(a) In addition to the powers and duties conferred upon the commission pursuant to the provisions of this article, the commission shall make a continuing investigation, study and review of the practices, policies and procedures of the board and of any and all matters related to education in the state and shall make annual reports to the Legislature of the results of such investigation, study and review.
(b) These reports shall describe and evaluate in a concise manner:
(1) The major activities of the board for the fiscal year immediately past, including important policy decisions reached on initiatives undertaken during that year, especially as such activities, decisions and initiatives relate to the implementation of (1) the Constitutional requirement of providing a thorough and efficient education to the children of this state and (2) the objective of improving the quality of education at all levels in this state.
(2) Other information considered by the commission to be important, including recommendations for statutory, fiscal or other reform and reasons for such recommendations.
Further, these reports may specify in what manner said practices, policies and procedures may or should be modified to satisfy said Constitutional requirement and to improve the quality of education at all levels in this state.
The commission may meet as often as may be necessary and employ such professional, clerical and technical personnel as it considers necessary to perform effectively the duties herein prescribed.
(c) The commission shall conduct a study to determine whether the bureaucracies of the state Board of Education and each county board of education are of such size and complexity that they do not best serve the educational needs of the children of the state. The commission may request assistance from the Legislative Auditor to conduct this study.
(d) For purposes of carrying out its duties, the commission is hereby empowered and authorized to examine witnesses and to subpoena such persons and books, records, documents, papers or any other tangible things as it believes should be examined to make a complete investigation. All witnesses appearing before the commission shall testify under oath or affirmation, and any member of the commission may administer oaths or affirmations to such witnesses. To compel the attendance of witnesses at such hearings or the production of any books, records, documents, papers or any other tangible thing, the commission is hereby empowered and authorized to issue subpoenas, signed by one of the cochairmen, in accordance with section five, article one, chapter four of this code. Such subpoenas shall be served by any person authorized by law to serve and execute legal process and service shall be made without charge. Witnesses subpoenaed to attend hearings shall be allowed the same mileage and per diem as is allowed witnesses before any petit jury in this state.
If any person subpoenaed to appear at any hearing shall refuse to appear or to answer inquiries there propounded, or shall fail or refuse to produce books, records, documents, papers or any other tangible thing within his control when the same are demanded, the commission shall report the facts to the circuit court of Kanawha County or any other court of competent jurisdiction and such court may compel obedience to the subpoena as though such subpoena had been issued by such court in the first instance.