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A Briefing for School Board Members: New West Virginia Legislation Affecting Public Education. West Virginia School Board Association June Workshop ’09 Stonewall Resort Howard Seufer, Jr. hseufer@bowlesrice.com 304-347-1776. Primary Attorneys Greg Bailey - Morgantown

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A Briefing for School Board Members: New West Virginia Legislation Affecting Public Education


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    1. A Briefing for School Board Members: New West Virginia Legislation Affecting Public Education West Virginia School Board Association June Workshop ’09 Stonewall Resort Howard Seufer, Jr. hseufer@bowlesrice.com 304-347-1776

    2. Primary Attorneys Greg Bailey - Morgantown Rick Boothby - Parkersburg Howard Seufer - Charleston Rebecca Tinder - Charleston Kim Croyle - Morgantown Ashley Hardesty - Morgantown Legal Assistants Sarah Plantz- Charleston Dianne Wolfe- Parkersburg Adjunct Attorneys Bob Bays - Eminent Domain Rick Brown - Employee Disability Joe Caltrider – Personal Injury Defense Pat Clark- Contracts Mark D’Antoni - Real Estate Mark Dellinger - Human Rights Kit Francis - Creditors Rights Jill Hall - Employee Benefits Tom Heywood - Government Relations Bob Kent - Personal Injury Defense Jeff Matherly - Health Information Ellen Maxwell-Hoffman - Ethics Edd McDevitt – Bonds, QZABs & Levies Marion Ray - Workers Compensation Lesley Russo – Employee Benefits Cam Siegrist - Finance Beth Walker - Wage & Hour Ken Webb - Construction Litigation The Education Law Groupat Bowles Rice McDavid Graff & Love

    3. Some School Law Resources To Help You Keep Up-to- Date All Year Long

    4. “School Laws of West Virginia” • Beware! The latest edition and its CD-ROM are already out of date! • Current versions of the new statutes are available at the West Virginia Legislature’s website • The Education Group at Bowles Rice will post our legislative summary on our website (www.bowlesrice.com), with active links to the full texts of House and Senate bills

    5. E-Updates

    6. E-Newsletter Mailing List • E-Newsletter Mailing List • Send an email to Sarah Plantz: • splantz@bowlesrice.com • Tell Sarah: • Who you are • Your position in public education • Your school board’s name • That you want to receive the E-Newsletter

    7. It’s a Difficult Job, But Somebody Has to Do It: Realigning the Professional Employee Workforce for School Year 2009-10 • November 4, 2009 – Charleston • It’s a Difficult Job, But Somebody Has to Do It: Realigning the Service Employee Workforce for School Year 2009-10 • November 5, 2009 – Charleston

    8. The Construction Zone: Everything You Wanted to Know About School Facility Construction Law & Dispute Resolution • December 2, 2009 – Charleston • December 9, 2009 - Morgantown

    9. Signature Series E-Invitation List • Signature Series E-Invitation List • Send an email to Sarah Plantz: • splantz@bowlesrice.com • Tell Sarah: • Who you are • Your position in public education • Your school board’s name • That you want to receive Signature Series E-Invitations

    10. Caution! • These materials are presented with the understanding that the information provided is not legal advice • Due to the rapidly changing nature of the law, information contained in this presentation may become outdated • Anyone using information contained in this presentation should always research original sources of authority and update this information to ensure accuracy when dealing with a specific matter • No person should act or rely upon the information contained in this presentation without seeking the advice of an attorney

    11. Important Qualifier! • When this presentation was prepared, the Governor had not yet signed three education bills that were considered and passed by the Legislature at the first special session held late in May • Because the Governor included these bills in his call of the special session, and because the bills were introduced at the request of his office, it seems likely that the Governor will sign them, but it is theoretically possible that he will not

    12. These Bills Did Not Pass and Are Not Law • School calendar • “Jobs Cabinet Bill” altering the “seven factor” measures of qualifications to be used in comparing candidates for professional vacancies • State agency donation of personal computers to Dept of Education • Relieving county boards of liability for unfunded PEIA benefits for retirees • School board member pay raise • Removing budget cap on RESA foundation allowance

    13. Seven Categories of Legislation • Students • Safe Schools • Personnel • Finance • Business • Public Officials • Retirement

    14. Students

    15. Senate Bill 398Restrictions on Graduated Driver’s Licenses(In Effect July 10, 2009)

    16. Level One instruction permit holders and Level Two intermediate license holders can be charged with violating the cell phone ban only when detained for another offense Requires 30 hours of certified behind the wheel driving experience to get a Level Two intermediate license without completing drivers education Level One instruction permit holders and Level Two intermediate license holders can be charged with violating the cell phone ban whether or not detained for another offense Requires 50 (rather than 30) hours of certified driving experience, including a minimum of 10 hours of nighttime driving Current Law New Law

    17. Level One instruction permit holders may operate a motor vehicle from 5 a.m. until 11 p.m. Level Two intermediate license holders may drive unsupervised between 5 am. and 11 p.m., and supervised between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. Level One instruction permit holders may operate a motor vehicle from 5 a.m. until 10 p.m. Level Two intermediate license holders may drive unsupervised between 5 am. and 10 p.m., and supervised between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Current Law New Law

    18. Level Two intermediate license holders may drive with no more than 3 passengers under 19, unless the passengers are family members Completion by a Level Two intermediate licensee of an approved driver improvement program may negate one minor traffic violation against the one-year conviction-free driving criteria for early eligibility for a Level Three license For first 6 months, no passengers under 20, unless family members. For second 6 months, only 1 passenger under 20, unless family members Completion of an approved driver improvement program may also negate one minor traffic violation for purposes of avoiding a second conviction that revokes or suspends a Level Two intermediate license Current Law New Law

    19. New law: Violating the terms and conditions of a Level One instruction permit or Level Two intermediate drivers license is a misdemeanor punishable by fine

    20. Senate Bill 498Early Childhood Education(In Effect April 11, 2009)

    21. Reporting • Before July 1 of each school year after 2012-2013, each county board must report to DHHR Secretary and State Superintendent: • documentation showing the extent to which it is maximizing resources by using existing community-based programs, including Head Start and child care • Any county that includes in its net enrollment for state aid children in contracted community-based programs must also report: • documentation that the county equitably distributes funds for all children regardless of setting

    22. Quality Rating & Improvement • Requires DHHR Secretary to • establish a plan for phased implementation (starting July 1, 2011) of a statewide quality rating and improvement system covering • licensed child care centers and facilities • registered family child care homes • other types of child care settings licensed after the system is implemented • include a financial plan providing for staffing, public awareness, an internet-based information system, financial assistance for programs, and assistance for consumers at or under 200% of the federal poverty level • create a Quality Rating and Improvement System Advisory Council to advise concerning the plan and ongoing review • Recognizes that stimulus funds may fund some expenditures

    23. Mandatory Elements of New System • 4-star rating system that easily communicates to consumers • One star: meets minimum acceptable standards • Four stars: meets the highest standards • 4-level program standards for registered homes and licensed programs • Only mandatory level: Level 1 (basic state registration and licensing requirements) • Accountability measures to assess compliance • Evaluations, observation/assessment tools, annual self-assessments, model program improvement planning to help in improvement • Rules for the reduction, suspension, or disqualification of programs from the system

    24. Possible Pilot Programs • Authorizes DHHR Secretary to implement a quality rating and improvement system as a pilot project in up to five counties beginning July 1, 2009 to help • test the rating system • assess the quality of existing providers • estimate financial requirements of the future statewide system • Inform future policy decision • Ratings of pilot project participants may not be individually disclosed

    25. Senate Bill 1001Critical Skills Instruction Support Programs for Third and Eighth Grade(In Effect July 1, 2009)[Note: This bill was not yet signed by the Governor when this presentation was prepared]

    26. “Critical Skills Instructional Support Programs” • For students in grades 3 and 8 who • are not mastering language arts and math adequately for success at next grade level, and • are recommended by Student Assistance Team or classroom teacher • To occur • during the instructional day, and • after the instructional day, and • during the summer

    27. State Board of Education • Enact rules to • Maximize parental involvement in supporting critical skills development • Ensure employment of qualified personnel under the existing summer employment laws • Create formula or grant-based distribution of funds • Providing for transportation, healthy foods, and supervision of participating students • Annually report to LOCEA, Joint Committee on Government & Finance, Governor

    28. County Boards • Provide suitable facilities, equipment, services to support the programs • May provide summer programs at central locations • Cannot charge tuition • Must ensure that SATs are established and performing needs assessments • If funds are inadequate for full implementation, may implement in phases, prioritizing programs for third graders

    29. Students • Summer program may be made a condition of promotion for a third or eighth grader • who was provided help in the in-school and after-school programs, and • is recommended by SAT or classroom teacher for additional help in language arts and/or math to succeed at next grade level • In spite of program, classroom teacher may recommend grade level retention • Program is not to affect IEPs • Program does preclude summer programs under existing laws

    30. House Bill 109Innovation Zones(In Effect July 1, 2009)[Note: This bill was not yet signed by the Governor when this presentation was prepared]

    31. Purpose • Create testing grounds for innovative education reform programs at the school level that document educational strategies that enhance student success and increase the accountability of the state’s public schools • Do so by providing principals and teachers with flexibility from the constraints of certain statutes, policies, rules, and interpretations

    32. Allows Exceptions from County and State Rules, Policies, and Interpretations, and from State Statutes • Only within designated zones, and under approved innovation zone plans • Exceptions cannot be granted to • Any federal law, including NCLB • WV laws on the filling of personnel vacancies and the assignment, transfer, and reduction in force of professional and service employees • But if a majority of all the county’s teachers vote to approve, heightened qualifications may be posted for teaching vacancies in an innovation zone

    33. Designating Innovation Zones • An innovation zone may consist of • a school • a group of schools • a subdivision or department of a school • a subdivision or department of a group of schools • Application for designation • State Board rules will govern • Must describe innovations to be instituted • Must estimate affected employees

    34. (Designating Innovation Zones) • Step One: Secret ballot special election by affected regular employees • Special panel calls meeting, conducts election, certifies vote • School’s elected faculty senate officers, a service personnel representative, three parent members of LSIC • Requires approval by 80% of eligible voters • Step Two: State Board decides whether to designate, considering at least • Level of commitment by staff, parents, students, county board, LSIC, and business partners • Potential for applicant to succeed as an innovation zone

    35. Approving Innovation Plans • Minimum plan contents • Description of programs, policies, or initiatives that the zone intends to implement as an innovative strategy to improve student learning • An explanation of the needed exceptions to identified rules, policies, interpretations, and statutes • Other information required by the State Board of Education

    36. (Approving Innovation Plans) • Step One: 80% approval in special election by affected employees • Conducted exactly like the zone designation election by affected employees • Step Two: Submission to county board and superintendent • Board and superintendent must report support and/or concerns in 60 days • Reports go to principal, faculty senate, LSIC

    37. (Approving Innovation Plans) • Step Three: Approval by both the State Superintendent and State Board • Approve or disapprove • If both approve, requested exemptions from county and state rules, policies, and interpretations take effect (but not exemptions from state statutes) • Any disapproval requires statement of reasons. Plan may be revised and resubmitted, but only after another 80% election by affected employees and another submission to, and report by, the county superintendent and board

    38. (Approving Innovation Plans) • Step Four: If the plan requests exemption from any West Virginia statute, the exemption must be approved by Act of the Legislature • First the plan must be submitted to LOCEA • LOCEA makes a recommendation to the Legislature

    39. Additional Provisions • Employee Transfers • “Every reasonable effort” must be made to grant a transfer request by a regular employee at a school that is proposed or approved as an innovation zone and whose duties “may be affected” by a proposed or approved innovation plan • State Board reports • Annually review progress of the development or implementation of each plan • A zone that hasn’t made adequate progress in developing or implementing its plan is reviewed again in six months • State Board may then revoke zone designation or plan approval • Annually reports to LOCEA on all innovation zones

    40. (Additional Provisions) • Higher Education Institutions • May establish innovation zone schools • State Board to establish process • Students attending the school • will be enrolled in a public school in county of residence • May participate at the public school in extracurricular and co-curricular activities • Higher Education institution’s school may not be funded with state or county moneys resulting from state aid formula

    41. House Bill 3083Blood Donations by 16-Year-Olds with Parental Consent(In Effect June 24, 2009)

    42. Current Law Any person 17 and older may donate blood without parent or guardian authorization A minor aged 17 or older is not permitted to accept compensation New Law 16-year olds may donate, but until age 17 must have parent or guardian authorization A minor aged 16 or older is not permitted to accept compensation

    43. Safe Schools

    44. House Bill 2952Terroristic Threats (In Effect July 7, 2009)

    45. Current Law Any person who knowingly and willfully threatens to commit a terrorist act, without the intent to commit the act, is guilty of a felony punishable by fine and/or imprisonment New Law Any person who knowingly and willfully threatens to commit a terrorist act, with or withoutthe intent to commit the act, is guilty of a felony punishable by fine and/or imprisonment

    46. Personnel

    47. Senate Bill 1006Hiring, Terminating, Transferring, and Reassigning Teachers and School Personnel(In Effect July 1, 2009)[Note: This bill was not yet signed by the Governor when this presentation was prepared]

    48. Old Law Must give notice to the county board on or before February 1 No guidance on posting position or retracting the year-end retirement New Law Must give notice to the county board on or before December 1 Board may post vacancy for next year once notice is given For unforeseen financial hardship, may keep job if forfeit $500 bonus Deadline: Classroom Teachers’ Early Notice of Year-End Retirement, Qualifying for $500 Bonus

    49. Old Law Must deliver written resignation on or before the first Monday in April New Law Must deliver written resignation on or before February 1 Deadline: For Any Employee to Exercise Right to Retire at Year’s End, Regardless of Board’s Wishes