Introduced Version Senate Bill 220 History

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Senate Bill No. 220

(By Senators Unger, Kessler, McCabe, Sprouse, Jenkins, Hunter and Foster)


[Introduced February 18, 2005; referred to the Committee on Government Organization; and then to the Committee on Finance.]


A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §18-7-4, relating to the creation of the West Virginia Literacy Council.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §18-7-4, to read as follows:
§18-7-4. West Virginia Literacy Council.
(a) The West Virginia Literacy Council is hereby created and shall serve as the infrastructure through which individuals, organizations and agencies, both public and private, having an interest in achieving the goal that all working-age adults are functionally literate.
(b) The governor shall appoint, with the advice and consent of the Senate, members to the council. The council may consist of no more than twenty-five members, including ex officio members, who are representative of volunteer literacy programs, adult basic education and post-education programs, libraries, correctional education facilities, family support programs, family resource networks, employment programs, workforce development, workforce training, economic development, literacy, education, business, labor, government, other associated fields and citizens-at-large within the state.
(c) The chairperson of the West Virginia educational broadcasting authority or his or her designee, the executive director of the West Virginia development office or his or her designee, shall serve as ex officio members of the council.
(d) Initial terms for appointed members of the council are for up to three years as determined by the governor. All subsequent terms are for three years.
(e) The council shall designate from among its members persons to serve as its chairperson, vice chairperson, secretary and treasurer.
(f) The council shall meet at least quarterly or at such times and places as set by its chairperson and appointed members of the council may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred within the scope of their service on the council.
(g) The council may create subcommittees to carry out any business of the council.
(h) A majority of the members of the council or any subcommittee of the council constitute a quorum for the purpose of conducting the business of the council.
(i) The council shall:
(1) work to integrate planning and formalize coordination and collaboration among adult literacy delivery systems in the state, and facilitate the involvement of people and agencies statewide in the formulation and implementation of adult literacy policies and programs;
(2) provide information on the dimensions of the literacy problem within West Virginia to serve as a baseline for measuring progress toward meeting the goal of functional literacy for all working-age adults and as a framework for setting priorities, identifying gaps in service and targeting services to key populations, industries, economic sectors and geographic areas;
(3) set priorities and performance expectations for all programs funded by the council. Performance objectives should be based on learner outcomes. Incentives should be offered to encourage programs of high quality that are sustainable, that are coordinated with other resources in the community and that encourage students to continue learning throughout their lifetimes, including, but not limited to, activities to:
(A) promote professional development for instructors in the adult learning systems;
(B) promote opportunities for lifelong learning through scholarships and similar support for continued education and training;
(C) provide opportunities for the expansion and strengthening of adult literacy programs that demonstrate effective practices; and
(D) recognize and honor achievements of adult learners who improve their literacy skills or businesses that promote lifelong learning;
(4) coordinate efforts with public and private agencies to develop reliable and consistent information on the availability and quality of adult literacy programs and make this information readily available to adult learners, employers and service providers through the state's one-stop career center system;
(5) promote the development of programs that provide learning within a real-life context, such as workplace literacy and family literacy programs. The literacy effort should recognize the diversity of individual abilities, skill levels, circumstances and life goals, and should include efforts to enhance program access as well as a variety of instructional methods; and
(6) promote lifelong learning to maximize the potential of both the individual and the state, and advocate for adequate resources to support lifelong learning systems.
(j) The West Virginia department of education shall provide administrative and other services to the council as the council requires.
(k) The council shall report to the Governor, the legislative oversight committee on education accountability, and the legislative oversight commission on workforce investment for economic development on or before the first day of October each year on its progress toward achieving functional literacy for all working-age adults in West Virginia, and shall make such recommendations as it deems necessary to achieve this goal.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to create the West Virginia Literacy Council.

This is an interim bill that was proposed for introduction in the 2005 Legislative Session by the Legislative Oversight Commission on Workforce Investment for Economic Development.
§18-7-4 is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.

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