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Introduced Version Senate Bill 7 History

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SB7 INTR


Senate Bill No. 7

(By Senator Mitchell)

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[Introduced January 9, 2002; referred to the Committee

on Education; and then to the Committee on Finance.]

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A BILL to amend and reenact section eighteen-a, article five, chapter eighteen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to prohibiting split grades in elementary schools.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That section eighteen-a, article five, chapter eighteen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, 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 one thousand nine hundred eighty-three--eighty-four, 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 does not have more than twenty-five pupils for each teacher of the grade or grades and shall not have more than twenty 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 one thousand nine hundred eighty-four--eighty-five, 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 does not have more than twenty-five pupils for each teacher of the grade or grades.

Beginning with the school year one thousand nine hundred eighty-six--eighty-seven two thousand one--two thousand two, and thereafter, no county shall may 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 the first day of January, one thousand nine hundred eighty-three: 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 one thousand nine hundred eighty-four--eighty-five, 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 pupils per teacher in a specific kindergarten classroom and twenty-five pupils per teacher in a specific classroom in grades one 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 may 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 pupils per kindergarten teacher per session limit or the twenty-five pupils per teacher limit in grades one through six is waived in schools where the school wide pupil-teacher ratio is twenty-five or less in grades one through six: Provided,
That a teacher shall may 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 pupils per session and any classroom teacher of grades one through six who has more than twenty-five pupils shall be paid additional compensation based on the affected classroom teacher's average daily salary divided by twenty for kindergarten teachers or twenty-five 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 the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-four, a teacher in grades one, two or three or classrooms having two or more such grade levels, shall may 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 the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-five, such the teacher shall may 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 the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-six, such the teacher
shall may 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 this information to the legislative oversight commission on education accountability before the first day of January of each year.



NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to prohibit split grades in elementary classrooms beginning with the 2002-2003 school year.

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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