H. B. 4065
(By Mr. Speaker, Mr. Kiss, and Delegate Trump)
[By Request of the Executive]
[Introduced January 17, 2002; referred to the
Committee on Education then Finance.]
A BILL to amend chapter five of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding
thereto a new article, designated article twenty-six-b,
relating to setting forth legislative findings; creating West
Virginia Educare, providing for appointment of a board of
directors; describing the powers and duties of the board; and
describing the purposes and responsibilities of Educare; and
abolishing the West Virginia study commission.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That chapter five of the code of West Virginia, one thousand
nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by adding thereto
a new article, designated article twenty-six-b, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 26B. WEST VIRGINIA EDUCARE.
This article shall be known and may be cited as "West Virginia
§5-26B-2. Legislative findings.
The Legislature finds that:
(a) Recent research on brain development in young children
shows that early experiences are important to future social,
emotional, physical and cognitive development;
(b) Research shows a clear link between quality early care and
education services and workforce recruitment and retention, high
school completion, college-going rate, and an educated and
(c) Investment in early care and education significantly
reduces future costs of social programs, crime, and remedial
(d) Early care and education services for families with
preschool children are not widely available in the state;
(e) West Virginia's young children are falling further behind
their peers because of the lack of quality early care and education
(f) The state is in need of a system capable of providing and improving full-day, full-year child care and educational
opportunities for preschool children, which will stimulate and
maximize their growth and development.
§5-26B-3. West Virginia educare.
West Virginia educare ("educare") is hereby created within the
office of the governor's cabinet on children and families for the
purpose of establishing, and coordinating with local areas, a
complement to education and care available to preschool children to
prepare them for school and lifelong learning. Goals of educare
are to improve the quality of early care and education services,
increase the accessibility of such services, and create linkages to
help families access services. Educare programs shall be phased in
as funds become available and implemented statewide by fiscal year
2008. Activities employed by educare in the implementation of its
educational programs shall include development of quality
standards, review of local collaborative agreements for approval
prior to funding, distribution of funds, technical assistance and
monitoring of funded programs and development and implementation of
an evaluation component.
§5-26B-4. Board of directors.
(a) The administrative powers of educare shall be vested in a
board of directors consisting of eleven members, including the state superintendent of schools, or his or her designee, the
secretary of health and human resources, or his or her designee,
the president of the West Virginia head start association, or his
or her designee, and eight individuals who shall be appointed by
the governor with the advice and consent of the Senate: Provided,
That no more than six members shall be members of the same
political party. Appointed members shall serve a term of four
years, and shall be eligible for reappointment. The directors
shall annually elect one of their appointed members as chairman.
The directors shall appoint a person to serve as secretary and as
treasurer. The person appointed as treasurer shall give a bond for
the faithful performance of his or her duties as custodian of all
funds of educare in an amount set by the board. The board may
elect such other officers for its staff as it deems proper and
prescribe their powers and duties. Appointments to fill a vacancy
of one of the appointed members shall be made in the same manner as
the original appointment.
(b) All appointed members of the board shall be from the
private sector, with at least one member of the board from each
congressional district, and shall represent the public interest
generally. At least five of the appointed members shall possess such skills and experience as in the governor's opinion are
required to develop and manage the designed efforts and prescribed
purposes of educare.
(c) Appointed members of the board shall not be entitled to
compensation for their services but shall be reimbursed for all
necessary expenses actually incurred in connection with the
performance of their duties as members.
(d) Six members of the board shall constitute a quorum and the
affirmative vote of the majority of members present at a meeting of
the board shall be necessary and sufficient for any action taken by
§5-26B-5. Powers of the board.
The board shall have the powers necessary or convenient to
carry out the purposes and provisions of this article, including,
but not limited to, the power:
(a) To establish, organize, promote, manage and oversee the
activities of educare and to offer related services through
(b) To encourage the development of collaborative agreements
on the community or county level for presentation to the board for
approval prior to funding;
(c) To invest its funds at the board's discretion with the
West Virginia investment management board in accordance with the
provisions of article six, chapter twelve of this code. Any
investments shall be made with the care, skill, prudence and
diligence under the circumstances then prevailing that as a prudent
person acting in a like capacity and familiar with such matters
would use in the conduct of an enterprise of a like character and
with like aims;
(d) To distribute funds through contracts, grants and other
necessary instruments for necessary goods and services;
(e) To employ necessary personnel and to engage the services
of private persons for administrative and technical assistance in
carrying out the responsibilities of educare;
(f) To solicit and accept gifts, including bequests or other
testamentary gifts made by will, trust or other disposition,
grants, loans, and other aids from any source or to participate in
any other way in any federal, state or local governmental programs
in carrying out the purposes of this article;
(g) To develop and implement standards that apply to all
qualified educare providers, are consistent with existing federal
regulations and state policies and procedures, which govern early child care and education services, and are based on the existing
educare standards adopted by the West Virginia study commission on
services for young children;
(h) To annually evaluate, monitor and ensure compliance with
educare policies and procedures, including, but not limited to,
authority to withhold payment to providers: Provided,
reports are submitted to and reviewed by the board;
(i) To develop and implement procedures to assess the
effectiveness of educare programs, which shall include, as funding
permits, appropriate assessments of children, follow-up of children
on indicators of school success, and assessments of program
(j) To assure provision of technical assistance from
individuals or entities with appropriate education and professional
experience relative to early childhood development;
(k) To submit a continuation plan and annual report to the
Legislative Oversight Committees on Education and Health and Human
Resources for approval;
(1) To establish other policies, procedures and criteria
necessary to implement and administer the provisions of this
§5-26B-6. Board rules.
The board shall propose rules for legislative approval in
accordance with the provisions of article three-a, chapter
twenty-nine-a of this code. At a minimum, the rules shall provide
(a) Programs that avoid duplication and maximize the
effectiveness of qualified existing programs;
(b) The formation of written collaborative agreements among
qualified educare programs to maximize existing resources and
ensure a fair process for the distribution of funds. The agreement
or agreements shall include assessment of existing needs and
resources and detail the operational issues and the role of
existing service providers under the collaborative agreements;
(c) Maximum utilization of federal, local and private funding
so as to complement state funding;
(d) High standards of service and performance for education,
child and family care programs; and are either licensed,
registered, or certified child care providers, Head Start programs,
or public schools;
(e) Cost effective options that are consistent with the
(f) Approval of any county or community early childhood or
educare plan, determined through local collaboration, prior to the
authorization and receipt of funding. The local educare plan shall
be submitted by a group that includes, at a minimum, the following
core partners: Head Start, child care, public school preschool,
birth to three, and parent of a preschool child;
(g) Evaluation of the results achieved by educare programs;
(h) Development of a plan for the reasonable implementation of
the provisions of the rule.
Participation in educare programs may be made available to
families with young children from birth to kindergarten entry and
shall not create an entitlement to such programs or any services
offered within such programs.
§5-26B-8. West Virginia study commission.
The West Virginia study commission on services for young
children created pursuant to section eighteen-d, article five,
chapter eighteen is hereby abolished.
§5-26B-9. Transfer of funds prohibited.
The governor's cabinet on children and families may not
transfer funds for this initiative pursuant to the provisions of section five, article twenty-six, chapter five of this code.
If any provision of this article or the application of the
article shall for any reason be adjudged by any court of competent
jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not invalidate the
remainder of the article, but shall be confined in its operation to
the provision directly involved in the controversy in which such
judgment shall have been rendered, and the applicability of the
provision to other circumstances shall not be affected.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to establish West Virginia
Educare for children birth to kindergarten entry as a complement to
available education and care for preschool children.
This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.