The Legislature hereby finds and declares that in order to more fully provide for a thorough and efficient system of free schools within the state it is necessary to establish an educators' professional standards board. The board will be responsible for governing the education profession, including the establishment of standards for entering the education profession, and remaining a member of the education profession. The board shall also establish standards for institutions of higher education engaged in teacher preparation programs.
(a) There is created an educators' professional standards board consisting of nine members appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate.
(b) The term of office for each member is three years except that the original term of three members, including not more than one teacher, shall be for one year, and the original term of three members, including not more than two teachers, shall be for two years.
(c) Any member who, through change of employment standing or other circumstances, no longer meets the criteria for the position to which the member was appointed shall no longer be eligible to serve in that position, and the position on the commission shall become vacant sixty days following the member's change in circumstances.
(d) The membership of the educators' professional standards board shall consist of: One classroom teacher currently employed by a county board of education teaching vocational education; one classroom teacher currently employed by a county board of education teaching in an elementary school; one classroom teacher currently employed by a county board of education teaching in a middle school; one classroom teacher currently employed by a county board of education teaching in a secondary school; one classroom teacher currently employed by a county board of education teaching special education; the state superintendent of schools or his or her designee; one elementary school or secondary school principal currently employed by a county board of education; one county superintendent of schools currently employed by a county board of education; and one administrator or faculty member representing a public college or university in West Virginia.
No more than five members of the board may belong to the same political party nor reside in the same congressional district. Members of the board must have been actively engaged in teaching, supervising or administering in the public schools or in approved teacher education institutions in West Virginia for the period of five years immediately preceding appointment. In addition, members appointed to represent classroom teachers under this section must hold valid West Virginia teaching certificates other than permits.
(e) A member of the board shall receive no compensation for his or her services as a member, but subject to any other applicable law regulating travel and other expenses for state officer, he or she shall receive his or her actual and necessary travel and other expenses incurred in the performance of his or her official duties: Provided, That any member who is an employee of a county board of education shall be released by his or her employer to attend board meetings without loss of salary or personal leave.
Prior to January 1, 1995, the professional standards board shall develop a plan and propose legislation which will expand the powers and duties of the professional standards board to include the following: (1) Establish and maintain standards and requirements for obtaining and maintaining a license for teaching; (2) issue, renew, suspend, and revoke teaching licenses; (3) hear appeals regarding application, renewal, suspension or revocation of licenses; (4) enter into reciprocity agreements to provide for licensing of applicants from other states or nations; (5) set standards, approve, and evaluate teacher preparation programs; (6) adopt standards for examinations and assessments to assure eligibility for licenses to enter the profession of teaching; (7) create other actions that relate to the improvement of instruction through teacher education and professional development and to attract qualified candidates for teacher training from among the citizens of West Virginia; and (8) perform other actions that relate to the improvement of instruction through teacher education and professional development and to attract qualified candidates for teacher training from among the citizens of West Virginia.
On or before January 1, 1995, the board shall submit copies of the proposed legislation to the Governor, President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Delegates and the Legislative Oversight commission on education accountability.