H. B. 4031
(By Delegates Williams and Shaver)
[Introduced January 12, 2012; referred to the
Committee on Education then Finance.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §18-5-18 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to requiring kindergarten programs be provided for children who have attained the age of five prior to the August 1.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §18-5-18 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5. COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION.
§18-5-18. Kindergarten programs.
(a) County boards shall provide kindergarten programs for all children who have attained the age of five prior to September 1 August 1 of the school year in which the pupil enters the kindergarten program and may, pursuant to the provisions of section forty-four, article five, chapter eighteen of this code, establish kindergarten programs designed for children below the age of five. The programs for children who shall have attained the age of five shall be full-day everyday programs.
(b) Persons employed as kindergarten teachers, as distinguished from paraprofessional personnel, shall be required to hold a certificate valid for teaching at the assigned level as prescribed by regulations established by the state board. The state board shall establish and prescribe guidelines and criteria setting forth the minimum requirements for all paraprofessional personnel employed in kindergarten programs established pursuant to the provisions of this section and no such paraprofessional personnel shall be employed in any kindergarten program unless he or she meets such minimum requirements.
© The state board with the advice of the state superintendent shall establish and prescribe guidelines and criteria relating to the establishment, operation and successful completion of kindergarten programs in accordance with the other provisions of this section. Guidelines and criteria so established and prescribed also are intended to serve for the establishment and operation of nonpublic kindergarten programs and shall be used for the evaluation and approval of such the programs by the state superintendent, provided application for such the evaluation and approval is made in writing by proper authorities in control of such the programs. The state superintendent, annually, shall publish a list of nonpublic kindergarten programs, including Montessori kindergartens that have been approved in accordance with the provisions of this section. Montessori kindergartens established and operated in accordance with usual and customary practices for the use of the Montessori method which have teachers who have training or experience, regardless of additional certification, in the use of the Montessori method of instruction for kindergartens shall be considered to be approved.
(d) Pursuant to such guidelines and criteria, and only pursuant to such guidelines and criteria, the county boards may establish programs taking kindergarten to the homes of the children involved, using educational television, paraprofessional personnel in addition to and to supplement regularly certified teachers, mobile or permanent classrooms and other means developed to best carry kindergarten to the child in its home and enlist the aid and involvement of its parent or parents in presenting the program to the child; or may develop programs of a more formal kindergarten type, in existing school buildings, or both, as such county board may determine, taking into consideration the cost, the terrain, the existing available facilities, the distances each child may be required to travel, the time each child may be required to be away from home, the child's health, the involvement of parents and such other factors as each county board may find pertinent. Such determinations by any county board shall be final and conclusive.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require that children entering kindergarten must be five prior to August 1 of the school year in which the pupil enters a kindergarten program.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.