H. B. 2736

(By Delegate G. Martin)

[Introduced February 24, 1995; referred to the

Committee on Education.]

A BILL to amend and reenact section five, article five-a, chapter eighteen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to holding faculty senate meetings before or after school and providing that faculty senate meetings are not mandatory for administrators, teachers and other school personnel.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section five, article five-a, chapter eighteen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
§18-5A-5. Public school faculty senates established; election of officers; powers and duties.

(a) There is established at every public school in this state a faculty senate which shall be comprised of all permanent, full-time professional educators employed at the school who shall all be voting members. Professional educators as used in this section means professional educators as defined in chapter eighteen-a of this code. A quorum of more than one half of the voting members of the faculty shall be present at any meeting of the faculty senate at which official business is conducted. Prior to the beginning of the instructional term each year, but within the employment term, the principal shall convene a meeting of the faculty senate to elect a chair, vice chair and secretary and discuss matters relevant to the beginning of the school year. The vice chair shall preside at meetings when the chair is absent. Meetings of the faculty senate shall be held on a regular basis as determined by a schedule approved by the faculty senate and amended from time to time if needed. Emergency meetings may be held at the call of the chair or a majority of the voting members by petition submitted to the chair and vice chair. An agenda of matters to be considered at a scheduled meeting of the faculty senate shall be available to the members at least two employment days prior to the meeting, and in the case of emergency meetings, as soon as possible prior to the meeting. Attendance at faculty senate meetings shall not be mandatory for administrators, teachers, or other school personnel. The chair of the faculty senate may appoint such committees as may be desirable to study and submit recommendations to the full faculty senate, but the acts of the faculty senate shall be voted upon by the full body.
(b) In addition to any other powers and duties conferred by law, or authorized by policies adopted by the state or county board of education or bylaws which may be adopted by the faculty senate not inconsistent with law, the powers and duties listed in this subsection are specifically reserved for the faculty senate. The intent of these provisions is neither to restrict nor to require the activities of every faculty senate to the enumerated items except as otherwise stated. Each faculty senate shall organize its activities as it deems most effective and efficient based on school size, departmental structure and other relevant factors.
(1) Each faculty senate shall control funds allocated to the school from legislative appropriations pursuant to section nine, article nine-a of this chapter. From such funds, each classroom teacher and librarian shall be allotted fifty dollars for expenditure during the instructional year for academic materials, supplies or equipment which in the judgment of the teacher or librarian will assist him or her in providing instruction in his or her assigned academic subjects, or shall be returned to the faculty senate: Provided, That nothing contained herein shall prohibit such funds from being used for programs and materials that, in the opinion of the teacher, enhance student behavior, increase academic achievement, improve self-esteem and address the problems of students at-risk. The remainder of funds shall be expended for academic materials, supplies or equipment in accordance with a budget approved by the faculty senate. Notwithstanding any other provisions of the law to the contrary, funds not expended in one school year shall be available for expenditure in the next school year: Provided, however, That the amount of county funds budgeted in a fiscal year, shall not be reduced throughout the year as a result of the faculty appropriations in the same fiscal year for such materials, supplies and equipment. Accounts shall be maintained of the allocations and expenditures of such funds for the purpose of financial audit. Academic materials, supplies or equipment shall be interpreted broadly, but shall not include materials, supplies or equipment which will be used in or connected with interscholastic athletic events.
(2) A faculty senate may establish a process for faculty members to interview new prospective professional educators and paraprofessional employees at the school and submit recommendations regarding employment to the principal, who may also make independent recommendations, for submission to the county superintendent: Provided, That such process must permit the timely employment of persons to perform necessary duties.
(3) A faculty senate may nominate teachers for recognition as outstanding teachers under state and local teacher recognition programs and other personnel at the school, including parents, for recognition under other appropriate recognition programs and may establish such programs for operation at the school.
(4) A faculty senate may submit recommendations to the principal regarding the assignment scheduling of secretaries, clerks, aides and paraprofessionals at the school.
(5) A faculty senate may submit recommendations to the principal regarding establishment of the master curriculum schedule for the next ensuing school year.
(6) A faculty senate may establish a process for the review and comment on sabbatical leave requests submitted by employees at the school pursuant to section eleven, article two of this chapter.
(7) Each faculty senate shall elect three faculty representatives to the local school improvement council established pursuant to section two of this article.
(8) Each faculty senate may nominate a member for election to the county staff development council pursuant to section eight, article three, chapter eighteen-a of this code.
(9) Each faculty senate shall have an opportunity to make recommendations on the selection of faculty to serve as mentors for beginning teachers under beginning teacher internship programs at the school.
(10) A faculty senate may solicit, accept and expend any grants, gifts, bequests, donations and any other funds made available to the faculty senate: Provided, That the faculty senate shall select a member who shall have the duty of maintaining a record of all funds received and expended by the faculty senate, which record shall be kept in the school office and shall be subject to normal auditing procedures.
(11) On or after the first day of January, one thousand nine hundred ninety-two, any faculty senate may review the evaluation procedure as conducted in their school to ascertain whether such evaluations were conducted in accordance with the written system required pursuant to section twelve, article two, chapter eighteen-a of this code and the general intent of this Legislature regarding meaningful performance evaluations of school personnel. If a majority of members of the faculty senate determine that such evaluations were not so conducted, they shall submit a report in writing to the state board of education: Provided, That nothing herein shall create any new right of access to or review of any individual's evaluations.
(12) Each faculty senate shall be provided by its local board of education at least a two-hour per month block of noninstructional time within the school day: Provided, That any such designated day shall constitute a full instructional day. This time may be utilized and determined at the local school level and shall include, but not be limited to, faculty senate meetings.
The faculty senate shall not be provided with any instructional time during the school day in which to hold meetings. All faculty senate meetings shall be held either before school begins or after school ends.
(13) Each faculty senate shall develop a strategic plan to manage the integration of special needs students into the regular classroom at their respective schools and submit said strategic plan to the superintendent of the county board of education by the first day of March, one thousand nine hundred ninety-five, and periodically thereafter pursuant to guidelines developed by the state department of education. Each faculty senate shall encourage the participation of local school improvement councils, parents and the community at large in the development of the strategic plan for each school.
Each strategic plan developed by the faculty senate shall include at least: (A) A mission statement; (B) goals; (C) needs; (D) objectives and activities to implement plans relating to each goal; (E) work in progress to implement the strategic plan; (F) guidelines for the placement of additional staff into integrated classrooms to meet the needs of exceptional needs students without diminishing the services rendered to the other students in integrated classrooms; (G) guidelines for implementation of collaborative planning and instruction; and (H) training for all regular classroom teachers who serve students with exceptional needs in integrated classrooms.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require faculty senate meetings to be held before or after school and to provide that faculty senate meetings are not mandatory for administrators, teachers, and other school personnel.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.