WEST virginia legislature
2021 regular session
House Bill 2785
By Delegates Worrell, D. Jeffries, Burkhammer, Fast, Pinson, Ellington and Kimble
[Originating in the Committee on Education; March 9, 2021]
A BILL to amend and reenact §18-8-1a of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to requirements for compulsory school attendance; providing that parent and guardian make determination to remove child from kindergarten program; updating references and removing outdated language; providing option to parent to apply for Hope Scholarship for child prior to enrollment in kindergarten and every year thereafter; prohibiting further placement testing for first grade placement in certain instances; requiring enrollment in same grade level as state or program from which student transferred; and requiring certain transcripts or credentials to be accepted as record of students previous performance for placement and credit assignment.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
ARTICLE 8. COMPULSORY SCHOOL ATTENDANCE.
§18-8-1a. Commencement and termination of compulsory school attendance; public school entrance requirements; exceptions.
provisions of §18-8-1 of this code, Compulsory
school attendance begins with the school year in which the sixth birthday is
reached prior to September 1 July 1 of such year or upon
enrolling in a publicly supported kindergarten program and subject to
subdivision (3) of this subsection, continues to the 16th 17th
birthday or for as long as the student continues to be enrolled in a school
system after the 16th 17th birthday.
(1) A child may be removed
from such kindergarten program when the
principal, teacher and parent or
guardian concur determine that the best interest of the child
would not be served by requiring further attendance. Provided,
That the principal shall make the final determination with regard to compulsory
school attendance in a publicly supported kindergarten program.
(2) The compulsory school attendance provision of this article shall be enforced against a person 18 years of age or older for as long as the person continues to be who is enrolled in a school system and may not be enforced against the parent, guardian or custodian of the person.
Notwithstanding the provisions of §18-1-1 et seq. of this code,
compulsory school attendance begins with the school year in which the sixth
birthday is reached prior to September 1 of such year or upon enrolling in a
publicly supported kindergarten program and continues to the 17th birthday or
for as long as the student continues to be enrolled in a school system after
the 17th birthday: Provided, That beginning in the school year
2019-2020, compulsory school attendance begins with the school year in which
the sixth birthday is reached prior to July 1 of such year or upon enrolling in
a publicly supported kindergarten program.
(b) A parent, as defined in §18-31-2 of this code, shall have the option, prior to enrolling in a publicly supported kindergarten program, to apply for a Hope Scholarship on behalf of his or her child as set forth in §18-31-1 et seq. of this code. Every year thereafter, a parent shall have the option to renew his or her child’s enrollment in the Hope Scholarship Program pursuant to §18-31-8 of this code.
(b) Attendance at a state-approved or
Montessori kindergarten, as provided in §18-5-18, is deemed school attendance
for purposes of this section. Prior to entrance A child shall be
placed into the first grade: in accordance with §18-2-5 of this code,
each child must have either
further placement testing if the child has successfully completed
a publicly or privately supported, state-approved kindergarten program, or
Montessori kindergarten program, or homeschool program; or
(2) Has successfully completed an entrance test of basic readiness skills approved by the county in which the school is located. The test may be administered in lieu of kindergarten attendance only under extraordinary circumstances to be determined by the county board.
(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of
this section, section five, article two of this chapter and section
eighteen, article five of this chapter and §18-5-18
of this code, a county board may
provide for advanced entrance or placement under policies adopted by said board
for any child who has demonstrated sufficient mental and physical competency
for such entrance or placement.
section does not prevent A student from another state, or who is
eligible to enroll in a public school in this state, from enrolling in
the shall be enrolled in the same grade in a public school in West
Virginia as the student was enrolled at the school or program from which
the student transferred. A transcript or other credential provided by a
public school program, private school program, or homeschool program shall be
accepted by a public school in this state as a record of a student’s previous
academic performance for the purposes of placement and credit assignment.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.