the schools and school systems of West Virginia.

(4) The county school district board may take no action nor refuse any action if the effect would be to impair further the school in which the state board has intervened.

(m) School system approval. — The state board annually shall review the information submitted for each school system from the system of education performance audits and issue one of the following approval levels to each county school district board: Full approval, temporary approval, conditional approval or nonapproval.

(1) Full approval shall be given to a county school district board whose schools have all been given full, temporary or conditional accreditation status and which does not have any deficiencies which would endanger student health or safety or other extraordinary circumstances as defined by the state board. A fully approved school system in which other deficiencies are discovered shall remain on full accreditation status for the remainder of the approval period and shall have an opportunity to correct those deficiencies, notwithstanding other provisions of this subsection.

(2) Temporary approval shall be given to a county school district board whose education system is below the level required for full approval. Whenever a county school district board is given temporary approval status, the county school district board shall revise its electronic county school district strategic improvement plan in accordance with subsection (b) of this section to increase the performance and progress of the school system to a full approval status level. The revised plan shall be submitted to the state board for approval.

(3) Conditional approval shall be given to a county school district board whose education system is below the level required for full approval, but whose electronic county school district strategic improvement plan meets the following criteria:

(A) The plan has been revised in accordance with subsection (b) of this section;

(B) The plan has been approved by the state board; and

(C) The county school district board is meeting the objectives and time line specified in the revised plan.

(4) Nonapproval status shall be given to a county school district board which fails to submit and gain approval for its electronic county school district strategic improvement plan or revised electronic county school district strategic improvement plan within a reasonable time period as defined by the state board or which fails to meet the objectives and time line of its revised electronic county school district strategic improvement plan or fails to achieve full approval by the date specified in the revised plan.

(A) The state board shall establish and adopt additional standards to identify school systems in which the program may be nonapproved and the state board may issue nonapproval status whenever extraordinary circumstances exist as defined by the state board.

(B) Whenever a county school district board has more than a casual deficit, as defined in section one, article one of this chapter, the county school district board shall submit a plan to the state board specifying the county school district board's strategy for eliminating the casual deficit. The state board either shall approve or reject the plan. If the plan is rejected, the state board shall communicate to the county school district board the reason or reasons for the rejection of the plan. The county school district board may resubmit the plan any number of times. However, any county school district board that fails to submit a plan and gain approval for the plan from the state board before the end of the fiscal year after a deficit greater than a casual deficit occurred or any county school district board which, in the opinion of the state board, fails to comply with an approved plan may be designated as having nonapproval status.

(C) Whenever nonapproval status is given to a school system, the state board shall declare a state of emergency in the school system and shall appoint a team of improvement consultants to make recommendations within sixty days of appointment for correcting the emergency. When the state board approves the recommendations, they shall be communicated to the county school district board. If progress in correcting the emergency, as determined by the state board, is not made within six months from the time the county school district board receives the recommendations, the state board shall intervene in the operation of the school system to cause improvements to be made that will provide assurances that a thorough and efficient system of schools will be provided. This intervention may include, but is not limited to, the following:

(i) Limiting the authority of the county school district superintendent and county school district board as to the expenditure of funds, the employment and dismissal of personnel, the establishment and operation of the school calendar, the establishment of instructional programs and rules and any other areas designated by the state board by rule, which may include delegating decision-making authority regarding these matters to the state superintendent;

(ii) Declaring that the office of the county school district superintendent is vacant;

(iii) Declaring that the positions of personnel who serve at the will and pleasure of the county school district superintendent as provided in section one, article two, chapter eighteen-a of this code, are vacant, subject to application and reemployment;

(iv) Delegating to the state superintendent both the authority to conduct hearings on personnel matters and school closure or consolidation matters and, subsequently, to render the resulting decisions and the authority to appoint a designee for the limited purpose of conducting hearings while reserving to the state superintendent the authority to render the resulting decisions;

(v) Functioning in lieu of the county school district board of education in a transfer, sale, purchase or other transaction regarding real property; and

(vi) Taking any direct action necessary to correct the emergency including, but not limited to, the following:

(I) Delegating to the state superintendent the authority to replace administrators and principals in low performing schools and to transfer them into alternate professional positions within the county school district at his or her discretion; and

(II) Delegating to the state superintendent the authority to fill positions of administrators and principals with individuals determined by the state superintendent to be the most qualified for the positions. Any authority related to intervention in the operation of a county school district board granted under this paragraph is not subject to the provisions of article four, chapter eighteen-a of this code.

(n) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the state board may intervene immediately in the operation of the county school district school system with all the powers, duties and responsibilities contained in subsection (m) of this section, if the state board finds the following:

(1) That the conditions precedent to intervention exist as provided in this section; and that delaying intervention for any period of time would not be in the best interests of the students of the county school district school system; or

(2) That the conditions precedent to intervention exist as provided in this section and that the state board had previously intervened in the operation of the same school system and had concluded that intervention within the preceding five years.

(o) Capacity. — The process for improving education includes a process for targeting resources strategically to improve the teaching and learning process. Development of electronic school and school system strategic improvement plans, pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, is intended, in part, to provide mechanisms to target resources strategically to the teaching and learning process to improve student, school and school system performance. When deficiencies are detected through the assessment and accountability processes, the revision and approval of school and school system electronic strategic improvement plans shall ensure that schools and school systems are efficiently using existing resources to correct the deficiencies. When the state board determines that schools and school systems do not have the capacity to correct deficiencies, the state board shall take one or more of the following actions:

(1) Work with the county school district board to develop or secure the resources necessary to increase the capacity of schools and school systems to meet the standards and, when necessary, seek additional resources in consultation with the Legislature and the Governor;

(2) Recommend to the appropriate body including, but not limited to, the Legislature, county school district boards, schools and communities methods for targeting resources strategically to eliminate deficiencies identified in the assessment and accountability processes. When making determinations on recommendations, the state board shall include, but is not limited to, the following methods:

(A) Examining reports and electronic strategic improvement plans regarding the performance and progress of students, schools and school systems relative to the standards and identifying the areas in which improvement is needed;

(B) Determining the areas of weakness and of ineffectiveness that appear to have contributed to the substandard performance and progress of students or the deficiencies of the school or school system and requiring the school or school system to work collaboratively with the West Virginia Department of Education State System of Support to correct the deficiencies;

(C) Determining the areas of strength that appear to have contributed to exceptional student, school and school system performance and progress and promoting their emulation throughout the system;

(D) Requesting technical assistance from the School Building Authority in assessing or designing comprehensive educational facilities plans;

(E) Recommending priority funding from the School Building Authority based on identified needs;

(F) Requesting special staff development programs from the Center for Professional Development, the Principals Academy, higher education, regional educational service agencies and county school district boards based on identified needs;

(G) Submitting requests to the Legislature for appropriations to meet the identified needs for improving education;

(H) Directing county school district boards to target their funds strategically toward alleviating deficiencies;

(I) Ensuring that the need for facilities in counties school districts with increased enrollment are appropriately reflected and recommended for funding;

(J) Ensuring that the appropriate person or entity is held accountable for eliminating deficiencies; and

(K) Ensuring that the needed capacity is available from the state and local level to assist the school or school system in achieving the standards and alleviating the deficiencies.

(p) Building leadership capacity — To help build the governance and leadership capacity of a county school district board during an intervention in the operation of its school system by the state board, and to help assure sustained success following return of control to the county school district board, the state board shall require the county school district board to establish goals and action plans, subject to approval of the state board, to improve performance sufficiently to end the intervention within a period of not more than five years. The state superintendent shall maintain oversight and provide assistance and feedback to the county school district board on development and implementation of the goals and action plans. At a minimum, the goals and action plans shall include:

(A) An analysis of the training and development activities needed by the county school district board and leadership of the school system and schools for effective governance and school improvement;

(B) Support for the training and development activities identified which may include those made available through the state superintendent, regional education service agencies, Center for Professional Development, West Virginia School Board Association, Office of Education Performance Audits, West Virginia Education Information System and other sources identified in the goals and action plans. Attendance at these activities included in the goals and action plans is mandatory as specified in the goals and action plans; and

(C) Active involvement by the county school district board in the improvement process, working in tandem with the county school district superintendent to gather, analyze and interpret data, write time-specific goals to correct deficiencies, prepare and implement action plans and allocate or request from the State Board of Education the resources, including board development training and coaching, necessary to achieve approved goals and action plans and sustain system and school improvement.

At least once each year during the period of intervention, the Office of Education Performance Audits shall assess the readiness of the county school district board to accept the return of control of the system or school from the state board and sustain the improvements, and shall make a report and recommendations to the state board supported by documented evidence of the progress made on the goals and action plans. The state board may end the intervention or return any portion of control of the operations of the school system or school that was previously removed at its sole determination. If the state board determines at the fifth annual assessment that the county school district board is still not ready to accept return of control by the state board and sustain the improvements, the state board shall hold a public hearing in the affected county school district at which the attendance by all members of the county school district board is requested so that the reasons for continued intervention and the concerns of the citizens of the county school district may be heard. The state board may continue the intervention only after it holds the public hearing and may require revision of the goals and action plans.

Following the termination of an intervention in the operation of a school system and return of full control by the state board, the support for governance education and development shall continue as needed for up to three years. If at any time within this three years, the state board determines that intervention in the operation of the school system is again necessary, the state board shall again hold a public hearing in the affected county school district so that the reasons for the intervention and the concerns of the citizens of the county school district may be heard.

§18-2E-5a. County School district superintendent employment contract.


(a) The Legislature previously granted authority to the state board to intervene in the operation of a county school district system in section five, article two-e of this chapter. Part of the authority given is the authority of the state board to declare that the office of the county school district superintendent is vacant. County School district boards enter into contracts to employ persons as superintendents for a term of years which creates substantial rights and obligations. Although the statute provides that the state board may declare the office of the county school district superintendent vacant, the statute did not specifically give the state board authority to void the contract of the county school district superintendent. The intent of this section is to clarify what contractual obligations continue after removal.

(b) Whenever the state board intervenes in the operation of a school system and the office of the county school district superintendent is declared vacant pursuant to section five, article two-e of this chapter, the state board may, for any intervention which is instituted after the effective date of this section, void any existing employment contract between the county school district board and the county school district superintendent.

(c) Whenever a county school district board elects a county school district superintendent and enters into a written contract of employment with the superintendent, the county school district board shall include within the contract a conspicuous clause that informs the superintendent that if the state board intervenes in the operation of the county school district system pursuant to section five, article two-e of this chapter, the state board may vacate the office and void the employment contract.


§18-2E-5d. Standards for the duration of school bus transportation times for students to and from school.

(a) The high quality standards for transportation adopted by the state board pursuant to section five of this article shall include standards for the recommended duration of the one-way school bus transportation time for students to and from school under normal weather and operating conditions as follows:

(1) For elementary school students, thirty minutes;

(2) For middle school, intermediate school and junior high school students, forty-five minutes; and

(3) For high school students, sixty minutes.

(b) A county school district board may not create a new bus route for the transportation of students in any of the grade levels prekindergarten through grade five to and from any school included in a school closure, consolidation or new construction project approved after July 1, 2008, which exceeds by more than fifteen minutes the recommended duration of the one-way school bus transportation time for elementary students adopted by the state board in accordance with subsection (a) of this section unless:

(1) The county school district board adopts a separate motion to approve creation of the route and request written permission of the state board to create the route; and

(2) Receives the written permission of the state board to create the route.

(c) A county school district board may not create, nor may the state board permit, the creation of a new bus route for the transportation of students in any of the grade levels prekindergarten through grade five to and from any school included in a school closure, consolidation or new construction project approved after July 1, 2008, which exceeds by more than thirty minutes the recommended duration of the one-way school bus transportation time for elementary students adopted by the state board in accordance with subsection (a) of this section.

(d) The state board shall provide technical assistance to county school district boards with the objective of achieving school bus transportation routes for students which are within the recommended time durations established by the state board.


§18-2E-7. Providing for instruction and learning in all public schools.

(a) The Legislature finds that:

(1) The knowledge and skills children need to succeed are changing dramatically and that West Virginia students must develop proficiency in the subject matter content, technology tools and learning skills to succeed and prosper in life, in school and on the job;

(2) Students must be equipped to live in a multitasking, multifaceted, technology-driven world;

(3) The provision technologies and software resources in grades prekindergarten through twelve is necessary to meet the goal that high school graduates will be prepared fully for college, other post-secondary education or gainful employment;

(4) This goal reflects a fundamental belief that the youth of the state exit the system equipped with the skills, competencies and attributes necessary to succeed, to continue learning throughout their lifetimes and to attain self-sufficiency;

(5) To promote learning, teachers must be competent in content and learning skills and must be equipped to fully integrate technology to transform instructional practice and to support skills acquisition;

(6) For students to learn technology skills, students and teachers must have equitable access to high quality, technology tools and resources;

(7) When aligned with standards and curriculum, technology-based assessments can be a powerful tool for teachers; and

(8) Teachers must understand how to use technology to create classroom assessments for accurate, timely measurements of student proficiency in attainment of academic content.

(b) The state board shall ensure that the resources to be used to provide technology services to students in grades prekindergarten through twelve are included in a West Virginia Strategic Technology Learning Plan to be developed by the Department of Education as an integral component of the county school district electronic strategic improvement plan required in section five of this article. The provision of technologies and services to students and teachers shall be based on a county school district technology plan developed by a team that includes school building-level professional educators and is aligned with the goals and objectives of the West Virginia Strategic Technology Learning Plan. This plan shall be an integral component of the county school district electronic strategic improvement plan as required in section five of this article. Funds shall be allocated equitably to county school district school systems following peer review of the plans that includes providing necessary technical assistance prior to submission and allows timely review and approval by the West Virginia Department of Education. Equitable allocation shall be defined by the state board and may include per school-site equity for technologies requiring a site license or other per school application. Technology tools purchased from appropriations for this section shall adhere to state contract prices: Provided, That contingent upon approval of the county school district technology plan, counties school districts that identify, within that plan, specific software or peripheral equipment not listed on the state contract, but necessary to support implementation, may request the West Virginia Department of Education to secure state purchasing prices for those identified items. Total expenditure to purchase these additional items may not exceed ten percent of the annual county school district allocation. To the extent practicable, the technology shall be used:

(1) To maximize student access to learning tools and resources at all times including during regular school hours, before and after school or class, in the evenings, on weekends and holidays and for public education, noninstructional days and during vacations; and

(2) For student use for homework, remedial work, personalized learning, independent learning, career planning and adult basic education.

(c) The implementation of this section should provide a technology infrastructure capable of supporting multiple technology-based learning strategies designed to enable students to achieve at higher academic levels. The technology infrastructure should facilitate student development by addressing the following areas:

(1) Mastery of rigorous core academic subjects in grades prekindergarten through eight by providing software, other technology resources or both aligned with state standards in reading, mathematics, writing, science, social studies and learning tools;

(2) Mastery of rigorous core academic subjects in grades nine through twelve by providing appropriate technology tools aligned with state standards for learning skills and technology tools;

(3) Attainment of skill outcomes for all students in the use of technology tools and learning skills;

(4) Proficiency in new, emerging content;

(5) Participation in relevant, contextual instruction that uses dynamic, real-world contexts that are engaging and meaningful for students, making learning relevant to life outside of school and bridging the gap between how students live and how they learn in school;

(6) Ability to use digital and emerging technologies to manage information, communicate effectively, think critically, solve problems, work productively as an individual and collaboratively as part of a team and demonstrate personal accountability and other self-directional skills;

(7) Providing students with information on post-secondary educational opportunities, financial aid and the skills and credentials required in various occupations that will help them better prepare for a successful transition following high school;

(8) Providing greater access to advanced and other curricular offerings than could be provided efficiently through traditional on-site delivery formats, including increasing student access to quality distance learning curricula and online distance education tools;

(9) Providing resources for teachers in differentiated instructional strategies, technology integration, sample lesson plans, curriculum resources and online staff development that enhance student achievement; and

(10) Providing resources to support basic skills acquisition and improvement at the above mastery and distinguished levels.

(d) Developed with input from appropriate stakeholder groups, the West Virginia Strategic Technology Learning Plan shall be an integral component of the electronic strategic county school district improvement plan as required in section five of this article. The West Virginia Strategic Technology Learning Plan shall be comprehensive and shall address, but not necessarily be limited to, the following provisions:

(1) Allocation of adequate resources to provide students with equitable access to technology tools, including instructional offerings and appropriate curriculum, assessment and technology integration resources aligned to both the content and rigor of state content standards as well as to learning skills and technology tools;

(2) Providing students and staff with equitable access to a technology infrastructure that supports the acquisition of skills in the use of technology, including the ability to access information, solve problems, communicate clearly, make informed decisions, acquire new knowledge, construct products, reports and systems and access online assessment systems;

(3) Inclusion of various technologies that enable and enhance the attainment of the skills outcomes for all students;

(4) Collaboration with various partners, including parents, community organization, higher education, schools of education in colleges and universities, employers and content providers;

(5) Seeking of applicable federal government funds, philanthropic funds, other partnership funds or any combination of those types of funds to augment state appropriations and encouraging the pursuit of funding through grants, gifts, donations or any other sources for uses related to education technology;

(6) Sufficient bandwidth to support teaching and learning and to provide satisfactorily for instructional management needs;

(7) Protection of the integrity and security of the network, as well as student and administrative workstations;

(8) Flexibility to adjust the plan based on developing technology, federal and state requirements and changing local school and county school district needs;

(9) Incorporation of findings based upon validation from research-based evaluation findings from previous West Virginia-based evaluation projects;

(10) Continuing study of emerging technologies for application in a learning environment and inclusion in the technology plan, as appropriate;

(11) An evaluation component to determine the effectiveness of the program and make recommendations for ongoing implementation;

(12) A program of embedded, sustained professional development for teachers that is strategically developed to support a thorough and efficient education for all students and that aligns with state standards for technology, integrates technology skills into educational practice and supports the implementation of software, technology and assessment resources in the classroom;

(13) Providing for uniformity in technological hardware and software standards and procedures;

(14) The strategy for ensuring that the capabilities and capacities of the technology infrastructure is adequate for acceptable performance of the technology being implemented in the public schools;

(15) Providing for a comprehensive, statewide uniform, integrated education management and information system for data collection and reporting to the Department of Education and the public;

(16) Providing for an effective model for the distance delivery, virtual delivery or both types of delivery of instruction in subjects where there exists low student enrollment or a shortage of certified teachers or where the delivery method substantially improves the quality of an instructional program such as the West Virginia Virtual School;

(17) Providing a strategy to implement, support and maintain technology in the public schools;

(18) Providing a strategy to provide ongoing support and assistance to teachers in integrating technology into instruction such as with technology integration specialists and technology system specialists;

(19) A method of allowing public education to take advantage of appropriate bulk purchasing abilities and to purchase from competitively bid contracts initiated through the southern regional education board educational technology cooperative and the America TelEdCommunications Alliance;

(20) Compliance with United States Department of Education regulations and Federal Communications Commission requirements for federal E-rate discounts; and

(21) Other provisions as considered appropriate, necessary or both to align with applicable guidelines, policies, rules, regulations and requirements of the West Virginia Legislature, the Board of Education and the Department of Education.

(e) Any state code and budget references to the Basic Skills/Computer Education Program and the SUCCESS Initiative will be understood to refer to the statewide technology initiative referenced in this section, commonly referred to as the 21st Century Tools for 21st Century Schools Technology Initiative.


§18-2E-8. Creating jobs through education.

(a) Findings and intent. -- The Legislature finds that the Governor, the Legislature, the state board and the people of West Virginia established goals for education through an education summit and series of town meetings in the summer of the year 1990, and that these goals were codified in section four, article one of this chapter during the third extraordinary session of the Legislature of that year. Among these goals is the goal that high school graduates will be prepared fully for college, other post-secondary education or gainful employment and that the number of high school graduates entering post-secondary education will increase by fifty percent. The Legislature finds that this goal reflects a fundamental belief that the result of a thorough and efficient system of free schools is that the youth of the state exit the system equipped with the skills, competencies and attributes necessary to succeed, to continue learning throughout their lifetimes and to attain economic self-sufficiency.

The Legislature further finds that the full preparation of youth as indicated in these findings cannot be accomplished by the school system alone, but requires the full and active partnership with parents and people from business, labor, higher education, economic development and other organizations and entities in the community that have an interest in providing quality education. Therefore, the intent of this section is to establish a policy framework and strategy for the state board in fulfilling its responsibility for the general supervision of free schools in order to encourage and utilize actively involved partnerships in the formulation of rules and practices to achieve the goal that high school graduates will be prepared fully for college, other post-secondary education or gainful employment, particularly in the delivery of programs that provide work-based learning opportunities for students within the school or at the workplace. The Legislature recognizes that many skilled jobs require education beyond the high school level, that the goals of West Virginia include increased post-secondary attendance and that the goals for post-secondary education as set forth in section one-a, article one, chapter eighteen-b of this code include an increased focus within higher education on relevancy, responsiveness to business, industry, labor and community needs, and on the current and future work force needs of the state. Therefore, it is further the intent of this section to enhance the linkages between secondary and post-secondary education.

(b) Comprehensive goals for jobs through education. -- The Legislature hereby establishes the following goals to be accomplished by the year 2001 for all students in all schools:

(1) The elimination of student grouping or tracking systems that result in high school students completing a general curriculum that does not prepare them fully for college, other post-secondary education or gainful employment;

(2) The replacement of the general curriculum, as stated in subdivision (1) of this subsection, with a system of career clusters and education majors that increases the academic expectations for all students, includes a system of career information and guidance and incorporates structured work-based learning;

(3) The requirement that every student, in consultation with his or her parents and school advisor, establish an individualized student transition plan covering grades nine through twelve and the first year beyond graduation from high school;

(4) The active involvement of partners at the state, regional and local levels in assuring the full preparation of graduates for college, other post-secondary education or gainful employment;

(5) The creation of a process through which qualified graduates will receive a portable credential that is recognized and valued by employers as an indicator of the skills, competence and readiness for employment of the graduates; and

(6) The implementation of continuous program assessment, program improvement and staff development.

(c) Increased academic expectations and career development for all students. -- The Legislature finds that there is a need to establish higher academic expectations and a system of career development for all students that contains the following elements:

(1) Assessment. -- The implementation of an assessment program that measures student performance by grade level and assesses student attainment of the basic academic foundation skills;

(2) Focus on basic skills in kindergarten through fourth grade. -- The strengthening and refocusing of kindergarten through fourth grade in order to assure that all students perform at grade level at the completion of the fourth grade by concentrating on teaching the basics of reading, writing, mathematics and computer skills;

(3) Development of rigorous curriculum. -- The development and implementation of a rigorous and relevant curriculum of basic academic requirements that lays a foundation for further learning and skill development. The proficiencies of the students shall be assessed at the end of the eighth grade and all students should attain the basic academic requirement levels by no later than the end of the tenth grade;

(4) Career exploration in grades five through eight. -- The exploration by students in the fifth through eighth grades of their interests and abilities in career clusters through accessing information about occupational skills and labor markets;

(5) Creation and initial implementation of individual student transition plan for grades nine and ten. -- The creation, by the end of the eighth grade, of the first two years of an individualized student transition plan that builds upon career awareness and exploration activities in the earlier grades and enables the student in consultation with his or her parents and school advisor to select a broad career cluster for further exploration in grades nine and ten;

(6) Choosing career majors for grades eleven through post-secondary. -- The creation of the second part of the individualized student transition plan by the end of the tenth grade. The second part of the individualized student transition plan shall establish a career major for the final years of high school and the first year after high school that will prepare the student for college, other post-secondary education or gainful employment;

(7) Implementation of career majors. -- The fulfillment of the secondary education component of the career major in grades eleven and twelve, including the successful completion of the necessary curriculum and participation in work-based learning experiences; and

(8) Completion of individualized student transition plan and assessment. -- The completion of the individualized student transition plan in the first year following graduation from high school by attending college, other post-secondary education or securing gainful employment. The state board shall provide an assessment form to be completed by the student and returned to the high school upon the completion of the individualized student transition plan. The form shall provide for the student to report his or her success in completing the plan and the strengths and weaknesses of his or her education preparation.

(d) Report of recommendations on comprehensive career development. -- To assist in the establishment of a comprehensive career development system, the state school-to-work steering committee shall report to the state board and the Legislative Oversight commission on education accountability by November 1, 1996, the recommendations of the career guidance committee established pursuant to the state school-to-work implementation plan.

(e) Guidelines for increasing the ability of all students to meet higher academic expectations and become self-motivated learners. -- Practices that increase the academic expectations for all students and help them to succeed in achieving those higher expectations include, but are not limited to:

(1) Utilizing instructional methods that require the student to be a worker who is actively engaged in the learning process;

(2) Utilizing methodologies that require students to apply academic knowledge in practical situations and problem solving;

(3) Utilizing computers and other technologies to provide opportunities for creative instruction, both individually and in groups in all subjects;

(4) Providing structured opportunities for students to participate in credit and noncredit learning activities outside the school that are integrated with and are an extension of the school-based program of study for the student through such activities as field trips, job shadowing, community service, entrepreneurship development, mentoring, internships, apprenticeships, school-based enterprises in partnership with the private sector and other cooperative learning experiences connected to student education majors and school-based instructional programs;

(5) Integrating and interrelating academic and technical content throughout the curriculum and ensuring numerous opportunities for cross-disciplinary learning to emphasize the importance of reading, writing, speaking, listening and viewing; and

(6) Encouraging teachers to plan and work together and exercise their professional judgment in the classroom.

(f) Establishing partnerships. -- As soon as practicable following the effective date of this section, the Governor shall appoint or designate a "Jobs Through Education Employer Panel", to assure the high quality preparation of our youth for college, other post-secondary education or gainful employment. The jobs through education employer panel shall advise and assist the state board, the higher education governing boards and institutions, other post-secondary education training programs and agencies and employers in assuring that graduates are prepared fully for further education and training or gainful employment and shall perform other functions as set forth in this section. In providing such advice and assistance and in the performance of such other functions, the jobs through employer panel shall solicit input from the county school district steering committees.

As soon as practicable, following the effective date of this section, county school district boards shall appoint a county school district steering committee that includes parents and people from business, labor, higher education, economic development, local school improvement councils, faculty Senates and other organizations and entities in the community as valuable partners in developing and implementing a system within the county school district that meets the intent of this section and adheres to the rules of the state board. The membership of the county school district steering committee and participation in the community and technical college district consortia committee, as created by section three-a, article three, chapter eighteen-b of this code, shall be coordinated to the extent that it is practical.

(g) Guidelines for work-based learning. -- Work-based learning is a structured activity that correlates with and is mutually supportive of school-based learning for the student, and includes specific objectives to be mastered by the student as a result of the activity. It is central to the education preparation process to develop within the student an awareness of the work environment and how the skills the student is acquiring will be applied in that environment. Broadly defined, work-based learning opportunities are activities that assist students to gain an awareness of the workplace, develop an appreciation of the relevancy of academic subject matter to workplace performance and gain valuable work experience and skills while exploring their occupational interests and abilities. Incorporating work-based learning as a central part of the education process and also as a final step in the formal education process includes, but is not limited to:

(1) Providing students in the early grades with activities such as field trips, career-oriented speakers in the classroom, courses such as junior achievement which are taught by volunteers in the classroom, job shadowing and other such activities to increase student awareness of the workplace; and

(2) Providing students in the later grades, including college and other post-secondary education, with activities such as structured community service, apprenticeships, internships, clinical experiences, cooperative education and other work-site placements, school-based enterprises, workplace simulations and entrepreneurial development, that provide students with more specific work experience in an occupational area associated with their education major.

To the extent possible, student work-based learning, and particularly workplace learning, should be jointly assessed by a school-based educator or advisor and a work-based mentor who possesses the skills set forth in the work-based learning objectives of the student, and who has been trained in mentoring and assessing student performance.

(h) Special consideration for providing work-based learning in counties with few opportunities for employment. -- Providing work-based learning opportunities for all students in counties with few employers will be particularly difficult. While the following additional examples of ways to increase opportunities for work-based learning are applicable for all counties, they are most important in counties with few employers. Additional examples include, but are not limited to:

(1) Computer software that simulates workplace situations and problem solving;

(2) Interactive and other technology to bring an exposure to the workplace into the classroom;

(3) Community service;

(4) Partnerships with city, state and county government for work-based placements;

(5) Volunteer programs, such as junior achievement and other programs that utilize volunteers trained to deliver work-related instruction;

(6) Assumption of recordkeeping and other measures by the schools, or through the use of community-based organizations or other intermediaries, that make it easier for small businesses to participate in accepting students for workplace learning;

(7) Rural entrepreneurship through action learning programs;

(8) School-based enterprises;

(9) Projects through 4-H, scouts, junior ROTC and other school and nonschool student and civic organizations;

(10) Multiple partnerships with existing employers, such as hospitals that have multiple departments;

(11)Agricultural education, FFA projects and supervised work experience programs; and

(12)Programs at vocational-technical education centers.

The state board shall make recommendations to the Legislature by November 1, 1996, on any further actions that may be appropriate to assist counties with few employers in providing work-based learning opportunities for all students.

(i) Electronic portfolio of student accomplishments and preparation. -- For the purpose of better documenting the preparation of high school graduates for college, other post-secondary education or gainful employment, the state board shall develop an electronic portfolio which will be a permanent record for every student. The electronic portfolio shall be issued by the appropriate county school district board and shall include the accomplishments of the student during his or her education preparation. Upon request, students shall receive the contents of the electronic portfolio in written or computer readable form. The electronic portfolio shall be subject to the same confidentiality and disclosure laws and rules as any other student records. The electronic portfolio shall include, but not be limited to:

(1) Documentation of attendance, grades, accomplishments, education plans, education major interests, curriculum, special activities, honors and advanced education and other items appropriate for inclusion in the portfolio as determined by state board rule to present the accomplishments and achievements of the student;

(2) A separate area for the student to enter presentations, examples and other information on his or her special areas of interest and advanced achievement;

(3) Certification of student attainment of the minimum level of proficiency in the basic skills that lays the foundation for further learning and skill development for success in college, other post-secondary education or gainful employment; and

(4) Certification of the skills, competence and readiness for college, other post-secondary education or employment, as indicated by: (i) College entrance tests; (ii) specialized assessments that measure the attainment of necessary skills and competencies required in the workplace; (iii) the attainment of industry recognized credentials, licensure or certification; (iv) the completion of nationally accredited technical education programs; (v) performance in specialized learning experiences such as paid and unpaid structured work-based learning in the private or public sectors, including, but not limited to, registered youth apprenticeships, internships, cooperative education, community service, entrepreneurship development and school-based enterprises in partnership with the private sector; and (vi) other indicators relevant to the student's skills, competence and readiness for college, other post-secondary education or gainful employment.

(j) Guidelines for certification on the electronic portfolio of student skills, competencies and readiness for employment. -- The certification of student skills, competencies and readiness for a particular industry or occupation to be included on the electronic portfolio, including certification offered by an institution of higher education or other job training programs, shall require the approval of an appropriate entity designated by the jobs through education employer panel. Local education agencies, institutions of higher education and other job training programs desiring to issue such certification to meet local labor market or community needs and circumstances may apply to the panel for such approval. To the extent possible, such certification shall provide the student with a proficiency credential that is widely recognized and accepted within an industry or occupational area as a reliable indicator of the ability of the student. The jobs through education employer panel shall consult other established skill standards for use in certifying proficiency in skills, competencies and readiness within specific industries and occupations. The intent of these provisions is to provide a formal mechanism for the ongoing alignment of the certification of student skills, competencies and readiness with current minimum requirements for success in the industry or occupational area for which the student is preparing, including requirements which will be met through additional education in college or other post-secondary education.

 (k) Staff development. -- Meeting the intent and objectives of this section will require a continued focus on staff development to increase the ability of teachers and administrators to employ various methodologies for strengthening the rigor, content and relevance of the learning process and help all students achieve at higher levels. Teachers and administrators must know about workplace requirements to help students internalize the relationship between learning in school and success in the careers they envision for themselves in adult life. The use of student assessment and program evaluation information continually to check and improve the curriculum, instruction, school climate and school organization and management, is critical to maintaining high quality instruction that is relevant to changing workplace requirements. Staff development opportunities shall include, but not be limited to:

(1) Designation by the state board of exemplary counties and schools that have implemented comprehensive school-to-work systems as model demonstration sites to be visited and observed;

(2) Collaboration and utilization of the resources of the state Department of Education, institutions of higher education, the center for professional development and county school district staff development councils for both in-service and preservice preparation programs;

(3) Teacher and business exchange programs that enable teachers to gain exposure and experience in the workplace and business persons to gain exposure and experience in the schools; (4) Structured programs or institutes that take educators into the workplace to observe the work environment and skills necessary to perform work tasks; and

(5) Staff development activities which include joint participation by public school, college and other post-secondary faculty where appropriate.

(l) Study committee for staff development credits. -- There is hereby created a study committee to make recommendations on the feasibility of, and the possible process for, crediting staff development activities toward fulfilling the requirement for renewal of certificates, pursuant to section three, article three, chapter eighteen-a of this code, and the progression through the state minimum salary schedule, pursuant to section two, article four of said chapter. The committee shall consist of the chancellor of the university of West Virginia board of trustees, or a designee; the state superintendent, or a designee, who shall serve as chair of the committee; a member of the state board, to be selected by the state board; a representative of West Virginia University to be selected by the president of the university; a representative of Marshall university, to be selected by the president of the university; a representative of the West Virginia graduate college, to be selected by the president of the college; four classroom teachers to be appointed by the Governor within thirty days of the effective date of this section; and the director of the center for professional development or a designee. Such committee shall report its recommendations to the Legislative Oversight commission on education accountability by January 1, 1997.

(m) State board rule. -- On or before November 1, 1996, the state board, with advice from the jobs through education employer panel, and in consultation with the higher education governing boards, shall adopt a rule in accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code for the implementation of this section. The rule shall allow flexibility for local variation to meet local circumstances and shall establish a five-year plan for phased implementation. The proposed rule developed pursuant to this section shall contain a financial impact statement as well as a job impact statement.

(n)Any study groups or committees created by the state board to assist in development of policies or rules for the implementation of this section shall contain significant representation by classroom teachers as defined by section one, article one, chapter eighteen-a of this code. Further, the state board shall include in its annual budget request sufficient funds to implement programs, policies or rules adapted to meet the goals set out in this section: Provided, That nothing in this section shall be construed to require any specific level of funding by the Legislature.


§18-2E-8d. Further expressions of legislative intent with respect to this article; parental consent for substitute classes.

(a) The Legislature finds that many school systems are improving the quality of education for their students through implementation of the goals and policies set forth in this article. The Legislature finds that local school systems have had and should continue to have substantial flexibility for implementing these improvements. The Legislature further finds that certain of the goals address legally recognized elements within the definition of a thorough and efficient education among which is the development in every child his or her capacity and knowledge to intelligently pursue his or her options. The purpose of this section is to further this progress through a greater expression of the legislative intent with respect to eliminating the general track curriculum and to insure that all students perform at high levels of academic achievement.

(b) The intent of the Legislature is to provide in an economical manner for a thorough and efficient education that:

(1) Provides information to parents and students which clearly identifies the courses a student should take to prepare fully for continuing their education in college, other post-secondary education or employment so they can intelligently choose among the many options available to them;

(2) Encourages the involvement of parents in their child's education by providing parents and students with information and opportunities to help students explore their interests and plan a program of study while they are still in high school and have greater options and flexibility;

(3) Ensures that the quality, content, and alignment of the curriculum is sufficient to prepare students fully for the transition to college, other post-secondary education or employment in areas in which they have an interest following graduation from high school; and

(4) Improves student learning by increasing the rigor of the curriculum, making it more relevant to students, and reinforcing academic instruction through applications to real life problem solving so that whatever options a student pursues following graduation from high school, the student has acquired a foundation of knowledge, skills and abilities that prepares him or her fully for success.

(c) Notwithstanding the courses specified as required major courses within a high school program of study, a student in consultation with his or her parents and school advisor, and with the written consent of his or her parents, may take a higher level course, advanced placement course, college course or other more rigorous substitute. The parental consent form shall include a certification signed by the school advisor that the parents were advised of the impact of the substitute course on the student's preparation for college, other post-secondary education or employment in the student's major field of study and that the student's certificate of proficiency will not indicate that the student completed a program of study major unless such substitute courses are related to the major field of study selected by the student.

(d) Notwithstanding the courses specified as recommended electives within a high school program of study, a student in consultation with his or her parents and school advisor, and with the written consent of his or her parents, may substitute other elective courses in place of those recommended to prepare the student fully for continuing his or her education in college, other post-secondary education or employment. The parental consent form shall include a certification signed by the school advisor that the parents were advised of the impact of the substitute course on the student's preparation for college, other post-secondary education or employment in the student's major field of study and that the student's certificate of proficiency will not indicate that the student completed a program of study major unless such substitute courses are related to the major field of study selected by the student.

(e) On or before July 1, 1999, the state board shall establish a uniform parental consent form to be maintained in the students permanent record for the purposes of subsections (c) and (d) of this section which shall contain:

(1) A statement to be signed and dated by the parents to consent to their child's substitution of another course for a required major course as provided in subsection (c) of this section and the course titles of the required major course and the substitute course;

(2) A statement to be signed and dated by the parents to consent to their child's substitution of another course for a recommended elective course as provided in subsection (d) of this section and the course titles of the recommended elective course and the substitute course; and

(3) A statement to be signed and dated by the school advisor certifying that the school advisor advised the parents of the impact of the substitute course on the student's preparation for college, other post-secondary education or employment in the student's major field of study and the student's certificate of proficiency.

(f) Nothing in this section shall prohibit a county school district board from establishing high school graduation requirements which exceed the minimum high school graduation requirements established by the state board.


§18-2E-8e. Veteran's honors funeral assistant community service program.

(a) Findings. -- The Legislature makes the following findings:

(1) Serving in the armed services in defense of the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness enjoyed in our democratic society involves a tremendous sacrifice on the behalf of those who serve, often at the cost of their own lives;

(2) It is a fitting tribute to those who have served in the Armed Forces and the families who have shared in their sacrifice to honor that service and that sacrifice in the most respectful manner;

(3) It is often difficult for the families of deceased veterans who wish to lay their loved ones finally to rest in a military honors funeral to find a bugler to sound their final Taps; and

(4) Organizations within the state and nationally, such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, Bugles Across America and many others, have recognized the difficulty of finding buglers to sound Taps at military honors funerals and may be able to assist.

(b) Purpose. -- The purpose of this section is to facilitate collaboration that will encourage capable young people to assist with the sounding of Taps at military funerals honoring our veterans and, thereby, help them to develop a better understanding of the sacrifices, a respect for the commitment and an appreciation of the privileges that the men and women of the armed services have protected through their service.

(c) State board guidelines. -- The state board shall, in collaboration with organizations and supporters of veterans, establish general guidelines for the establishment of school level programs that encourage capable students in grades six through twelve, inclusive, to sound Taps on a standard or valved bugle, trumpet, cornet or flugelhorn during military honors funerals held in this state. The general guidelines shall address the issues to be set forth in the county school district board policies required under this section and shall include contact information for technical assistance from the Department of Education and organizations and supporters of veterans assisting in these programs. The state board shall distribute the guidelines to every county school district board. The state board shall also distribute an appropriate program summary and contact information to the colleges and universities in the state so that they may establish similar programs for their students.

(d) County School district board policies. -- Each county school district board shall establish a policy for the implementation of a veteran's honors funeral assistant community service program that addresses at least the following:

(1) The distribution of information to music and band teachers for their use in notifying capable students and obtaining the consent of their parents or guardians for voluntary registry as a candidate able to sound Taps during military honors funerals held within a reasonable distance from their residence;

(2) The credit toward community service or work based learning requirements of the county school district or other recognition that will be awarded to a student for the registry and sounding of Taps during military honors funerals; and

(3) The limits on the amount of regular classroom instruction that a student may miss for the sounding of Taps during military honors funerals to fulfill a community service or work based learning requirement or, if none, on the excused absences that the student may accrue for this activity.

County School district boards are not responsible for any costs associated with the program, may not be required to provide or pay for student transportation to funerals and are not liable for student supervision while absent to participate in funerals. However, county school district boards are encouraged to collaborate with organizations of veterans and supporters of veterans to assist with the veteran's honors funeral assistant community service program.


§18-2E-9. West Virginia virtual school.

(a) Findings: -- The Legislature finds that:

(1) West Virginia schools have improved and expanded Internet access which enables schools to offer courses through the Internet and other new and developing technologies;

(2) Current technology is available to provide students with more resources for learning and new and developing technologies offer even more promise for expanded learning opportunities;

(3) A number of states and other jurisdictions have developed Internet-based instruction which is available currently and which is being used by schools in this state;

(4) To educate better the students of West Virginia, more course and class offerings can be made available through technology, especially to students who are geographically disadvantaged;

(5) Virtual learning enables students to learn from remote sites, learn at times other than the normal school day and learn at a different pace and gives students access to courses that would not be available in their area;

(6) There is a need to assure that Internet-based courses and courses offered through new and developing technologies are of high quality; and

(7) The state and county school district school systems can benefit from the purchasing power the state can offer.

(b) The Legislature hereby creates the West Virginia virtual school. The West Virginia virtual school shall be located within the office of technology and information systems within the West Virginia Department of Education.

(c) The State Superintendent of Schools shall appoint the director of the West Virginia virtual school with the approval of the state board.

(d) The director of the West Virginia virtual school has the following powers and duties:

(1) To contract with providers for courses and other services;

(2) To review courses and courseware and make determinations and recommendations relative to the cost and quality of the courses and the alignment with the instructional goals and objectives of the state board;

(3) To develop policy recommendations for consideration by the state board, which may include, but not be limited to, the following:

(A) Hardware and software considerations for the offering of courses on the Internet or other developing technologies;

(B) Standards of teachers and other school employees who are engaged in the activities surrounding the offering of courses on the Internet or other developing technologies;

(C) Sharing of resources with other agencies of government, both within and outside West Virginia, to facilitate the offering of courses on the Internet or other developing technologies;

(D) Methods for including courses offered on the Internet or through other developing technologies in alternative education programs;

(E) Methods for making courses offered on the Internet or through other developing technologies available for students receiving home instruction;

(F) Methods for brokering the courses offered on the Internet or through other developing technologies;

(G) Methods for applying for grants;

(H) Methods for employing persons who are the most familiar with the instructional goals and objectives to develop the courses to be offered on the Internet and through other developing technologies; and

(I) Proper funding models that address all areas of funding including, but not limited to, which county school district, if any, may include a student receiving courses on the Internet or through other developing technologies in enrollment and who, if anyone, is required to pay for the courses offered on the Internet or through other developing technologies; and

(4) Any other powers and duties necessary to address the findings of the Legislature in subsection (a) of this section.

(e) Subject to the process outlined in this section, the West Virginia virtual school's approved virtual and distance learning courses are exempt from the mandatory use of primary source instructional materials listed on the state multiple list.

(f) The West Virginia Department of Education shall report the progress of the West Virginia virtual school to the Legislative Oversight commission on education accountability on or before September 1, 2000.


§18-2E-10. Transformative system of support for early literacy.

(a) The Legislature finds that:

(1) In the early learning years, ensuring that each student masters the content and skills needed for mastery at the next grade level is critically important for student success;

(2) Students who do not demonstrate grade-level proficiency in reading by the end of third grade become increasingly less likely to succeed at each successive grade level and often drop out of school prior to graduation;

(3) State board policy requires every school to establish a process for ensuring the developmental and academic progress of all students. This process is to be coordinated by a school student assistance team that reviews student developmental and academic needs that have persisted despite being addressed through instruction, intervention, and as applicable, supports for personalized learning. Ensuring the developmental and academic success of all students requires every school to implement, in an equitable manner, programs during and after the instructional day at the appropriate instructional levels that contribute to the success of students; and

(4) To ensure that all students read proficiently by the end of third grade, a statewide comprehensive approach to early literacy is required. This approach shall focus on supports during the early learning years which include schools and engaged communities mobilized to remove barriers, expand opportunities, and assist parents in fulfilling their roles and responsibilities to serve as full partners in the success of their children.

(b) The state board shall, in accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, promulgate legislative rules as necessary to effectuate the provisions of this section. The rules shall provide for at least the following:

(1) Development of a comprehensive, systemic approach to close the reading achievement gap by third grade, which targets school readiness, the attendance gap, summer learning loss and a transformative intervention framework for student and learning supports;

(2) Ensuring all West Virginia children have access to high quality early learning experiences that focus on healthy learners as part of the school readiness model, resulting in increased populations of children on target for healthy development prior to entering first grade;

(3) Closing the attendance gap to certify West Virginia children attend school regularly and limit chronic absenteeism in the early grades;

(4) Assisting county school district boards in establishing and operating targeted, sustained extended day and extended year reading programs to ensure grade level proficiency and battle summer learning loss;

(5) Maximizing family engagement to result in the development of a culture of literacy from birth through third grade;

(6) Supporting high quality schools and a workforce prepared to address early literacy, identification of interventions, and implementation of a system of intervention for children not reaching grade level proficiency;

(7) Ensuring the employment of qualified teachers and service personnel in accordance with the provisions of section thirty-nine, article five of this chapter and section seven-c, article four, chapter eighteen-a of this code to provide instruction to students enrolled in early literacy support programs;

(8) Creating a formula or grant-based program for the distribution of funds appropriated specifically for the purposes of this section or otherwise available for the support of a targeted, comprehensive system of support for early literacy;

(9) Providing support for transportation and healthy foods for students required to attend after-school and extended year early literacy instructional support programs and supervision at the school that accommodates the typical work schedules of parents; and

(10) Receiving from county school district boards any applications and annual reports required by rule of the state board.

(c) A student in grades kindergarten through three who is recommended by the student assistance team or the student's classroom teacher for additional assistance in one or more of the key standards of English Language Arts, including reading, speaking and listening, writing or language may be required to attend an extended year early literacy instructional support program as a condition for promotion if:

(1) The student has been provided additional academic help through an in-school or after-school early literacy instructional support program and, prior to the end of the school year, the student assistance team or the student's classroom teacher recommends that further additional academic help is needed for the student to be successful at the next grade level; and

(2) The county school district board has established an early literacy instructional support program during the extended year for the student's grade level.

(d) County School district County boards shall provide high-quality educational facilities, equipment and services to support early literacy instructional support programs established pursuant to this section. Extended year programs may be provided at a central location for kindergarten through third graders who qualify for the program.

(e) This section may not be construed to prohibit a classroom teacher from recommending the grade level retention of a student based upon the student's lack of mastery of the subject matter and preparation for the subject matter at the next grade level.

(f) This section may not be construed to affect the individualized education plans of exceptional students.

(g) This section may not be construed to limit the authority of the county board to establish an extended year program in accordance with section thirty-nine, article five of this chapter. County School district boards may not charge tuition for enrollment in early literacy instructional support programs established pursuant to this section.

(h) Each county school district board shall prepare to implement the provisions of this section and the provisions of the state board rule required by subsection (b) of this section. The preparations shall at least include planning, ensuring a process for ensuring the developmental and academic progress of all students through the auspices of student assistance teams as currently required by state board policy and performing a needs assessment to determine the potential capacity requirements for the system of support for early learners.

(i) The state board shall provide a report describing the proposed implementation of the transformative system of support for early literacy to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability on or before July 1, 2014.

(j) The state board shall provide a comprehensive report regarding the status of the transformative system of support for early literacy to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability, the Joint Committee on Government and Finance, and the Governor on November 1, 2014, and annually on November 1 on each year thereafter. The report shall address, at a minimum, the progress of the program throughout the state, its effect on student achievement and the sources of the funding both available to and used by the program.

(k) The provisions of this section are subject to the availability of funds from legislative appropriation or other sources specifically designated for the purposes of this section. If a county school district board determines that adequate funds are not available for full implementation of a transformative system of support for early literacy in the county school district , the county school district board may implement its program in phases by first establishing early literacy instructional support programs in the early readiness grades (Kindergarten), then the primary grades (Grades 1-2), and then establishing an early literacy instructional support program for the third grade once the county school district board determines that adequate funds are available.


ARTICLE 2K. THE DIABETES CARE PLAN ACT.


§18-2K-2. Adoption of guidelines for individual diabetes care plans.

(a) The State Board of Education shall adopt guidelines for the development and implementation of individual diabetes care plans on or before January 1, 2007. The guidelines for information and allowable actions in a diabetes care plan shall meet or exceed the American Diabetes Association's recommendations for the management of children with diabetes in the school and day care setting. The State Board of Education shall consult with the Bureau for Public Health and the Department of Health and Human Resources in the development of these guidelines. The State Board of Education also shall consult with county school district board of education employees who have been designated as responsible for coordinating their individual county's school district’s efforts to comply with federal regulations adopted under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 29 U.S.C. §794. In its development of these guidelines, the state Board of Education shall consider recent resolutions by the Office of Civil Rights of the United States Department of Education regarding investigation of complaints alleging discrimination against students with diabetes.

The guidelines adopted by the state board shall include:

(1) Procedures for school nurses to develop an individual diabetes care plan for any student diagnosed with diabetes, which shall involve the parent or guardian, the student's health care provider, the student's classroom teacher, the student if appropriate, and other appropriate school personnel;

(2) Procedures for regular review of an individual care plan.

(3) Information to be included in a diabetes care plan, including the responsibilities and appropriate staff development for teachers and other school personnel, an emergency care plan, the identification of allowable actions to be taken, the extent to which the student is able to participate in the student's diabetes care and management and other information necessary for teachers and other school personnel in order to offer appropriate assistance and support to the student; and

(4) Procedures for information and staff development to be made available to teachers and other school personnel in order to appropriately support and assist students with diabetes.

(b) The State Board of Education shall provide that the guidelines and any subsequent changes are published and disseminated to county school district boards of education.


§18-2K-3. Establishment and implementation of diabetes care plans by county school district boards to support and assist students with diabetes.

Each county school district board of education shall establish and adopt a diabetes care plan which shall be implemented in schools in which students diagnosed with diabetes are enrolled. The plan shall be adopted not later than six months after the state Board of Education adopts guidelines for the plans pursuant to section two of this article. The plan shall meet all of the guidelines for diabetes care plans adopted by the state Board of Education pursuant to section two of this article. In particular, the boards shall require the implementation of the procedures set forth in those guidelines for the development and implementation of individual diabetes care plans. County School district boards also shall make available necessary information and staff development to teachers and school personnel in order to appropriately support and assist students with diabetes in accordance with their individual diabetes care plans.


ARTICLE 3. STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS.


§18-3-9a. Authority of state superintendent as to fire hazards and safety of buildings.

Whenever any county school district board shall fail to comply with an order of the state Fire Marshal for correction of fire hazards in any public school building, the state superintendent shall close the building, or the unsafe part thereof, until the board complies with such order. The state superintendent shall also have the power and authority to inspect any public school building and to order the making of such repairs or alterations as may be necessary to put the building into a safe condition.


§18-3-12. Special Community Development School Pilot Program.


The state superintendent shall establish a Special Community Development School Pilot Program to be implemented in a neighborhood of at least five public schools, which shall include at least one elementary and middle school, for the duration of five years. The neighborhood of public schools designated by the state superintendent for the pilot shall have significant enrollments of disadvantaged, minority and underachieving students. The designated neighborhood of public schools under the direction of the county school district board and county school district superintendent shall work in collaboration with higher education, community organizations, Center for Professional Development, local community leaders, affected classroom teachers, affected parents and the state board to develop and implement strategies that could be replicated in other public schools with significant enrollments of disadvantaged, minority and underachieving students to improve academic achievement. For purposes of this section "neighborhood" means an area of no more than seven square miles.

ARTICLE 4. county school district SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS.

§18-4-1. Election and term; interim superintendent.


(a) The county school district superintendent shall be appointed by the board upon a majority vote of the members thereof to serve for a term of not less than one, nor more than four years. At the expiration of the term or terms for which he or she shall have been appointed, each  county school district superintendent shall be eligible for reappointment for additional terms of not less than one, nor more than four years.

(1) At the expiration of his or her term or terms of service the county school district superintendent may transfer to any teaching position in the county school district for which he or she is qualified and has seniority, unless dismissed for statutory reasons.

(2) The appointment of the county school district superintendent shall be made between January 1 and June 1 for a term beginning on July 1 following the appointment.

(b) In the event of a vacancy in the superintendent's position that results in an incomplete term, the board may appoint an interim county school district superintendent:

(1) To serve until the following July 1 if the vacancy occurs before March 1.

(2) To serve until July 1 of the next following year if the vacancy occurs on or after March 1, unless a superintendent is appointed sooner.

(c) If the superintendent becomes incapacitated due to accident or illness to an extent that may lead to prolonged absence, the county school district board, by unanimous vote, may enter an order declaring that an incapacity exists in which case the county school district board shall appoint an acting superintendent to serve until a majority of the members of the board determine that the incapacity no longer exists. An acting superintendent may not serve in that capacity for more than one year, nor later than the expiration date of the superintendent's term, whichever occurs sooner, unless he or she is reappointed by the county school district board.

(d) Immediately following the appointment of a county school district superintendent or an interim county school district superintendent, the president of the county school district board shall certify the appointment to the state superintendent. Immediately following the appointment of an acting county school district superintendent or a vote by a majority of the members of the county school district board that an incapacity no longer exists, the president of the county school district board shall certify the appointment, reappointment, or appointment termination of the acting superintendent to the state superintendent.

(e) During his or her term of appointment, the county school district superintendent shall be a state resident and shall reside in the county school district which he or she serves or in a contiguous county school district. The county school district superintendent in office on the effective date of this section shall continue in office until the expiration of his or her term.


§18-4-2. Qualifications; health certificate; disability; acting superintendent.


(a) Each county school district superintendent shall hold a professional administrative certificate endorsed for superintendent, or a first class permit endorsed for superintendent, subject to the following:

(1) A superintendent who holds a first class permit may be appointed for one year only, and may be reappointed two times for an additional year each upon an annual evaluation by the county school district board and a determination of satisfactory performance and reasonable progress toward completion of the requirements for a professional administrative certificate endorsed for superintendent;

(2) Any candidate for superintendent, assistant superintendent or associate superintendent, who possesses an earned doctorate from an accredited institution of higher education and either has completed three successful years of teaching in public education or has the equivalent of three years of experience in management or supervision as defined by state board rule, after employment by the county school district board shall be granted a permanent administrative certificate and shall be a licensed county school district superintendent;

(3) The state board shall promulgate a legislative rule in accordance with article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, to address those cases where a county school district board finds that course work needed by the county school district superintendent who holds a first class permit is not available or is not scheduled at state institutions of higher education in a manner which will enable the county school district superintendent to complete normal requirements for a professional administrative certificate within the three-year period allowed under the permit; and

(4) Any person employed as assistant superintendent or educational administrator prior to June 27, 1988, and who was previously employed as superintendent is not required to hold the professional administrative certificate endorsed for superintendent.

(b) In addition to other requirements set forth in this section, a county school district superintendent shall meet the following health-related conditions of employment:

(1) Before entering upon the discharge of his or her duties, file with the president of the county school district board a certificate from a licensed physician certifying the following:

(A) A tuberculin skin test, of the type Mantoux test (PPD skin test), approved by the Director of the Division of Health, has been made within four months prior to the beginning of the term of the county school district superintendent; and

(B) The county school district superintendent does not have tuberculosis in a communicable state based upon the test results and any further study;

(2) After completion of the initial test, the county school district superintendent shall have an approved tuberculin skin test once every two years or more frequently if medically indicated. Positive reactors to the skin test are to be referred immediately to a physician for evaluation and indicated treatment or further studies;

(3) A county school district superintendent who is certified by a licensed physician to have tuberculosis in a communicable stage shall have his or her employment discontinued or suspended until the disease has been arrested and is no longer communicable; and

(4) A county school district superintendent who fails to complete required follow-up examinations as set forth in this subsection shall be suspended from employment until a report of examination is confirmed.

§18-4-6. Evaluation of county school district superintendent.


(a) At least annually, the county school district board shall evaluate the performance of the county school district superintendent. The evaluation process to be used shall be one authorized by the state board. The West Virginia school board association shall maintain a catalog of evaluation instruments which comply with this section and shall make them available to county school district boards.

(b) At a minimum, the evaluation process shall require the county school district superintendent and county school district board to establish written goals or objectives for the county school district superintendent to accomplish within a given period of time. Additionally, the county school district board shall evaluate the county school district superintendent on his or her success in improving student achievement generally across the county school district and specifically as it relates to the management and administration of low performing schools.

(c) The evaluation also may cover the performance of a county school district superintendent in the areas of community relations, school finance, personnel relations, curricular standards and programs and overall leadership of the school district as indicated primarily by improvements in student achievement, testing and assessment.

(d) The evaluation of a county school district superintendent shall occur in executive session. At the conclusion of the evaluation, the county school district board shall make available to the public a general statement about the evaluation process and the overall result. Additional information about the evaluation may be released only by mutual consent of the county school district superintendent and the county school district board. The county school district board may use the evaluation results to determine:

(1) Whether to extend the contract of the county school district superintendent;

(2) Whether to offer the county school district superintendent a new contract; and

(3) The level of compensation or benefits to offer the county school district superintendent in any new or extended contract.


§18-4-10. Duties of county school district superintendent.

The county school district superintendent shall:

(1) Act as the chief executive officer of the county school district board as may be delineated in his or her contract or other written agreement with the county school district board, and, under the direction of the state board, execute all its education policies;

(2) Nominate all personnel to be employed; in case the county school district board refuses to employ any or all of the persons nominated, the county school district superintendent shall nominate others and submit the same to the county school district board at a time the county school district board may direct. No person or persons shall be employed except on the nomination of the county school district superintendent;

(3) Assign, transfer, suspend or promote teachers and all other school employees of the district, subject only to the approval of the county school district board, and to recommend to the county school district board their dismissal pursuant to the provisions of this chapter;

(4) Report promptly to the county school district board in such manner as it directs whenever any school in the district appears to be failing to meet the standards for improving education established pursuant to section five, article two-e of this chapter;

(5) Close a school temporarily when conditions are detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of the pupils;

(6) Certify all expenditures and monthly payrolls of teachers and employees;

(7) Serve as the secretary of the county school district board and attend all meetings of the county school district board or its committees, except when the tenure, salary or administration of the county school district superintendent is under consideration;

(8) Administer oaths and examine witnesses under oath in any proceedings pertaining to the schools of the district, and have the testimony reduced to writing;

(9) Keep the county school district board apprised continuously of any issues that affect the county school district board or its schools, programs and initiatives. The county school district superintendent shall report to the county school district board on these issues using any appropriate means agreeable to both parties. When practicable, the reports shall be fashioned to include a broad array of data and information that the county school district board may consult to aid in making decisions;

(10) Exercise all other authority granted by this chapter or required by the county school district board or state board; and

(11) In case of emergency, act as the best interests of the school demand. An emergency, as contemplated in this section, is limited to an unforeseeable, catastrophic event including natural disaster or act of war and nothing in this section may be construed as granting the county school district superintendent authority to override any statutory or Constitutional provision in the exercise of his or her emergency power except where such authority is specifically granted in the particular code section.


§18-4-11. Other powers and duties.

The county school district superintendent shall:

(1) Visit the schools as often as practicable; observe and make suggestions concerning the instruction and classroom management of the schools and their sanitary conditions;

(2) Report to the county school district board cases of incompetence, neglect of duty, immorality or misconduct in office of any teacher or employee;

(3) Recommend for condemnation buildings unfit for school use;

(4) Call, at his or her discretion, conferences of principals and teachers to discuss the work of the schools of the district;

(5) Report to the county school district board the progress and general condition of the schools;

(6) Make reports as required by the state superintendent. In case the county school district superintendent fails to report as required, the state superintendent may direct that the salary of the county school district superintendent be withheld until an acceptable report is received; and

(7) Perform all other duties prescribed in this chapter or required by the county school district board or the state board.


ARTICLE 5. COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD OF EDUCATION.

§18-5-1. Supervision and control of county school districts; number, nomination and election of members; transition plan.


 (a) Each county school district shall be under the supervision and control of a county board of education, which shall be composed of five members, nominated and elected by the voters of the respective county without reference to political party affiliation. No more than two members shall be elected from the same magisterial district.

(a) The county school district boards of education, previously established by this article, are hereby abolished, effective July 1, 2021. To carry on the duties, powers, and services provided by the county school district boards of education in effect prior to the reenactment of this section, ten school districts shall be established.

(b) There shall be ten school districts throughout the state. Each school district shall be formed to serve a nearly equal number of students. School district boundary lines may cross county borders to allow districts to serve a nearly equal number of students.

(c) Each school district shall be under the supervision and control of a school district board of education, which shall be composed of seven members, nominated and elected by popular vote of the voters of the respective school district without reference to political party affiliation.

(d) The rules regarding the operation of the county school district boards of education that are in effect immediately prior to the effective date of the reenactment of this section shall remain in force and effect until new or additional rules are promulgated. The state board of education may establish interim policies and procedures to aid in the orderly and efficient transition from county school districts to school districts.

(e) The state board of education shall develop and implement a transition plan for the county boards of education. The plan shall be submitted in writing to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance, the Governor, the State Board of Education. This plan shall be submitted no later than December 1, 2017. The plan shall include proposals for the following:

(1) Transition to school districts the county board’s hard and electronic copies of files;

(2) Discontinuation of use of any current building including termination of any lease or rental agreements;

(3) The disposition of all state owned or leased office furniture and equipment, including any state owned vehicles;

(4) Transferring existing budget allocations;

(5) A transition plan for employees of the county boards of education.

(6) A new bussing system based upon the school district boundaries.

(7) Any other matters which would effectively transition the county boards of education to school district boards of education.

§18-5-1a. Eligibility of members; training requirements.


(a) A person who is a member of a county school district board:

(1) Shall be a citizen and resident in the county school district in which he or she serves on the county school district board. Also, a person who is a candidate for membership on a county school district board or who is a member-elect of a county school district board shall be a citizen and resident in the county school district in which he or she seeks to serve on the county school district board;

(2) May not be employed by the county school district board on which he or she serves, including employment as a teacher or service person;

(3) May not engage in the following political activities:

(A) Become a candidate for or hold any other public office, other than to succeed him or herself as a member of a county school district board subject to the following:

(i) A candidate for county school district board, who is not currently serving on a county school district board, may hold another public office while a candidate if he or she resigns from the other public office prior to taking the oath of office as a county school district board member.

(ii) The term "public office" as used in this section does not include service on any other board, elected or appointed, profit or nonprofit, under the following conditions:

(I) The person does not receive compensation; and

(II) The primary scope of the board is not related to public schools.

(B) Become a candidate for, or serve as, an elected member of any political party executive committee;

(C) Become a candidate for, or serve as, a delegate, alternate or proxy to a national political party convention;

(D) Solicit or receive political contributions to support the election of, or to retire the campaign debt of, any candidate for partisan office;

(4) May engage in any or all of the following political activities:

(A) Make campaign contributions to partisan or bipartisan candidates;

(B) Attend political fund raisers for partisan or bipartisan candidates;

(C) Serve as an unpaid volunteer on a partisan campaign;

(D) Politically endorse any candidate in a partisan or bipartisan election; or

(E) Attend a county, state or national political party convention.

(b) A member or member-elect of a county school district board, or a person desiring to become a member of a county school district board, may make a written request to the West Virginia Ethics Commission for an advisory opinion to determine if another elected or appointed position held or sought by the person is an office or public office which would bar service on a county school district board pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.

(1) Within thirty days of receipt of the request, the Ethics Commission shall issue a written advisory opinion in response to the request and also shall publish the opinion in a manner which, to the fullest extent possible, does not reveal the identity of the person making the request.

(2) A county school district board member who relies in good faith upon an advisory opinion issued by the West Virginia Ethics Commission to the effect that holding a particular office or public office is not a bar from membership on a county school district board and against whom proceedings are subsequently brought for removal from the county school district board on the basis of holding that office or offices is entitled to reimbursement by the county school district board for reasonable attorney's fees and court costs incurred by the member in defending against these proceedings, regardless of the outcome of the proceedings.

(3) A vote cast by the member at a meeting of the county school district board may not be invalidated due to a subsequent finding that holding the particular office or public office is a bar to membership on the county school district board.

(4) Good faith reliance on a written advisory opinion of the West Virginia Ethics Commission that a particular office or public office is not a bar to membership on a county school district board is an absolute defense to any civil suit or criminal prosecution arising from any proper action taken within the scope of membership on the county school district board, becoming a member-elect of the county school district board or seeking election to the county school district board.

(c) To be eligible for election or appointment as a member of a county school district board, a person shall possess at least a high school diploma or a general educational development (GED) diploma. This provision does not apply to members or members-elect who have taken office prior to May 5, 1992, and who serve continuously from that date forward.

(d) A person elected to a county school district board after July 1, 1990, may not assume the duties of county school district board member unless he or she has first attended and completed a course of orientation relating to boardsmanship and governance effectiveness which shall be given between the date of election and the beginning of the member's term of office under the following conditions:

(1) A portion or portions of subsequent training such as that offered in orientation may be provided to members after they have commenced their term of office;

(2) Attendance at the session of orientation given between the date of election and the beginning of the member's term of office permits the member-elect to assume the duties of county school district board member, as specified in this section;

(3) Members appointed to the county school district board shall attend and complete the next orientation course offered following their appointment; and

(4) The provisions of this subsection relating to orientation do not apply to members who have taken office prior to July 1, 1988, and who serve continuously from that date forward.

(e) Annually, each member of a county school district board shall receive seven clock hours of training in areas relating to boardsmanship, governance effectiveness, and school performance issues including, but not limited to, pertinent state and federal statutes such as the "Process for Improving Education" set forth in section five, article two-e of this chapter and the "No Child Left Behind Act" and their respective administrative rules.

(1) The orientation and training shall be approved by the state board and conducted by the West Virginia School Board Association or other organization or organizations approved by the state board:

(A) The state board may exclude time spent in training on school performance issues from the requisite seven hours herein required; and

(B) If the state board elects to exclude time spent in training on school performance issues from the requisite seven hours, the state board shall limit the training to a feasible and practicable amount of time.

(2) Failure to attend and complete the approved course of orientation and training relating to boardsmanship and governance effectiveness without good cause as determined by the state board by duly promulgated legislative rules constitutes neglect of duty under section seven, article six, chapter six of this code.

(f) In the final year of any four-year term of office, a member shall satisfy the annual training requirement before January 1. Failure to comply with the training requirements of this section without good cause as defined by the state board by duly promulgated legislative rules constitutes neglect of duty under section seven, article six, chapter six of this code.

(g) The state board shall appoint a committee named the " county school district board member training standards review committee" whose members shall meet at least annually. Subject to state board approval, the committee shall determine which particular trainings and training organizations shall be approved and whether county school district board members have satisfied the annual training requirement. Members of the committee serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed by their agencies or employers for all reasonable and necessary expenses actually incurred in the performance of their duties under this subsection.

§18-5-1b. Election; terms of office.


As the terms of county school board members who presently hold office expire, members shall be elected for four-year terms at the time of each regular primary election commencing with the year one thousand nine hundred ninety. The terms of such members shall begin on July 1, next following the primary election at which they were elected.

The term of office of any member of any county board of education shall immediately cease, and a vacancy shall exist, upon occurrence of ineligibility as prescribed in section one-a of this article.

This section shall in no manner be construed so as to affect the unexpired terms of county school board members who hold office or were elected under prior existing law.

School district board members shall be elected to their terms, which commence on July 1, at the regular primary election immediately preceding the commencement of their terms.  Effective July 1, 2021, the terms of the reconstituted school district boards shall begin. The terms of school district board members shall be staggered initially. Two members shall be elected for a term of two years, three members shall be elected for a term of four years, and two members shall be elected for a term of six years.  Subsequent elections shall be for terms of six years. Each board member shall serve until that member’s successor has been elected and has been qualified.

In case of a vacancy by death or resignation among the members so elected, the remaining members of the board shall choose the successor, or successors, until the next annual election at which latter time all vacancies shall be filled.  In the case of an elected member retiring during his or her term, the retired member may continue to serve the remainder of his or her term.

§18-5-1c. Organization of board; evaluation.


(a) On the first Monday of July, following each biennial primary election, each respective county school district board shall organize and shall elect a president from its own membership for a two-year term. The county school district board shall report promptly to the state superintendent the name of the member elected as county school district board president.

(b) Annually, each county school district board shall assess its own performance using an instrument approved by the state board. In developing or making determinations on approving evaluation instruments, the state board may consult with the West Virginia school board association or other appropriate organizations. The evaluation instrument selected shall focus on the effectiveness of the county school district board in the following areas:

(1) Dealing with its various constituency groups and with the general public;

(2) Providing a proper framework and the governance strategies necessary to monitor and approve student achievement on a continuing basis; and

(3) Enhancing the effective utilization of the policy approach to governance.

At the conclusion of the evaluation, the county school district board shall make available to the public a summary of the evaluation, including areas in which the board concludes improvement is warranted.

§18-5-4. Meetings; employment and assignment of teachers; budget hearing; compensation of members; affiliation with state and national associations.


(a) The county school district board shall meet upon the dates provided by law, and at any other times the county school district board fixes upon its records. Subject to adequate public notice, nothing in this section prohibits the county school district board from conducting regular meetings in facilities within the county school district other than the county school district board office. At any meeting as authorized in this section and in compliance with the provisions of chapter eighteen-a of this code, the county school district board may employ qualified teachers, or those who will qualify by the time they enter upon their duties, necessary to fill existing or anticipated vacancies for the current or next ensuing school year. Meetings of the county school district board shall be held in compliance with the provisions of chapter eighteen-a of this code for purposes relating to the assignment, transfer, termination and dismissal of teachers and other school employees.

(b) Special meetings may be called by the president or any three members, but no business may be transacted other than that designated in the call.

(c) In addition, a public hearing shall be held concerning the preliminary operating budget for the next fiscal year not fewer than ten days after the budget has been made available to the public for inspection and within a reasonable time prior to the submission of the budget to the state board for approval. Reasonable time shall be granted at the hearing to any person who wishes to speak regarding any part of the budget. Notice of the hearing shall be published as a Class I legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code.

(d) A majority of the members of the county school district board is the quorum necessary for the transaction of official business.

(e) Board members may receive compensation at a rate not to exceed $160 per meeting attended, but they may not receive pay for more than fifty meetings in any one fiscal year. Board members who serve on an administrative council of a multicounty vocational center also may receive compensation for attending up to twelve meetings of the council at the same rate as for meetings of the county school district board. Meetings of the council are not counted as board meetings for purposes of determining the limit on compensable board meetings.

(f) Members also shall be paid, upon the presentation of an itemized sworn statement, for all necessary traveling expenses, including all authorized meetings, incurred on official business, at the order of the county school district board.

(g) When, by a majority vote of its members, a county school district board considers it a matter of public interest, the county school district board may join the West Virginia School Board Association and the National School Board Association and may pay the dues prescribed by the associations and approved by action of the respective county school district boards. Membership dues and actual traveling expenses incurred by board members for attending meetings of the West Virginia School Board Association may be paid by their respective county school district boards out of funds available to meet actual expenses of the members, but no allowance may be made except upon sworn itemized statements.


§18-5-5. Corporate character and general powers of board; exemption of school property from legal process and taxes.

The county school district board of education shall be a corporation by the name of "The Board of Education of the county school district of ..........," and as such may sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded, contract and be contracted with. It shall succeed and be subrogated to all the rights of former magisterial and independent district boards and may institute and maintain any and all actions, suits and proceedings now pending or which might have been brought and prosecuted in the name of any former board for the recovery of any money or property, or damage to any property due to or vested in the former board, and shall also be liable in its corporate capacity for all claims legally existing against the board of which it is a successor. The board shall, according to law, hold and dispose of any real estate or personal property belonging to the former corporation or its predecessors, or that may hereafter come into its possession.

The board according to law and the intent of the instrument conferring title, shall receive, hold and dispose of any gift, grant or bequest.

All public school property used for school purposes shall be exempt from execution or other process, and free from lien or distress for taxes or municipal, county or state levies.

§18-5-6. Validation of titles to land in possession of board.


The county school district board shall have title to any land or school site which for five years has been in the undisputed possession of the county school district board or any Board of Education of a magisterial district, or subdistrict, or independent district, and to which title cannot be shown by any other claimant. Such land shall be held and used for school purposes, as provided by section eight of this article.


§18-5-7. Sale of school property at public auction; rights of grantor of lands in rural communities; oil and gas leases; disposition of proceeds; lease of school property.

(a) Except as set forth in subsection (b) of this section, if at any time a county school district board determines that any building or any land is no longer needed for school purposes, the county school district board may sell, dismantle, remove or relocate the building and sell the land on which it is located at public auction, after proper notice and on such terms as it orders, to the highest responsible bidder.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, in rural communities, the grantor of the lands or his or her heirs or assigns has the right to purchase at the sale, the land, exclusive of the buildings on the land and the mineral rights, at the same price for which it was originally sold: Provided, That the sale to the board was not a voluntary arms length transaction for valuable consideration approximating the fair market value of the property at the time of the sale to the board: Provided, however, That the provisions of this section may not operate to invalidate any provision of the deed to the contrary.

(c) The county school district board, by the same method set forth in subsection (a) of this section for the sale of school buildings and lands, may, in lieu of offering the property for sale, enter into a lease for oil or gas or other minerals any lands or school sites owned in fee by it. The proceeds of the sales and rentals shall be placed to the credit of the fund or funds of the district as the county school district board may direct.

(d) The county school district board may make any sale of property subject to the provision that all liability for hazards associated with the premises are to be assumed by the purchaser. In any sale by the county school district board of improved property in which the actual consideration is less than $10,000 or in any sale of unimproved property in which the actual consideration is less than $1,000, the county school district board shall make any sale of property subject to the provision that all liability for hazards associated with the premises are to be assumed by the purchaser. The county school district board shall inform any prospective purchaser of known or suspected hazards associated with the property.

(e) Except as provided by the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, where a county school district board determines that any school property is no longer needed for school purposes, the county school district board may, upon determining that it will serve the best interests of the school system and the community, offer the property for lease. The procedure set forth in subsection (a) of this section relating to sale of school buildings and lands shall apply to leasing the school property. Any lease authorized by the provisions of this subsection shall be in writing. The writing shall include a recitation of all known or reasonably suspected hazards associated with the property, an assumption by the lessee of all liability related to all hazards, whether disclosed or not, and provisions wherein the lessee assumes all liability for any actions arising from the property during the term of the lease.

(f) Notwithstanding any provision of this section to the contrary, the provisions of this section concerning sale or lease at public auction may not apply to a county school district board selling, leasing or otherwise disposing of its property for a public use to the State of West Virginia, or its political subdivisions, including county school district commissions, for an adequate consideration without considering alone the present commercial or market value of the property.


§18-5-7a. Disposition of school property in flood control projects.

(a) If at any time the board ascertains that any land or part thereof then being used for school purposes is to be included in any federal flood control project the board may:

(1) Sell, dismantle, remove or relocate any buildings thereon;

(2) Contract with the United States of America, or any instrumentality, agency or political subdivision thereof, for the sale or exchange of its interest in the land or any part thereof; and

(3) Without auction sell or exchange its interest in the land or any part thereof to the United States of America, or any instrumentality, agency or political subdivision thereof, in accordance with the terms and provisions of the contract.

(b) If the flood control project is proposed in a county school district where the state Board of Education has intervened in the operation of the county school district school system pursuant to the provisions of section five, article two-e of this chapter or any other Constitutional or statutory authority to intervene, the powers granted in this section are vested in the state board.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of section seven of this article, neither the grantor of the land or any part thereof nor his or her heirs or assigns has the right to purchase the land or any part thereof or have any other rights whatever under section seven of this article.


§18-5-9a. Energy-savings contracts.

(a) For the purposes of this section:

(1) "Energy-conservation measures" means goods or services, or both, to reduce energy consumption operating costs of school facilities. These include, but are not limited to, installation of two or more of the following:

(A) Insulation of a building structure and systems within a building;

(B) Storm windows or doors, caulking or weather stripping, multi-glazed windows or doors, heat-absorbing or heat-reflective glazed and coated window or door systems or other window or door modifications that reduce energy consumption;

(C) Automatic energy control systems;

(D) Heating, ventilating or air conditioning systems, including modifications or replacements;

(E) Replacement or modification of lighting fixtures to increase energy efficiency;

(F) Energy recovery systems;

(G) Co-generation systems that produce steam or another form of energy for use by the county school district board of education in a building or complex of buildings owned by the Board of Education; or

(H) Energy-conservation maintenance measures that provide long-term operating cost reductions of the building's present cost of operation.

(2) "Energy-savings contract" means a contract for the evaluation and recommendation of energy operations conservation measures and for implementation of one or more such measures. The contract shall provide that payments, except obligations upon termination of the contract before its expiration, are to be made over time. A county school district board of education may supplement these payments with federal, state or local funds to reduce the annual cost or to lower the initial amount to be financed.

(3) "Qualified provider" means a person, firm or corporation experienced in the design, implementation and installation of energy-conservation measures.

(b) County School district boards of education are hereby authorized to enter into performance-based contracts with qualified providers of energy-conservation measures for the purpose of reducing energy operating costs of school buildings.

(c) A board of education may enter into an energy-savings contract with a qualified provider to significantly reduce energy operating costs. Before entering into such a contract or before the installation of equipment, modifications or remodeling to be furnished under such a contract, the qualified provider shall first issue a proposal summarizing the scope of work to be performed. Such a proposal shall contain estimates of all costs of installation, modifications or remodeling including the costs of design, engineering, installation, maintenance, repairs or debt service as well as estimates of the amounts by which energy operating costs will be reduced. If the board finds, after receiving the proposal, that the proposal includes more than one energy-conservation measure designed to save energy operating costs, the board may enter into a contract with the provider pursuant to this section.

(d) An energy-savings contract shall include the following:

(1) A guarantee of a specific minimum amount of money that the board will save in energy operating costs each year during the term of the contract; and

(2) A statement of all costs of energy-conservation measures including the costs of design, engineering, installation, maintenance, repairs and operations.

(e) An energy-savings contract which is performance-based and includes a guarantee of savings and a comprehensive approach of energy-conservation measures for improving comfort is subject to competitive bidding requirements. The requirements of article five-a, chapter twenty-one of this code as to prevailing wage rates shall apply to the construction and installation work performed under such a contract.

(f) A board may enter into a "lease with an option to purchase" contract for the purchase and installation of energy-conservation measures if the term of the lease does not exceed fifteen years and the lease contract includes the provisions hereinafter contained in subsection (g) and meets federal tax requirements for tax-exempt municipal leasing or long-term financing.

(g) An energy-savings contract may extend beyond the fiscal year in which it first becomes effective except that such a contract may not exceed a fifteen-year term and shall be void unless such agreement provides the board the option to terminate the agreement during each fiscal year of the contract. The board may include in its annual budget for each fiscal year any amounts payable under long-term energy-savings contracts during that fiscal year.

(h) Nothing contained in this section requires or permits the replacement of jobs performed by service personnel employed by the local school board pursuant to sections eight and eight-a, article four, chapter eighteen-a of the code, as amended.


§18-5-11. Joint establishment of schools.

(a) The boards of two or more adjoining counties school districts may jointly establish and maintain schools. The title to the school shall be vested in the board of the county school district in which the school is located. The agreement by which the school is established shall be reduced to writing and entered of record in the minutes of each board.

(b) The boards of the several districts shall determine the site of the proposed school and the amount to be expended for its establishment and equipment.

(1) The participating counties school districts shall enter a formal agreement regarding the manner in which the cost for the acquisition of the property and equipment shall be apportioned.

(2) The board in the district in which the building is located shall be vested with the control and management of the school, except as may otherwise be provided in the agreement between the counties school districts.

(c) The annual operating costs shall be the responsibility of the county school district in which the joint school is located and subject to the allowance transfer set forth in section fourteen, article nine-a of this chapter unless otherwise provided in the agreement between the counties school districts.

(d) For a county school district board that sends students to a jointly established school in another county school district and that provides transportation for those students or that otherwise contributes to the support services or instructional program of the school, the net enrollment of the county school district for the purposes of calculating its basic foundation program as provided in article nine-a of this chapter, only, shall be increased by fifteen one hundredths multiplied by the number of full-time equivalent students from the county school district who are enrolled in the jointly established school.


§18-5-11a. Joint governing partnership board pilot initiative.

(a) The Legislature finds that many examples exist across the state of students who reside in one the county school district, but who attend the public schools in an adjoining the county school district.

(1) These arrangements have been accommodated by the boards of the adjoining the counties school districts and applicable statutes to serve best the interests of the students by enabling them to attend a school closer to their homes.

(2) Typically, these arrangements have evolved because school closures or construction of new schools in the student's county school district of residence have made a cross- the county school district transfer to an existing school in an adjoining county school district a more convenient, practical and educationally sound option.

(b) The Legislature further finds that as population changes continue to occur, the boards of adjoining the counties school districts may best serve the interests of their students and families by establishing a new school in partnership to be attended by students residing in each of the the county school district. Particularly in the case of elementary grade level schools established in partnership between adjoining counties, the Legislature finds that each of the county school district boards, as well as the parents of students from each of the counties school districts attending the school, have an interest in the operation of the school and the preparation of the students for success as they transition to the higher grade levels in the other schools of their respective home counties school districts. Therefore, in the absence of a well defined governance structure that accommodates these interests, the purpose of this section is to provide for a joint governing partnership board pilot initiative.

(c) The pilot initiative is limited to the joint establishment by two adjoining counties school districts of a school including elementary grade levels for which a memorandum of understanding on the governance and operation of the school has been signed. The pilot initiative is subject to amendment of the agreement as may be necessary to incorporate at least the following features of a joint governing partnership board:

(1) The joint governing partnership board is comprised of the county school district superintendent of each county school district, the president of the county board of each county school district or his or her designee, and a designee of the state superintendent;

(2) The board shall elect a chair from among its membership for a two-year term and may meet monthly or at the call of the chair.

(A) Meetings of the board are subject to the open governmental proceedings laws applicable to county school district boards.

(B) The boards of the respective counties school districts are responsible for the expenses of its members and shall apportion other operational expenses of the board upon mutual agreement.

(C) Once the jointly established school is opened, the meetings of the board shall be held at the school.

(3) All provisions of law applicable to the establishment, operation and management of an inter- county school district school including, but not limited to, section eleven, article five and section fourteen, article nine-a of this chapter and article eight-i, article four, chapter eighteen-a of this code apply, except that the joint governing partnership board may exercise governing authority for operation and management of the school in the following areas:

(A) Personnel.

(1) Notwithstanding any other laws for employment, evaluation, mentoring, professional development, suspension and dismissal of public school employees, the powers and duties of the county school district superintendent are vested in the joint governing partnership board with respect to the employees employed by the county school district in which the school is located or assigned to the school from the partner county school district. Pursuant to the provisions of section eight-i, article four, chapter eighteen-a of this code, employees who are hired by the county school district board of the receiving county school district shall accrue seniority in both the sending and receiving counties school districts during the time in which they continue to be employed at the jointly established school. Upon losing a position at the jointly established school due to reduction in force or involuntary transfer, an employee shall displace a less senior employee in the county school district of employment which immediately preceded employment at the jointly established school. Once an employee from the sending county school district voluntarily transfers or resigns from a position at the jointly established school and is no longer employed in the receiving county school district, the employee's seniority and any other statutory rights in the receiving county school district cease.

(2) When initially filling service and professional employee positions at the jointly established school, the counties school districts shall follow the procedures established in section eight-i, article four, chapter eighteen-a of this code. For the initial school year of the jointly established school's opening only, the receiving county school district may not fill any vacancies created by the retirement or voluntary transfer of employees of the receiving county school district school from February 1 of the school year immediately preceding the opening of the school until January 1 following the opening of the jointly established school until the receiving county school district has received the list of employees created pursuant to the provisions of subsection (c), section eight-i, article four, chapter eighteen-a of this code. The receiving county school district may not fill any of the vacancies referenced in this subsection until the vacancies have been offered to qualified individuals from the certified list.

(3) The employees of the jointly established school are the employees of the employing county school district board and the partnership board may make recommendations concerning these employment matters to the employing board it considers necessary and appropriate.

(B) Curriculum.

(1) The joint governing partnership board is responsible for the formulation and execution of the school's strategic improvement plan and technology plan to meet the goals for student and school performance and progress.

(2) In its formulation of these plans, the partnership board shall consider the curriculum and plans of the respective county school district boards to ensure preparation of the students at the school for their successful transition into the higher grade level schools of the respective counties school districts;

(C) Finances. The joint governing partnership board shall control and may approve the expenditure of all funds allocated to the school for the school budget from either county school district and may solicit and receive donations, apply for and receive grants and conduct fund raisers to supplement the budget; and

(D) Facilities. Consistent with the policies in effect concerning liability insurance coverage, maintenance and appropriate uses of school facilities for the schools of the county school district in which the school is located, the joint governing partnership board governs the use of the school facility and ensures equitable opportunities for access and use by organizations and groups from both counties school districts.

(d) The joint governing partnership board may adopt policies for the school that are separate from the policies of the respective counties school districts and, working in concert with its local school improvement council, may propose alternatives to the operation of the school which require the request of a waiver of policy, interpretation or statute from either or both county school district boards, the state board or the Legislature as appropriate.

(e) The superintendents and presidents of county school district boards of adjoining counties school districts that have in effect on the effective date of this section a memorandum of understanding on the governance and operation of a jointly established school shall report to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability on or before November 1, 2013, on the status of implementation of this section.

(1) Once established, the joint governing partnership board established under this pilot initiative shall remain in effect for five consecutive school years unless authority for the pilot initiative is repealed.

(2) The Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability may request the superintendents and the presidents of the county school district boards to provide periodic updates on this pilot initiative. Also, at the conclusion of the five-year pilot initiative, they shall report their recommendations on the viability of the joint governing partnership board approach and any recommended changes to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability.

(A) When the five-year period is concluded, by affirmative vote of both boards, the joint governing partnership board shall remain in effect; or

(B) The agreement between the boards for the governance and operation of the school shall revert to the terms in effect on the effective date of this section, subject to amendment by agreement of the boards.


§18-5-13. Authority of boards generally.

Subject to the provisions of this chapter and the rules of the state board, each county school district board may:

(a) Control and manage all of the schools and school interests for all school activities and upon all school property owned or leased by the county school district, including:

(1) Requiring schools to keep records regarding funds connected with the school or school interests, including all receipts and disbursements of all funds collected or received by:

(A) Any principal, teacher, student or other person in connection with the schools and school interests;

(B) Any program, activity or other endeavor of any nature operated or conducted by or in the name of the school; and

(C) Any organization or body directly connected with the school;

(2) Allowing schools to expend funds for student, parent, teacher and community recognition programs. A school may use only funds it generates through a fund-raising or donation-soliciting activity. Prior to commencing the activity, the school shall:

(A) Publicize the activity as intended for this purpose; and

(B) Designate for this purpose the funds generated;

(3) Auditing the records and conserving the funds, including securing surety bonds by expending board moneys. The funds described in this subsection are quasipublic funds, which means the moneys were received for the benefit of the school system as a result of curricular or noncurricular activities;

(b) Establish:

(1) Schools, from preschool through high school;

(2) Vocational schools; and

(3) Schools and programs for post-high school instruction, subject to approval of the state board;

(c) Close any school:

(1) Which is unnecessary and assign the students to other schools. The closing shall occur pursuant to official action of the county school district board. Except in emergency situations when the timing and manner of notification are subject to approval by the state superintendent, the county school district board shall notify the affected teachers and service personnel of the county school district board action not later than the first Monday in April. The board shall provide notice in the same manner as set forth in section four of this article; or

(2) Pursuant to the provisions of subsection (e) of this section;

(d) Consolidate schools;

(e) Close any elementary school whose average daily attendance falls below twenty students for two consecutive months. The county school district board may assign the students to other schools in the district or to schools in adjoining districts. If the teachers in the closed school are not transferred or reassigned to other schools, they shall receive one month's salary;

(f) Provide transportation according to rules established by the county school district board, as follows:

(1) To provide at public expense adequate means of transportation:

(A) For all children of school age who live more than two miles distance from school by the nearest available road;

(B) For school children participating in county school district board-approved curricular and extracurricular activities;

(C) Across county school district lines for students transferred from one district to another by mutual agreement of both county school district boards. The agreement shall be recorded in the meeting minutes of each participating county school district board and is subject to the provisions of subsection (h) of this section; and

(D) Within available revenues, for students within two miles distance of the school; and

(2) To provide transportation for participants in projects operated, financed, sponsored or approved by the Bureau of Senior Services. This transportation shall be provided at no cost to the county school district board. All costs and expenses incident in any way to this transportation shall be borne by the bureau or the local or county affiliate of the bureau;

(3) Any school bus owned by the county school district board may be operated only by a bus operator regularly employed by the county school district board, except as provided in subsection (g) of this section;

(4) Pursuant to rules established by the state board, the county school district board may provide for professional employees to be certified to drive county school district board-owned vehicles that have a seating capacity of fewer than ten passengers. These employees may use the vehicles to transport students for school-sponsored activities, but may not use the vehicles to transport students between school and home. Not more than one of these vehicles may be used for any school-sponsored activity;

(5) Students may not be transported to a school-sponsored activity in any county school district-owned or leased vehicle that does not meet school bus or public transit ratings. This section does not prohibit a parent from transporting ten or fewer students in a privately-owned vehicle;

(6) Students may be transported to a school-sponsored activity in a vehicle that has a seating capacity of sixteen or more passengers which is not owned and operated by the county school district board only as follows:

(A) The state board shall promulgate a rule to establish requirements for:

(i) Automobile insurance coverage;

(ii) Vehicle safety specifications;

(iii) School bus or public transit ratings; and

(iv) Driver training, certification and criminal history record check; and

(B) The vehicle owner shall provide to the county school district board proof that the vehicle and driver satisfy the requirements of the state board rule; and

(7) Buses shall be used for extracurricular activities as provided in this section only when the insurance coverage required by this section is in effect;

(g) Lease school buses pursuant to rules established by the county school district board.

(1) Leased buses may be operated only by bus operators regularly employed by the county school district board, except that these buses may be operated by bus operators regularly employed by another county school district board in this state if bus operators from the owning county school district are unavailable.

(2) The lessee shall bear all costs and expenses incurred by, or incidental to the use of, the bus.

(3) The county school district board may lease buses to:

(A) Public and private nonprofit organizations and private corporations to transport school-age children for camps or educational activities;

(B) Any college, university or officially recognized campus organization for transporting students, faculty and staff to and from the college or university. Only college and university students, faculty and staff may be transported pursuant to this paragraph. The lease shall include provisions for:

(i) Compensation for bus operators;

(ii) Consideration for insurance coverage, repairs and other costs of service; and

(iii) Any rules concerning student behavior;

(C) Public and private nonprofit organizations, including education employee organizations, for transportation associated with fairs, festivals and other educational and cultural events. The county school district board may charge fees in addition to those charges otherwise required by this subsection;

(h) To provide at public expense for insurance coverage against negligence of the drivers of school buses, trucks or other vehicles operated by the county school district board. Any contractual agreement for transportation of students shall require the vehicle owner to maintain insurance coverage against negligence in an amount specified by the county school district board;

(i) Provide for the full cost or any portion thereof for group plan insurance benefits not provided or available under the West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Act. Any of these benefits shall be provided:

(1) Solely from county school district board funds; and

(2) For all regular full-time employees of the county school district board;

(j) Employ teacher aides; to provide in-service training for the aides pursuant to rules established by the state board; and, prior to assignment, to provide a four-clock-hour program of training for a service person assigned duties as a teacher aide in an exceptional children program. The four-clock-hour program shall consist of training in areas specifically related to the education of exceptional children;

(k) Establish and operate a self-supporting dormitory for:

(1) Students attending a high school or participating in a post high school program; and

(2) Persons employed to teach in the high school or post high school program;

(l) At the county school district board's discretion, employ, contract with or otherwise engage legal counsel in lieu of using the services of the prosecuting attorney to advise, attend to, bring, prosecute or defend, as the case may be, any matters, actions, suits and proceedings in which the county school district board is interested;

(m) Provide appropriate uniforms for school service personnel;

(n) Provide at public expense for payment of traveling expenses incurred by any person invited to appear to be interviewed concerning possible employment by the county school district board, subject to rules established by the county school district board;

(o) Allow designated employees to use publicly provided carriage to travel from their residences to their workplace and return. The use:

(1) Is subject to the supervision of the county school district board; and

(2) Shall be directly connected with, required by and essential to the performance of the employee>s duties and responsibilities;

(p) Provide at public expense adequate public liability insurance, including professional liability insurance, for county school district board employees;

(q) Enter into cooperative agreements with other county school district boards to provide improvements to the instructional needs of each district. The cooperative agreements may be used to employ specialists in a field of academic study or for support functions or services for the field. The agreements are subject to approval by the state board;

(r) Provide information about vocational and higher education opportunities to exceptional students. The county school district board shall provide in writing to the students and their parents or guardians information relating to programs of vocational education and to programs available at state institutions of higher education. The information may include sources of available funding, including grants, mentorships and loans for students who wish to attend classes at institutions of higher education;

(s) Enter into agreements with other county school district boards for the transfer and receipt of any funds determined to be fair when students are permitted or required to attend school in a district other than the district of their residence. These agreements are subject to the approval of the state board; and

(t) Enter into job-sharing arrangements, as defined in section one, article one, chapter eighteen-a of this code, with its employees, subject to the following provisions:

(1) A job-sharing arrangement shall meet all the requirements relating to posting, qualifications and seniority, as provided in article four, chapter eighteen-a of this code;

(2) Notwithstanding any contrary provision of this code or legislative rule and specifically the provisions of article sixteen, chapter five of this code, a county school district board that enters into a job-sharing arrangement:

(A) Shall provide insurance coverage to the one employee mutually agreed upon by the employees participating in that arrangement; and

(B) May not provide insurance benefits of any type to more than one of the job-sharing employees, including any group plan available under the State Public Employees Insurance Act;

(3) Each job-sharing agreement shall be in writing on a form prescribed and furnished by the county school district board. The agreement shall designate specifically one employee only who is entitled to the insurance coverage. Any employee who is not designated is not eligible for state public employees insurance coverage regardless of the number of hours he or she works;

(4) All employees involved in the job-sharing agreement shall meet the requirements of subdivision (3), section two, article sixteen, chapter five of this code; and

(5) When entering into a job-sharing agreement, the county school district board and the participating employees shall consider issues such as retirement benefits, termination of the job-sharing agreement and any other issue the parties consider appropriate. Any provision in the agreement relating to retirement benefits may not cause any cost to be incurred by the retirement system that is more than the cost that would be incurred if a single employee were filling the position; and

(u) Under rules it establishes for each child, expend an amount not to exceed the proportion of all school funds of the district that each child would be entitled to receive if all the funds were distributed equally among all the children of school age in the district upon a per capita basis.


§18-5-13a. School closing or consolidation.

(a) In addition to the provisions of section thirteen of this article, prior to any final decision of a county school district board on any proposal to close or consolidate any school, except in cases in which a construction bond issue was passed by the voters and which bond issue included the schools to be closed or consolidated, the county school district board shall:

(1) Prepare and reduce to writing its reasons and supporting data regarding the school closing or consolidation. The written reasons shall:

(A) Be available for public inspection in the office of the county school district school superintendent during the thirty days preceding the date of the public hearing required by this section;

(B) Be delivered in duplicate to the:

(i) Principal of a school which is proposed to be closed or consolidated, and of any school which will receive the students who are relocated as a result of the closure or consolidation; and

(ii) The chair, if any, of the local school improvement council representing a school which is proposed to be closed or consolidated, and any school which will receive the students who are relocated as a result of the closure or consolidation; and

(C) Comply with the rule promulgated pursuant to subsection (b) of this section;

(2) Provide notice for a public hearing. The notice shall be advertised through a Class III legal advertisement, pursuant to the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code for the three weeks prior to the date of the hearing. The notice shall contain the time and place of the hearing and the proposed action of the county school district board. Additionally, the notice shall contain the statement that the hearing location is subject to change if at the time the meeting is called to order, it is determined that the meeting location is of insufficient size. A copy of the notice shall be posted at any school which is proposed to be closed or consolidated, and at any school which will receive the students who are relocated as a result of the closure or consolidation, in conspicuous working places for all professional and service personnel to observe. The notice shall be posted at least thirty days prior to the date of the hearing;

(3) Conduct a public hearing which meets the following criteria:

(A) At least a quorum of the county school district board members and the county superintendent from the county school district wherein an affected school is located shall attend and be present at the public hearing;

(B) Members of the public may be present, submit statements and testimony, and question county school district school officials at the public hearing;

(C) A separate hearing shall be held for each school closed or consolidated;

(D) More than one hearing may be held during any one day;

(E) The hearing shall be held in a facility of sufficient size to accommodate all those who desire to attend;

(F) If, at the time the hearing is called to order, it is determined by the board that insufficient space is available to accommodate all those who desire to attend, the hearing shall be recessed and moved to a new location of sufficient size to accommodate all those who desire to attend. If the meeting location is changed due to insufficient capacity, the county school district board shall cause the new meeting location to be posted at the original meeting location; and

(G) The hearing is subject to the requirements set forth in the rule promulgated in accordance with subsection (c) of this section; and

(4) Receive findings and recommendations from any local school improvement council representing an affected school relating to the proposed closure or consolidation prior to or at the public hearing.

(b) The state board shall promulgate a rule, in accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, detailing the type of supporting data a county school district board shall include as part of its written statement of reason required by this section for school closing or consolidation. The rule shall require at least the following data:

(1) The transportation time of the affected students; and

(2) Any data required by the state board to amend a county's school district’s comprehensive educational facilities plan.

(c) The state board shall promulgate a rule, in accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, that establishes the procedure to be followed by county school district boards when conducting a public hearing on the issues of school consolidation and closing.

(1) The rule shall provide standards for at least the following:

(A) The appropriate forum and venue for public hearings to be held;

(B) A process for affording interested parties the opportunity for their perspectives to be expressed;

(C) Establishing, where necessary, reasonable restrictions on the amount of time allowed each individual desiring to speak so that all parties wishing to speak at the hearing are given an equal amount of time; and

(D) Scheduling and organizing public hearings when more than one school within a county school district is proposed for consolidation or closure.

(2) It is the purpose of this subsection to provide for uniformity among the counties school districts in the procedures followed when scheduling, organizing and conducting public hearings on the issues of school consolidation and closure.

(d) The state board shall promulgate the rules required by this section by June 1, 2002.

(e) Any document prepared, notice given, hearing conducted or action taken prior to the effective date of the amendments made to this section during the 2002 regular session of the Legislature, is considered sufficient if the county board complied with the terms of this section effective at the time and the county school district board violates no other provision of law which would invalidate the document, notice, hearing or actions.


§18-5-14. Policies to promote school board effectiveness.

(a) No later than August 1, 2003, each county board shall adopt and file with the state board copies of policies and summaries of policies that promote school board effectiveness. These policies may be modified by the county school district board as necessary, but shall be refiled with the state board following each modification. The policies shall address the following objectives:

(1) Establishing direct links between the county school district board and its local school improvement councils and between the county school district board and its faculty Senates for the purpose of enabling the county school district board to receive information, comments and suggestions directly from the councils and faculty Senates regarding the broad guidelines for oversight procedures, standards of accountability and planning for future needs as required by this section. To further development of these linkages, each county school district board shall:

(A) Meet at least annually with a quorum of members from each local school improvement council in the district, at a time and in a manner to be determined by the county school district board, except, in order to facilitate scheduling, the county school district board may adopt an alternate procedure allowing it to conduct the required annual meeting with each council in the absence of a quorum of council members if the alternate procedure has received prior approval from the state board and if the school district serves more than twenty thousand students or has more than twelve public schools.

Nothing in this section prohibits a county school district board from meeting with representatives of a local school improvement council, but at least one annual meeting shall be held, as specified in this section.

At any time and with reasonable advance notice, county school district boards may schedule additional meetings with the council for any low performing school in the district;

(B) At least thirty days before an annual meeting with each local school improvement council, develop and submit to the council an agenda for the annual meeting which requires the council chair or a member designated by the chair, to address items designated by the county school district board from the report created pursuant to this section, and one or more of the following issues:

(i) School performance;

(ii) Curriculum;

(iii) Status of the school in meeting the unified school improvement plan established pursuant to section five, article two-e of this chapter; and

(iv) Status of the school in meeting the county school district plan established pursuant to section five, article two-e of this chapter;

(C) Make written requests for information from the local school improvement council throughout the year or hold community forums to receive input from the affected community as the county school district board considers necessary; and

(D) Report details to the state board concerning the meeting or meetings held with councils, as specified in this section. The information shall be provided to the state board at the conclusion of the school year, but no later than September 1, of each year, and shall become an indicator in the performance accreditation process for each county school district. In order to facilitate development of this report, a county school district board may consult with and request assistance from members of the councils.

(2) Providing for the development of direct links between the county school district board and the community at large allowing for community involvement at regular county school district board meetings and specifying how the county school district board will communicate regularly with the public regarding important issues;

(3) Providing for the periodic review of personnel policies of the district in order to determine their effectiveness;

(4) Setting broad guidelines for the school district, including the establishment of specific oversight procedures, development and implementation of standards of accountability and development of long-range plans to meet future needs as required by this section; and

(5) Using school-based accreditation and performance data provided by the state board and other available data in county school district board decisionmaking to meet the education goals of the state and other goals as the county school district board may establish.

(b) On or before August 1, of each year, county school district school boards shall review the policies listed in subsection (a) of this section and may modify these policies as necessary.


§18-5-15. Ages of persons to whom schools are open; enrollment of suspended or expelled student.

(a) The public schools shall be open for the full instructional term to all persons who have attained the entrance age as stated in section five, article two and section eighteen, article five, chapter eighteen of this code: Provided, That any student suspended or expelled from public or private school shall only be permitted to enroll in public school upon the approval of the superintendent of the county school district where the student seeks enrollment: Provided, however, That in making such decision, the principal of the school in which the student may enroll shall be consulted by the superintendent and the principal may make a recommendation to the superintendent concerning the student's enrollment in his or her new school: Provided further, That if enrollment to public school is denied by the superintendent, the student may petition the board of Education where the student seeks enrollment.

(b) Persons over the age of twenty-one may enter only those programs or classes authorized by the state Board of Education and deemed appropriate by the county school district board of education conducting any such program or class: Provided, That authorization for such programs or classes shall in no way serve to affect or eliminate programs or classes offered by county school district boards of education at the adult level for which fees are charged to support such programs or classes.


§18-5-15c. County School district boards of education; training in prevention of child abuse and neglect and child assault; regulations; funding.

(a) In recognition of the findings of the Legislature as set forth in section one, article six-c, chapter forty-nine of this code, the Legislature further finds that public schools are able to provide a special environment for the training of children, parents and school personnel in the prevention of child abuse and neglect and child assault and that child abuse and neglect prevention and child assault prevention programs in the public schools are an effective and cost-efficient method of reducing the incidents of child abuse and neglect, promoting a healthy family environment and reducing the general vulnerability of children.

(b) County School district boards of education shall be required, to the extent funds are provided, to establish programs for the prevention of child abuse and neglect and child assault. Such programs shall be provided to pupils, parents and school personnel as deemed appropriate. Such programs shall be in compliance with regulations to be developed by the state Board of Education with the advice and assistance of the state Department of Health and Human Resources and the West Virginia State Police: Provided, That any such programs which substantially comply with the regulations adopted by the board and were in effect prior to the adoption of the regulations may be continued.

(c) Funds for implementing the child abuse and neglect prevention and child assault prevention programs may be allocated to the county school district boards of education from the children's trust fund established pursuant to the provisions of article six-c, chapter forty-nine of this code or appropriated for such purpose by the Legislature.

(d) County School district boards of education shall request from the state Criminal Identification Bureau the record of any and all criminal convictions relating to child abuse, sex-related offenses or possession of controlled substances with intent to deliver same for all of its future employees. This request shall be made immediately after the effective date of this section, and thereafter as warranted.

(e) Contractors or service providers or their employees may not make direct, unaccompanied contact with students or access school grounds unaccompanied when students are present if it cannot be verified that the contractors, service providers or employees have not previously been convicted of a qualifying offense, as defined in section two, article twelve, chapter fifteen of this code. For the purposes of this section, contractor and service provider shall be limited to any vendor, individual or entity under contract with a county school district board. County School district boards may require contractors and service providers to verify the criminal records of their employees before granting the above-mentioned contact or access. Where prior written consent is obtained, county school district boards may obtain information from the Central Abuse Registry regarding contractors, service providers and their employees for the purposes of this subsection. Where a contractor or service provider gives his or her prior written consent, the county school district board also may share information provided by the Central Abuse Registry with other county school district boards for the purposes of satisfying the requirements of this subsection. The requirements of this subsection shall not go into effect until July 1, 2007.


§18-5-16. Student transfers; legislative findings; appeals; calculating net enrollment; fees for transfer.

(a) County School district districts and school attendance. -- The county school district board may divide the county school district into such districts as are necessary to determine the schools the students of its county school district shall attend. Upon the written request of any parent or guardian, or person legally responsible for any student, or for reasons affecting the best interests of the schools, the superintendent may transfer students from one school to another within the county school district. Any aggrieved person may appeal the decision of the county school district superintendent to the county school district board, and the decision of the county school district board shall be final.

(b) Transfers between counties school districts; legislative findings. --

(1) Transfers of students from one county school district to another may be made by the county school district board of the county school district in which the student desiring to be transferred resides. The transfer shall be subject to the approval of both the board of the county school district in which the student resides and the board to which the student wishes to be transferred.

(2) Legislative findings. -- Over the past several years, counties school districts have been forced to close a number of schools because of declining student enrollment. School officials predict that an additional eighteen percent loss in enrollment may occur between 2002 and 2012. This continued decrease in the number of students enrolled in the public schools of the state may result in more instances of consolidation which will increase the problem of long bus rides for students if they remain in a school in their county school district of residence.

Therefore the Legislature makes the following findings:

(A) County School district lines may impede the effective and efficient delivery of education services;

(B) Students often must endure long bus rides to a school within their county school district of residence when a school in an adjacent county school district is a fraction of the distance away;

(C) The wishes of parents or guardians to have their children transferred to a county school district other than their county school district of residence should be considered by the county school district boards; and

(D) Where counties school districts cannot agree, it is necessary to establish a process to determine when transfers are appropriate.

(3) The state board shall establish a process whereby a parent or guardian of a student may appeal the refusal of a county school district board to enter into an agreement to transfer or accept the transfer of the student.

(A) The process shall designate the state superintendent to hear the appeal. In determining whether to overturn a decision of a county school district board, the state superintendent shall consider such factors as the following:

(i) Travel time for the student;

(ii) Impact on levies or bonds;

(iii) Other financial impact on the county school district of residence; and

(iv) Such other factors as the state superintendent may determine.

(B) If, during the appeal process, the state superintendent discovers that the education and the welfare of students in the transferring county school district could be enhanced, the state superintendent may direct that students may be permitted to attend a school in another county school district.

(C) If multiple appeals are received from the same geographical area of a county school district, the state superintendent may impose on the receiving county school district restrictions including, but not limited to, requiring the receiving county school district to accept all students in that geographical area of the sending county school district who wish to transfer to the receiving county school district.

(D) If a student is transferred on either a full-time or a part-time basis without the agreement of both boards by official action as reflected in the minutes of their respective meetings and if the student's parent or guardian fails to appeal or loses the appe