Senate Bill No. 589
(By Senators Plymale, Sharpe, Jenkins and Hunter)
[Introduced March 18, 2005; referred to the Committee
on Education; and then to the Committee on Finance.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §18-2-26 of the Code of West Virginia,
1931, as amended; and to amend and reenact §18A-4-8d of said
code, all relating to the sharing of services of central
office administrative personnel; use of central office
administrative services provided by regional education service
agencies; and rights of employees terminated due to the
sharing of these services or obtaining these services from a
regional education service agency.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §18-2-26 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended,
be amended and reenacted; and that §18A-4-8d of said code be
amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
CHAPTER 18. EDUCATION.
ARTICLE 2. STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION.
§18-2-26. Establishment of multicounty regional education 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 one thousand nine
hundred seventy-two, 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.
-- 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
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 basic skills and SUCCESS programs;
(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 or by the State Board.
(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
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.
establishing the agencies shall be promulgated before
the first day of November, two thousand two, and
consistent with the provisions of this section
. It and
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 is
responsible for the administration of his or her
respective agency. The rule shall provide for the State Board to
consult with the appropriate regional council during the selection
(B) Development of a job description and qualifications for
the position of executive director, together with procedures for
informing the public of position openings and for taking and
evaluating applications for these positions;
(C) 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
the first day of July, two thousand three, 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
(D) Appointment by the county boards of a regional council in
each agency area consisting of representatives of county boards and
county superintendents from within that area for the purpose of
advising and assisting the executive director in carrying out his
or her duties. The State Board may provide for membership on the regional council
for to include
representatives from other agencies
and institutions who have interest or expertise in the development
or implementation of regional education programs; and
(E) 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
(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 to
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
located within the boundaries of each agency, as determined by the
State Board, shall be members of that agency; and
Such other Other
standards or procedures
the State Board finds necessary or convenient.
(d) Regional services.
-- In furtherance of the purposes
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 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-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,
including central office administrator services provided to county
boards pursuant to section eight-d, article four, chapter
eighteen-a of this code,
are among the types of services
appropriate for delivery on a regional basis.
(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 boards or regional
service agencies may adopt and
the model for the delivery of the instruction.
(f) Computer information system.
-- Each county board of
education shall use the uniform integrated regional computer
information system recommended by the State Board for data
collection and reporting to the State Department of Education.
County boards of education shall bear the cost of and fully
participate in the implementation of the system by using one of the
(1) Acquiring necessary, compatible equipment to participate
in the regional computer information system; or
(2) Following receipt of a waiver from the State
Superintendent, operating a comparable management information
system at a lower cost which provides at least all uniform
integrated regional computer information system software modules
and allows on-line, interactive access for schools and the county
board office onto the statewide communications network. All data
formats shall be the same as for the uniform integrated regional
information system and will reside at the regional computer.
Any county granted a waiver shall receive periodic
notification of any incompatibility or deficiency in its system.
No county shall expand any system either through the purchase of additional software or hardware that does not advance the goals and
implementation of the uniform integrated regional computer
information system as recommended by the State Board.
(g) Reports and evaluations. --
Each agency shall submit to
the State Superintendent on
date and in
specified in the rules adopted by the State Board, a report and
evaluation of the technical assistance and other services provided
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
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
A county 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 boards
to explain the agency's services, garner suggestions for program
improvement and provide any other information
as may be
by the county board.
(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the
contrary, county board members serving on regional councils may
receive compensation at a rate not to exceed one hundred dollars
per meeting attended, not to exceed fifteen meetings per year.
County 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.
(k) Computer installation, maintenance and repair.
shall serve as the lead agency for computer installation,
maintenance and repair for the basic skills and SUCCESS computer
programs. Each agency shall submit a quarterly status report on
turn-around-time for computer installation, maintenance and repair to the State Superintendent
who shall then submit a
report to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education
Accountability. The status report for turn-around-time for
computer installation, maintenance and repair shall be based on the
following suggested time schedules:
Network File Servers.......................forty-eight hours
Local Area Networks........................forty-eight hours
West Virginia Education
Information System.........................twenty-four hours
Computer Workstations.....................three to five days
Printers..................................three to five days
Other Peripherals.........................three to five days
Agencies also shall submit an audit report to the Legislative
Oversight Commission on Education Accountability each year.
(l) Professional development.
-- Pursuant to the processes and
provisions of section twenty-three-a of this article, each agency
shall provide coordinated professional development programs within
its region to meet the professional development goals established
by the State Board.
CHAPTER 18A. SCHOOL PERSONNEL.
ARTICLE 4. SALARIES, WAGES AND OTHER BENEFITS.
§18A-4-8d. Consolidation of services and seniority rights for
(a) County boards are authorized and encouraged to join together to share the services of central office administrative
personnel and to obtain central office administrative services from
regional education service agencies.
(b) Where a county obtains central office administrator
services from its regional education service agency, or where two
or more counties join together to share the services of central
office administrative personnel, any employee whose services are no
longer needed by virtue of
such the sharing of these services or
the use of these services provided by a regional education service
agency may have his or her contract terminated for lack of need, as
provided in sections two and six, article two of this chapter,
notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary. Any
employee whose contract is so terminated shall be afforded all
rights pursuant to section eight-b of this article.