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§18A-2-12a. Statement of policy and practice for the county boards and school personnel to minimize possible disagreement and misunderstanding.

(a) The Legislature makes the following findings:

(1) The effective and efficient operation of the public schools depends upon the development of harmonious and cooperative relationships between county boards and school personnel;

(2) Each group has a fundamental role to perform in the educational program and each has certain separate, distinct and clearly defined areas of responsibility as provided in chapters eighteen and eighteen-a of this code; and

(3) There are instances, particularly involving questions of wages, salaries and conditions of work, that are subject to disagreement and misunderstanding between county boards and school personnel and may not be so clearly set forth.

(b) The purpose of this section is to establish a statement of policy and practice for the county boards and school personnel, as follows, in order to minimize possible disagreement and misunderstanding:

(1) County boards, subject to the provisions of this chapter, chapter eighteen of this code and the policies and rules of the state board, are responsible for the management of the schools within their respective counties. The powers and responsibilities of county boards in setting policy and in providing management are broad, but not absolute;

(2) The school personnel shares the responsibility for putting into effect the policies and practices approved by the county board that employs them and the school personnel also have certain rights and responsibilities as provided in statute, and in their contracts;

(3) School personnel are entitled to meet together, form associations and work in concert to improve their circumstances and the circumstances of the schools;

(4) County boards and school personnel can most effectively discharge their total responsibilities to the public and to each other by establishing clear and open lines of communication. School personnel should be encouraged to make suggestions, proposals and recommendations through appropriate channels to the county board. Decisions of the county board concerning the suggestions, proposals and recommendations should be communicated to the school personnel clearly and openly;

(5) Official meetings of county boards are public meetings. School personnel are free to attend the meetings without fear of reprisal and should be encouraged to attend;

(6) All school personnel are entitled to know how well they are fulfilling their responsibilities and should be offered the opportunity of open and honest evaluations of their performance on a regular basis and in accordance with the provisions of section twelve of this article. All school personnel are entitled to opportunities to improve their job performance prior to the termination or transfer of their services. Decisions concerning the promotion, demotion, transfer or termination of employment of school personnel, other than those for lack of need or governed by specific statutory provisions unrelated to performance, should be based upon the evaluations, and not upon factors extraneous thereto. All school personnel are entitled to due process in matters affecting their employment, transfer, demotion or promotion; and

(7) All official and enforceable personnel policies of a county board must be written and made available to its employees.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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