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Introduced Version House Bill 2288 History

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Key: Green = existing Code. Red = new code to be enacted
hb2288 intr
H. B. 2288


(By Mr. Speaker, (Mr. Thompson), and Delegate Armstead)
[By Request of the Executive]
[Introduced January 17, 2007; referred to the
Committee on Education then Finance.]



A BILL to amend and reenact §18-9D-15 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend said code by adding thereto a new article, designated §18-9F-1, §18-9F-2, §18-9F-3, §18-9F-4, §18-9F-5, §18-9F-6 and §18-9F-7, all relating to school access safety; declaring legislative intent; authorizing the School Building Authority to facilitate and provide funding for enhancing the safe ingress and egress of pupils, school employees, parents, visitors, and emergency personnel to and from West Virginia public schools; defining certain terms; providing for submission of school access safety plans; providing for certain guidelines and procedures by authority for plans, plan modifications and evaluating projects; providing for allocation and distribution of moneys to projects; creating a special account in the State Treasury; and providing school access safety requirements for new school buildings.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §18-9D-15 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; that said code be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §18-9F-1, §18-9F-2, §18-9F-3, §18-9F-4, §18-9F-5, §18-9F-6 and §18-9F-7, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 9D. SCHOOL BUILDING AUTHORITY.
§18-9D-15. Legislative intent; allocation of money among categories of projects; lease purchase options; limitation on time period for expenditure of project allocation; county maintenance budget requirements; project disbursements over period of years; preference for multicounty arrangements; submission of project designs; set-aside to encourage local participation; etc.

(a) It is the intent of the Legislature to empower the school building authority to facilitate and provide state funds and to administer all federal funds provided for the construction and major improvement of school facilities so as to meet the educational needs of the people of this state in an efficient and economical manner. The authority shall make funding determinations in accordance with the provisions of this article and shall assess existing school facilities and each facility's school major improvement plan in relation to the needs of the individual student, the general school population, the communities served by the facilities and facility needs statewide.
(b) An amount that is no more than three percent of the sum of moneys that are determined by the authority to be available for distribution during the then current fiscal year from: (1) Moneys paid into the School Building Capital Improvements Fund pursuant to section ten, article nine-a of this chapter; (2) the issuance of revenue bonds for which moneys in the School Building Debt Service Fund are pledged as security; (3) moneys paid into the school construction fund pursuant to section six of this article; and (4) any other moneys received by the authority, except moneys paid into the school major improvement fund pursuant to section six of this article and moneys deposited into the School Access Safety Fund pursuant to section five, article nine-f of this chapter, may be allocated and may be expended by the authority for projects authorized in accordance with the provisions of section sixteen of this article that service the educational community statewide or, upon application by the state board, for educational programs that are under the jurisdiction of the state board. In addition, upon application by the state board or the administrative council of an area vocational educational center established pursuant to article two-b of this chapter, the authority may allocate and expend under this subsection moneys for school major improvement projects authorized in accordance with the provisions of section sixteen of this article proposed by the state board or an administrative council for school facilities under the direct supervision of the state board or an administrative council, respectively. Furthermore, upon application by a county board, the authority may allocate and expend under this subsection moneys for school major improvement projects for vocational programs at comprehensive high schools, vocational schools cooperating with community and technical college programs, or both. Each county board is encouraged to cooperate with community and technical colleges in the use of existing or development of new vocational technical facilities. All projects eligible for funds from this subsection shall be submitted directly to the authority which shall be solely responsible for the project's evaluation: Provided, That the authority may not expend any moneys for a school major improvement project proposed by the state board or the administrative council of an area vocational educational center unless the state board or an administrative council has submitted a ten-year facilities plan: Provided, however, That the authority shall, before allocating any moneys to the state board or the administrative council of an area vocational educational center for a school improvement project, consider all other funding sources available for the project.
(c) An amount that is no more than two percent of the moneys that are determined by the authority to be available for distribution during the current fiscal year from: (1) Moneys paid into the school building capital improvements fund pursuant to section ten, article nine-a of this chapter; (2) the issuance of revenue bonds for which moneys in the school building debt service fund are pledged as security; (3) moneys paid into the school construction fund pursuant to section six of this article; and (4) any other moneys received by the authority, except moneys deposited into the school major improvement fund and moneys deposited into the School Access Safety Fund pursuant to section five, article nine-f of this chapter, shall be set aside by the authority as an emergency fund to be distributed in accordance with the guidelines adopted by the authority.
(d) An amount that is no more than five percent of the moneys that are determined by the authority to be available for distribution during the current fiscal year from: (1) Moneys paid into the school building capital improvements fund pursuant to section ten, article nine-a of this chapter; (2) the issuance of revenue bonds for which moneys in the school building debt service fund are pledged as security; (3) moneys paid into the school construction fund pursuant to section six of this article; and (4) any other moneys received by the authority, except moneys deposited into the school major improvement fund and moneys deposited into the School Access Safety Fund pursuant to section five, article nine-f of this chapter, may be reserved by the authority for multiuse vocational-technical education facilities projects that may include post-secondary programs as a first priority use. The authority may allocate and expend under this subsection moneys for any purposes authorized in this article on multiuse vocational-technical education facilities projects, including equipment and equipment updates at the facilities, authorized in accordance with the provisions of section sixteen of this article. If the projects approved under this subsection do not require the full amount of moneys reserved, moneys above the amount required may be allocated and expended in accordance with other provisions of this article. A county board, the state board, an administrative council or the joint administrative board of a vocational-technical education facility which includes post-secondary programs may propose projects for facilities or equipment, or both, which are under the direct supervision of the respective body: Provided, That the authority shall, before allocating any moneys for a project under this subsection, consider all other funding sources available for the project.
(e) The remaining moneys determined by the authority to be available for distribution during the then current fiscal year from: (1) Moneys paid into the school building capital improvements fund pursuant to section ten, article nine-a of this chapter; (2) the issuance of revenue bonds for which moneys in the school building debt service fund are pledged as security; (3) moneys paid into the school construction fund pursuant to section six of this article; and (4) any other moneys received by the authority, except moneys deposited into the school major improvement fund and moneys deposited into the School Access Safety Fund pursuant to section five, article nine-f of this chapter, shall be allocated and expended on the basis of need and efficient use of resources for projects funded in accordance with the provisions of section sixteen of this article.
(f) If a county board of education proposes to finance a project that is authorized in accordance with section sixteen of this article through a lease with an option to purchase leased premises upon the expiration of the total lease period pursuant to an investment contract, the authority may allocate no moneys to the county board in connection with the project: Provided, That the authority may transfer moneys to the State Board of Education which, with the authority, shall lend the amount transferred to the county board to be used only for a one-time payment due at the beginning of the lease term, made for the purpose of reducing annual lease payments under the investment contract, subject to the following conditions:
(1) The loan shall be secured in the manner required by the authority, in consultation with the state board, and shall be repaid in a period and bear interest at a rate as determined by the state board and the authority and shall have any terms and conditions that are required by the authority, all of which shall be set forth in a loan agreement among the authority, the state board and the county board;
(2) The loan agreement shall provide for the state board and the authority to defer the payment of principal and interest upon any loan made to the county board during the term of the investment contract, and annual renewals of the investment contract, among the state board, the authority, the county board and a lessor: Provided, That in the event a county board which has received a loan from the authority for a one-time payment at the beginning of the lease term does not renew the subject lease annually until performance of the investment contract in its entirety is completed, the county board is in default and the principal of the loan, together with all unpaid interest accrued to the date of the default, shall, at the option of the authority, in consultation with the state board, become due and payable immediately or subject to renegotiation among the state board, the authority and the county board: Provided, however, That if a county board renews the lease annually through the performance of the investment contract in its entirety, the county board shall exercise its option to purchase the leased premises: Provided further, That the failure of the county board to make a scheduled payment pursuant to the investment contract constitutes an event of default under the loan agreement: And provided further, That upon a default by a county board, the principal of the loan, together with all unpaid interest accrued to the date of the default, shall, at the option of the authority, in consultation with the state board, become due and payable immediately or subject to renegotiation among the state board, the authority and the county board: And provided further, That if the loan becomes due and payable immediately, the authority, in consultation with the state board, shall use all means available under the loan agreement and law to collect the outstanding principal balance of the loan, together with all unpaid interest accrued to the date of payment of the outstanding principal balance; and
(3) The loan agreement shall provide for the state board and the authority to forgive all principal and interest of the loan upon the county board purchasing the leased premises pursuant to the investment contract and performance of the investment contract in its entirety.
(g) To encourage county boards to proceed promptly with facilities planning and to prepare for the expenditure of any state moneys derived from the sources described in this section, any county board or other entity to whom moneys are allocated by the authority that fails to expend the money within three years of the allocation shall forfeit the allocation and thereafter is ineligible for further allocations pursuant to this section until it is ready to expend funds in accordance with an approved facilities plan: Provided, That the authority may authorize an extension beyond the three-year forfeiture period not to exceed an additional two years. Any amount forfeited shall be added to the total funds available in the school construction fund of the authority for future allocation and distribution. Funds may not be distributed for any project under this article unless the responsible entity has a facilities plan approved by the state board and the school building authority and is prepared to commence expenditure of the funds during the fiscal year in which the moneys are distributed.
(h) The remaining moneys that are determined by the authority to be available for distribution during the then current fiscal year from moneys paid into the school major improvement fund pursuant to section six of this article shall be allocated and distributed on the basis of need and efficient use of resources for projects authorized in accordance with the provisions of section sixteen of this article: Provided, That the moneys may not be distributed for any project under this section unless the responsible entity has a facilities plan approved by the state board and the authority and is to commence expenditures of the funds during the fiscal year in which the moneys are distributed: Provided, however, That any moneys allocated to a project and not distributed for that project shall be deposited in an account to the credit of the project, the principal amount to remain to the credit of and available to the project for a period of two years. Any moneys which are unexpended after a two-year period shall be redistributed on the basis of need from the school major improvement fund in that fiscal year.
(i) No local matching funds may be required under the provisions of this section. However, the responsibilities of the county boards of education to maintain school facilities are not negated by the provisions of this article. To be eligible to receive an allocation of school major improvement funds from the authority, a county board must have expended in the previous fiscal year an amount of county moneys equal to or exceeding the lowest average amount of money included in the county board's maintenance budget over any three of the previous five years and must have budgeted an amount equal to or greater than the average in the current fiscal year: Provided, That the state board shall promulgate rules relating to county boards' maintenance budgets, including items which shall be included in the budgets.
(j) Any county board may use moneys provided by the authority under this article in conjunction with local funds derived from bonding, special levy or other sources. Distribution to a county board, or to the state board or the administrative council of an area vocational educational center pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, may be in a lump sum or in accordance with a schedule of payments adopted by the authority pursuant to guidelines adopted by the authority.
(k) Funds in the school construction fund shall first be transferred and expended as follows:
Any funds deposited in the school construction fund shall be expended first in accordance with an appropriation by the Legislature. To the extent that funds are available in the school construction fund in excess of that amount appropriated in any fiscal year, the excess funds may be expended for projects authorized in accordance with the provisions of section sixteen of this article. Any projects which the authority identified and announced for funding on or before the first day of August, one thousand nine hundred ninety-five, or identified and announced for funding on or before the thirty-first day of December, one thousand nine hundred ninety-five, shall be funded by the authority in an amount which is not less than the amount specified when the project was identified and announced.
(l) It is the intent of the Legislature to encourage county boards to explore and consider arrangements with other counties that may facilitate the highest and best use of all available funds, which may result in improved transportation arrangements for students or which otherwise may create efficiencies for county boards and the students. In order to address the intent of the Legislature contained in this subsection, the authority shall grant preference to those projects which involve multicounty arrangements as the authority shall determine reasonable and proper.
(m) County boards shall submit all designs for construction of new school buildings to the school building authority for review and approval prior to preparation of final bid documents: Provided, That a vendor who has been debarred pursuant to the provisions of sections thirty-three-a through thirty-three-f, inclusive, article three, chapter five-a of this code, may not bid on or be awarded a contract under this section.
(n) The authority may elect to disburse funds for approved construction projects over a period of more than one year subject to the following:
(1) The authority may not approve the funding of a school construction project over a period of more than three years;
(2) The authority may not approve the use of more than fifty percent of the revenue available for distribution in any given fiscal year for projects that are to be funded over a period of more than one year; and
(3) In order to encourage local participation in funding school construction projects, the authority may set aside limited funding, not to exceed five hundred thousand dollars, in reserve for one additional year to provide a county the opportunity to complete financial planning for a project prior to the allocation of construction funds. Any funding shall be on a reserve basis and converted to a part of the construction grant only after all project budget funds have been secured and all county commitments have been fulfilled. Failure of the county to solidify the project budget and meet its obligations to the state within eighteen months of the date the funding is set aside by the authority will result in expiration of the reserve and the funds shall be reallocated by the authority in the succeeding funding cycle. ARTICLE 9F. SCHOOL ACCESS SAFETY ACT.
§18-9F-1. Legislative findings; purposes and intent.

(a) The Legislature hereby finds and declares:
(1) That the establishment and maintenance of safe and secure schools is critical to foster a healthy learning environment and maximize student achievement;
(2) That all school facilities in the state should be designed, constructed, furnished, and maintained in a manner that enhances a healthy learning environment and provides necessary safeguards for the health, safety, and security of persons who enter and use the facility;
(3) That adequate safeguards for the ingress and egress of pupils, school employees, parents, visitors, and emergency personnel to and from school facilities are critical to the overall safety of the public schools of this state;
(4) That safety upgrades to the means of ingress and egress for pupils, school employees, parents, visitors, and emergency personnel to and from school facilities must be part of a comprehensive analysis of overall school safety issues that takes into consideration the input of local law-enforcement agencies, local emergency services agencies, community leaders, parents, pupils, teachers, administrators, and other school employees interested in the prevention of school crime and violence.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to empower the School Building Authority to facilitate and provide state funds for the design, construction, renovation, repair, and upgrading of facilities so as to enhance school access safety and improve the secure ingress and egress of pupils, school employees, parents, visitors, and emergency personnel to and from school facilities.
§18-9F-2. Definitions.
The following terms, wherever used or referred to in this article, have the following meanings, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
(1) "Authority" means the School Building Authority of West Virginia, or if said authority shall be abolished, any board or officer succeeding to the principal functions thereof, or to whom the powers given to said authority shall be given by law;
(2) "Project Cost" means the cost of design, construction, renovation, repair and safety upgrading of a school's means of ingress and egress; the cost of equipment, machinery, installation of utilities and other similar items necessary in connection with placing the foregoing into operation; and all other charges necessary, appurtenant, or incidental to the foregoing, including the cost of administration of this article;
(3) "School Access Safety Plan" means the comprehensive county-wide school access safety plan that: (i) Is prepared by each county board of education seeking funding under this article and incorporated in its comprehensive educational facilities plan in accordance with guidelines established by the authority; (ii) addresses the access safety needs for all school facilities in the county; (iii) includes a projected school access safety repair and renovation schedule for all school facilities of the county; and (iv) is required prior to the distribution of state funds for a school access safety project pursuant to this article; and
(4) "School Access Safety Project" or "project" means a project administered in accordance with the provisions of this article.
§18-9F-3. Authority to establish guidelines and procedures for school access safety plans; guidelines for modifications and updates, etc.; guidelines for project evaluation; on-site inspection of facilities.

(a) The authority shall establish guidelines and procedures for the school access safety plans and school access safety projects submitted in the furtherance of the plans that address, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) All of the necessary elements of the school access safety plan required in accordance with the provisions of section four of this article;
(2) The manner, time line and process for the submission of each school access safety plan and annual plan updates to the authority, including guidelines for the modification, supplementation, or other changes or additions to an approved school access safety plan;
(3) Any project specifications and maintenance specifications considered appropriate by the authority;
(4) Procedures for a county board to submit a preliminary plan, a plan outline, or a proposal for a plan to the authority prior to the submission of the school access safety plan. The preliminary plan, plan outline, or proposal for a plan shall be the basis for a consultation meeting between representatives of the county and the authority, which shall be held promptly following submission of the preliminary plan, plan outline, or proposal for a plan to assure understanding of the general goals of this article, to discuss ways the plan may be structured to meet those goals, and to assure efficiency and productivity in the approval process; and
(5) Procedures for notifying county boards of education of the amount available for allocation and distribution during each fiscal year in accordance with the provisions of section six of this article.
(b) The authority shall establish guidelines and procedures for evaluating school access safety plans and school access safety projects under said plans that are submitted to the authority that address, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) Whether any proposed school access safety project is in furtherance of the school access safety plan and in compliance with the guidelines established by the authority;
(2) How the school access safety plan and any school access safety project under
said plan will assure the prudent and resourceful expenditure of state funds and achieve the purposes of this article;
(3) Whether the school access safety plan and school access safety projects submitted under the plan advance student health and safety needs including, but not limited to, critical health and safety needs; and
(4) Regularly scheduled preventive maintenance.
(c) The authority shall establish guidelines and procedures for the allocation and distribution of funds in accordance with section six of this article, subject to the availability of funds.
(d) The state department of education shall conduct, in cooperation with the authority, on-site inspections, at least annually, of all facilities that have received moneys from the authority pursuant to this article to ensure compliance with the county board's school access safety plan as related to the facilities. The inspections shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the state department of education's handbook on planning school facilities. The state department of education shall submit reports regarding its on-site inspections of facilities to the authority within thirty days of completion of the on-site inspections.
§18-9F-4. School Access Safety Plan.
(a) To facilitate the goals of this article and to assure the prudent and resourceful expenditure of state funds, each county board of education seeking funding for school access safety projects during the then fiscal year shall submit a school access safety plan or an annual plan update to the authority that addresses the school access safety needs of each school facility in the county: Provided, That in developing its plan, the county board shall consult with the county-wide council on productive and safe schools, in accordance with the provisions of this section and section forty-two, article five of this chapter.
(b) The school access safety plan shall include, but not be limited, to the following:
(1) A county-wide inventory of each school facility's means of ingress and egress for pupils, school employees, parents, visitors and emergency personnel to and from the facility, including, but not limited to, an inventory of the following:
(A) The number of controlled points of ingress to the school facility;
(B) The number and placement of exterior doors;
(C) The use of monitoring systems on exterior doors;
(D) The use of timed, magnetic, or other locks on exterior doors;
(E) The use of two-way communication systems between points of ingress and school personnel;
(F) The use of functional panic or other alarm hardware on exterior doors; and
(G) The use of remote visitor access systems on points of ingress;
(2) The recommendations and guidelines developed by the county-wide council on productive and safe schools pursuant to section forty-two, article five of this chapter, together with the county board's assessment of said recommendations and guidelines;
(3) Recommendations for the effective communication and coordination between school facilities, local law-enforcement agencies, and local emergency services agencies in the county;
(4) An assessment of the current status of school crime committed on school campuses and at school-related functions;
(5) A projected school access safety repair and renovation schedule for all school facilities of the county;
(6) A list of prioritization of each project contained in the plan, including the project cost of each project. In prioritizing the projects, the county board shall make determinations in accordance with the guidelines adopted by the authority. The priority list is one of the criteria that shall be considered by the authority in deciding whether to approve the plan;
(7) An evaluation of how the plan addresses the goals of this article and any guidelines adopted by the authority under this article, and how each project is in furtherance of the county board's school access safety plan, as well the county board's facilities plan and school major improvement plan, as applicable; (8) Notation of the amount available for allocation and distribution to the county board, as determined by the authority in accordance with the provisions of subsection (b), section six of this article;
(9) A description of the source or sources of local funds that the county board intends to contribute to the funding of school access safety projects contained in the plan to satisfy the local contribution requirements of subsection (d), section six of this article; and
(10) Any other element, including any project specifications and maintenance specifications considered appropriate by the authority, required by the guidelines established by the authority in accordance with the provisions of section three of this article.
§18-9F-5. School Access Safety Fund.
(a) There is hereby established in the State Treasury a special account to be designated as the "School Access Safety Fund."
(b) All funds accruing to the authority pursuant to the provisions of this article shall be deposited into the fund and expended in accordance with provisions of this article.
(c) Any remaining balance, including accrued interest, in the fund at the end of the fiscal year shall not revert to the general revenue fund, but shall remain in the account.
(d) The authority is authorized to transfer moneys from the fund to custodial accounts maintained by the authority with a state financial institution, as necessary to the performance of any contracts executed by the authority in accordance with the provisions of this article.
§18-9F-6. Allocation and distribution of moneys; eligibility for funding.

(a) On or before the first day of May of each year, the authority shall determine the amount of moneys available for allocation and distribution during the then fiscal year from moneys in the School Access Safety Fund created by section five of this article.
(b) Based upon the amount of moneys available for allocation and distribution in accordance with subsection (a) of this section, the authority shall determine a per-pupil net enrollment amount based on the total net enrollment in public schools for the state as a whole. Funding shall then be allocated to county boards of education on a per-pupil basis as determined by the net enrollment of the county, as that term is defined in section two, article nine-a of this chapter.
(c) Upon determining the amount available for allocation and distribution to each county board of education pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, the authority shall promptly notify each county board of education in writing of said amount.
(d) To be eligible to receive an allocation and distribution of state moneys pursuant to this article, a county board of education shall contribute local funds derived from bonding, special levy or other identified sources to the funding of the school access safety projects contained in the county board's school access safety plan. The county board's contribution of local funds shall be in an amount equal to or exceeding twenty-five percent of the moneys available to the county board in accordance with the provisions of subsection (b) of this section.
(e) No moneys may be distributed to any county board of education under this section unless the county board has a school access safety plan approved by the authority and is prepared to commence expenditure of the funds during the fiscal year in which the moneys are distributed.
(f) Distribution to a county board may be in a lump sum or in accordance with a schedule of payments adopted by the authority pursuant to guidelines adopted by the authority.
(g) To encourage county boards to proceed promptly with school access safety planning and to prepare for the expenditure of any state moneys derived from the source described in this article, any county board failing to expend money within one year of the allocation to the county board shall forfeit the allocation and thereafter be ineligible for further allocations pursuant to this article, until the county board is ready to expend funds in accordance with an approved school access safety plan: Provided, That the authority may authorize an extension beyond the one-year forfeiture period not to exceed an additional six months. Any amount forfeited shall be added to the total funds available in the School Access Safety Fund of the authority for future allocation and distribution.
§18-9F-7. School access safety requirements for new schools.
(a) For purposes of this section, "new school building" means any public school in the state for which design and construction begin after the first day of July, two thousand seven for the education of students in grades kindergarten through twelfth.
(b) In an effort to enhance school access safety, and notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, any new school building designed and constructed in the state by a county board with any funds from the authority shall be designed and constructed in compliance with school access safety guidelines established by the authority.
(c) The authority shall promulgate rules, pursuant to article three-a, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code that establish standards for school access safety in public school buildings. These rules shall include the requirement that county boards submit all new school designs to the authority for review and approval for compliance with this section prior to the preparation of final bid documents.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to enhance school access safety and to authorize the School Building Authority to facilitate and fund enhancements to means of ingress and egress of pupils, school employees, parents, visitors, and emergency personnel to and from public school facilities.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

§§18-9F is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.
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