SB451 HFA ESPINOSA, COWLES, BIBBY AND WILSON 2-13 #2
Delegates Espinosa, Cowles Bibby and Wilson move to amend the House Finance Committee amendment on page 68, following the chapter heading “Chapter 18A. School Personnel.” by inserting two new sections to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2. SCHOOL PERSONNEL.
§18A-2-8. Suspension and dismissal of school personnel by board; appeal.
(a) Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, a board may suspend or dismiss any person in its employment at any time for: Immorality, incompetency, cruelty, insubordination, intemperance, willful neglect of duty, unsatisfactory performance, a finding of abuse by the Department of Health and Human Resources in accordance with §49-1-1 et seq. of this code, a misdemeanor with a rational nexus between the conduct and performance of the employee’s job, the conviction of a felony or a guilty plea or a plea of nolo contendere to a felony charge.
(b) A charge of unsatisfactory performance shall not be made except as the result of an employee performance evaluation pursuant to section twelve of this article. The charges shall be stated in writing served upon the employee within two days of presentation of the charges to the board.
(c) The affected employee shall be given an opportunity, within five days of receiving the written notice, to request, in writing, a level three hearing and appeals pursuant to the provisions of §6C-2-1 et seq. of this code, except that dismissal for a finding of abuse or the conviction of a felony or guilty plea or plea of nolo contendere to a felony charge is not by itself a grounds for a grievance proceeding. An employee charged with the commission of a felony, a misdemeanor with a rational nexus between the conduct and performance of the employee’s job, or child abuse may be reassigned to duties which do not involve direct interaction with pupils pending final disposition of the charges.
(d) A county board of education has the duty and authority to provide a safe and secure environment in which students may learn and prosper; therefore, it may take necessary steps to suspend or dismiss any person in its employment at any time should the health, safety, and welfare of students be jeopardized or the learning environment of other students has been impacted.
ARTICLE 3. TRAINING, CERTIFICATION, LICENSING, PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT.
§18A-3-6. Grounds for revocation of certificates; recalling certificates for correction.
(a) The state superintendent may, after ten days’ notice and upon proper evidence, revoke the certificates of any teacher for any of the following causes: Intemperance; untruthfulness; cruelty; immorality; a finding of abuse by the Department of Health and Human Resources in accordance with §49-1-1 et seq of this code; the conviction of a felony or a guilty plea or a plea of no contest to a felony charge; the conviction, guilty plea or plea of no contest to any charge involving sexual misconduct with a minor or a student; or for using fraudulent, unapproved or insufficient credit to obtain the certificates: Provided, That the certificates of a teacher may not be revoked for any matter for which the teacher was disciplined, less than dismissal, by the county board that employs the teacher, nor for which the teacher is meeting or has met an improvement plan determined by the county board, unless it can be proven by clear and convincing evidence that the teacher has committed one of the offenses listed in this subsection and his or her actions render him or her unfit to teach: Provided, however, That in order for any conduct of a teacher involving intemperance; cruelty; immorality; or using fraudulent, unapproved or insufficient credit to obtain the certificates to constitute grounds for the revocation of the certificates of the teacher, there must be a rational nexus between the conduct of the teacher and the performance of his or her job. The state superintendent may designate the West Virginia commission for professional teaching standards or members thereof to conduct hearings on revocations or certificate denials and make recommendations for action by the state superintendent: Provided further, That a teacher convicted under §61-8D-5 or a finding of abuse under §49-1-1 et seq. of this code shall have his or her certificate or license automatically revoked.
(b) It shall be the duty of any county superintendent who knows of any acts on the part of any teacher for which a certificate may be revoked in accordance with this section to report the same, together with all the facts and evidence, to the state superintendent for such action as in the state superintendent’s judgment may be proper.
(c) If a certificate has been granted through an error, oversight, or misinformation, the state superintendent has authority to recall the certificate and make such corrections as will conform to the requirements of law and the state board.