H. B. 2146

(By Delegate Pettit)
[Introduced Janaury 13, 1999; referred to the
Committee on Education.]

A BILL to amend and reenact section thirteen, article five, chapter eighteen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to education; county board of education; authority of boards generally; and authorizing county boards to employ school crossing guards.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section thirteen, article five, chapter eighteen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:

§18-5-13. Authority of boards generally.

The boards, subject to the provisions of this chapter and the rules of the state board, have authority:
(1) To control and manage all of the schools and school interests for all school activities and upon all school property, whether owned or leased by the county, including the authority to require that records be kept of all receipts and disbursements of all funds collected or received by any principal, teacher, student or other person in connection with the schools and school interests, any programs, activities or other endeavors of any nature operated or carried on by or in the name of the school, or any organization or body directly connected with the school, to audit the records and to conserve the funds, which shall be considered quasi-public moneys, including securing surety bonds by expenditure of board moneys;
(2) To establish schools, from preschool through high school, inclusive of vocational schools; and to establish schools and programs, or both, for post high school instruction, subject to approval of the state board of education;
(3) To close any school which is unnecessary and to assign the pupils of the school to other schools: Provided, That the closing shall be officially acted upon and teachers and service personnel involved notified on or before the first Monday in April, in the same manner as provided in section four of this article, except in an emergency, subject to the approval of the state superintendent, or under subdivision (5) of this section;
(4) To consolidate schools;
(5) To close any elementary school whose average daily attendance falls below twenty pupils for two months in succession and send the pupils to other schools in the district or to schools in adjoining districts. If the teachers in the closed school are not transferred or reassigned to other schools, they shall receive one month's salary;
(6) (a) To provide at public expense adequate means of transportation, including transportation across county lines, for all children of school age who live more than two miles distance from school by the nearest available road; to provide at public expense and according to such rules as the board may establish, adequate means of transportation for school children participating in board-approved curricular and extracurricular activities; and to provide in addition thereto at public expense, by rules and within the available revenues, transportation for those within two miles distance; to provide in addition thereto, at no cost to the board and according to rules established by the board, transportation for participants in projects operated, financed, sponsored or approved by the commission on aging: Provided, That all costs and expenses incident in any way to transportation for projects connected with the commission on aging shall be borne by the commission, or the local or county chapter of the commission: Provided, however, That in all cases the school buses owned by the board of education shall be driven or operated only by drivers regularly employed by the board of education: Provided further, That the county board may provide, under rules established by the state board, for the certification of professional employees as drivers of board-owned vehicles with a seating capacity of less than ten passengers used for the transportation of pupils for school-sponsored activities other than transporting students between school and home: And provided further, That the use of the vehicles shall be limited to one for each school-sponsored activity: And provided further, That buses shall be used for extracurricular activities as provided in this section only when the insurance provided for by this section is in effect;
(b) To enter into agreements with one another to provide, on a cooperative basis, adequate means of transportation across county lines for children of school age subject to the conditions and restrictions of subdivisions (6) and (8) of this section;
(7) (a) To lease school buses operated only by drivers regularly employed by the board to public and private nonprofit organizations or private corporations to transport school-age children to and from camps or educational activities in accordance with rules established by the board. All costs and expenses incurred by or incidental to the transportation of the children shall be borne by the lessee;
(b) To contract with any college or university or officially recognized campus organizations to provide transportation for college or university students, faculty or staff to and from the college or university: Provided, That only college and university students, faculty and staff are being transported. The contract shall include consideration and compensation for bus operators, repairs and other costs of service, insurance and any rules concerning student behavior;
(8) To provide at public expense for insurance against the negligence of the drivers of school buses, trucks or other vehicles operated by the board; and if the transportation of pupils is contracted, then the contract for the transportation shall provide that the contractor shall carry insurance against negligence in an amount specified by the board;
(9) To provide solely from county funds for all regular full-time employees of the board all or any part of the cost of a group plan or plans of insurance coverage not provided or available under the West Virginia public employees insurance act;
(10) To employ teacher aides, to provide in-service training for teacher aides, the training to be in accordance with rules of the state board and, in the case of service personnel assuming duties as teacher aides in exceptional children programs, to provide a four-clock-hour program of training prior to the assignment which shall, in accordance with rules of the state board, consist of training in areas specifically related to the education of exceptional children;
(11) To establish and conduct a self-supporting dormitory for the accommodation of the pupils attending a high school or participating in a post high school program and of persons employed to teach in the high school or post high school program;
(12) To employ legal counsel;
(13) To employ school crossing guards;
(13) (14) To provide appropriate uniforms for school service personnel;
(14) (15) To provide at public expense and under rules as established by any county board of education for the payment of traveling expenses incurred by any person invited to appear to be interviewed concerning possible employment by the county board of education;
(15) (16) To allow or disallow their designated employees to use publicly provided carriage to travel from their residences to their workplace and return: Provided, That the usage is subject to the supervision of the board and is directly connected with and required by the nature and in the performance of the employee's duties and responsibilities;
(16) (17) To provide, at public expense, adequate public liability insurance, including professional liability insurance for board employees;
(17) (18) To enter into agreements with one another to provide, on a cooperative basis, improvements to the instructional needs of each county. The cooperative agreements may be used to employ specialists in a field of academic study or support functions or services, for the academic study. The agreements are subject to approval by the state board of education;
(18) (19) To provide information about vocational or higher education opportunities to students with handicapping conditions. The board shall provide in writing to the students and their parents or guardians information relating to programs of vocational education and to programs available at state funded institutions of higher education. The information may include sources of available funding, including grants, mentorships and loans for students who wish to attend classes at institutions of higher education;
(19) (20) To enter into agreements with one another, with the approval of the state board, for the transfer and receipt of any and all funds determined to be fair when students are permitted or required to attend school in a county other than the county of their residence; and
(20) (21) To enter into job-sharing arrangements, as defined in section one, article one, chapter eighteen-a of this code, with its professional employees: Provided, That a job sharing arrangement shall meet all the requirements relating to posting, qualifications and seniority, as provided for in article four, chapter eighteen-a of this code: Provided, however, That, notwithstanding any provisions of this code to the contrary, a county board which enters into a job-sharing arrangement wherein two or more professional employees voluntarily share an authorized full-time position shall provide the mutually agreed upon employee coverage but shall not offer insurance coverage to more than one of the job sharing employees, including any group plan or group plans available under the state public employees insurance act: Provided further, That all employees involved in the job-sharing agreement meet the requirements of subdivision (4), section two, article sixteen, chapter five of this code.
"Quasi-public funds" as used in this section means any money received by any principal, teacher, student or other person for the benefit of the school system as a result of curricular or noncurricular activities.
The board of each county shall expend under rules it establishes for each child an amount not to exceed the proportion of all school funds of the district that each child would be entitled to receive if all the funds were distributed equally among all the children of school age in the district upon a per capita basis.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to authorize county boards of education to employ school crossing guards.

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