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Introduced Version House Bill 2221 History

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HB2221 intr
H. B. 2221


          (By Delegates Craig, Reynolds and Andes)
          [Introduced February 13, 2013; referred to the
          Committee on Education then Finance.]




A BILL to amend and reenact §18-5-18a of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to limiting the student to teacher ratio in kindergarten through sixth grades.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
     That §18-5-18a of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5. COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION.
§18-5-18a. Maximum teacher-pupil ratio.
                                            County boards of education shall provide, by the school year 1983-84, and thereafter, sufficient personnel, equipment and facilities as will ensure that each first and second grade classroom, or classrooms having two or more grades that include either the first or second grades shall not have more than twenty- five seventeen pupils for each teacher of the grade or grades and shall not have more than twenty seventeen pupils for each kindergarten teacher per session, unless the State Superintendent has excepted a specific classroom upon application therefor by a county board.
                                            County boards shall provide by the school year 1984-85, and continue thereafter, sufficient personnel, equipment and facilities as will ensure that each third, fourth, fifth and sixth grade classroom, or classrooms having two or more grades that include one or more of the third, fourth, fifth and sixth grades, shall not have more than twenty-five pupils for each teacher of the grade or grades.
                                            Beginning with the school year 1986-87, and thereafter, no county shall maintain a greater number of classrooms having two or more grades that include one or more of the grade levels referred to in this section than were in existence in said county as of January 1, 1983: Provided, That for the prior school years, and only if there is insufficient classroom space available in the school or county, a county may maintain one hundred ten percent of such number of classrooms.
                                            During the school year 1984-85, and thereafter, the State Superintendent is authorized, consistent with sound educational policy; (a) to permit on a statewide basis, in grades four through six, more than twenty-five pupils per teacher in a classroom for the purposes of instruction in physical education; and (b) to permit more than twenty seventeen pupils per teacher in a specific kindergarten classroom and twenty-five seventeen pupils per teacher in a specific first and second grade classroom and twenty-five pupils per teacher in a specific classroom in grades one three through six during a school year in the event of extraordinary circumstances as determined by the State Superintendent after application by a county board of education.
                                            The state board shall establish guidelines for the exceptions authorized in this section, but in no event shall the superintendent except classrooms having more than three pupils above the pupil-teacher ratio as set forth in this section.
                                            The requirement for approval of an exception to exceed the twenty seventeen pupils per kindergarten teacher per session limit, seventeen pupils per first or second grade teacher per session limit or the twenty-five pupils per teacher limit in grades one three through six is waived in schools where the school wide pupil- teacher ratio is twenty-five or less in grades one three through six: Provided, That a teacher shall not have more than three pupils above the teacher/pupil ratio as set forth in this section. Any kindergarten teacher who has more than twenty seventeen pupils per session and any classroom teacher of grades one through six who has more than twenty-five twenty pupils shall be paid additional compensation based on the affected classroom teacher's average daily salary divided by twenty seventeen for kindergarten teachers or twenty-five twenty for teachers of grades one through six for every day times the number of additional pupils enrolled up to the maximum pupils permitted in the teacher's classroom. All such additional compensation shall be paid from county funds exclusively.
                                            Notwithstanding any other provision of this section to the contrary, commencing with the school year beginning on July 1, 1994, a teacher in grades one, two or three or classrooms having two or more such grade levels, shall not have more than two pupils above the teacher/pupil ratio as set forth in this section: Provided, That commencing with the school year beginning on July 1, 1995, such teacher shall not have more than one pupil above the teacher/pupil ratio as set forth in this section: Provided, however, That commencing with the school year beginning on July 1, 1996, such teacher shall not have any pupils above the teacher/pupil ratio as set forth in this section.
                                            No provision of this section is intended to limit the number of pupils per teacher in a classroom for the purpose of instruction in choral, band or orchestra music.
                                            Each school principal shall assign students equitably among the classroom teachers, taking into consideration reasonable differences due to subject areas and/or grade levels.
                                            The state board shall collect from each county board of education information on class size and the number of pupils per teacher for all classes in grades seven through twelve. The state board shall report such information to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability before January 1, of each year.


                                            NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to decrease the student-to- teacher ratio in kindergarten through sixth grades.

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