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Introduced Version House Bill 2315 History

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hb2315 intr
H. B. 2315


(By Delegates Paxton, Crosier, Romine and Hamilton)
[Introduced February 14, 2005; referred to the
Committee on Education then Finance.]




A BILL to amend and reenact §18-2E-8b of the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to providing for a framework to avoid imposition of policies and practices on the public schools that distract from a thorough and efficient education; making findings and expressing legislative intent; requiring fiscal notes on policies, rules and programs affecting public schools and outlining applicable costs; providing alternative conditions under which policies, rules and programs may be adopted and the consequences of such; and providing for an audit of capacity to implement certain past policies, rules and programs; and, requiring the issuance of a report of recommendations.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §18-2E-8b of the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2E. HIGH QUALITY EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS.

§18-2E-8b. Audit of State Board policies; legislative findings; report to legislative oversight commission; required plan of improvement; exemptions from determination of accreditation status.

(a) The Legislature finds that, makes the following findings and statement of legislative intent:
(1) Pursuant to its constitutional responsibility to provide for a thorough and efficient system of schools, the Legislature enacted a process for improving education was enacted and set forth in section five of this article a and this process that was endorsed by the West Virginia Board of Education in a resolution that was adopted; The Legislature finds that
(2) The process for improving education includes four primary elements, those being standards, assessments, accountability and capacity building; The Legislature finds that
(3) As the constitutional body charged with the general supervision of schools, as provided by general law, the West Virginia Board of Education has the authority and responsibility to establish policies, which are not subject to approval by the Legislature, to assess performance against the standards, to hold schools and school systems accountable for meeting the standards and to assist schools and school systems to build their capacity to meet the standards, including, when necessary, seeking additional resources in consultation with the Legislature and the governor; The Legislature finds that
(4) In fulfilling its constitutional responsibility to provide for a thorough and efficient system of schools, the Legislature has been diligent in not mandating the delivery of programs that are beyond the capacity of schools and school systems without providing the necessary additional resources; The Legislature further finds, however, that
(5) Concerns exist, however, with respect to the capacity of schools and school systems to meet certain mandates and expenses, both financially and without losing productivity as the result of excessive regulation and documentation requirements, which arise either from State Board policy or the need for better communication, technical assistance and support by the State Board and State Department of Education; The Legislature finds that
(6) It is imperative that these concerns be addressed so as not to adversely affect the progress West Virginia has made toward improving its system of education or negate the excellent work of dedicated personnel at local schools and school systems to more thoroughly prepare their students for college, other post-secondary education and employment; Therefore, it is the intent of this section
(7) The Legislature enacted the process for improving education council set forth in section five-c of this article to engage the State Board and the State department in the spirit of cooperation and collaboration intended in the process for improving education to examine the impact of their policies and the efforts being made by the State Board and the State Department of Education to assist schools and school systems to meet them; and
(8) Therefore, in light of these findings and a continuing and heightened interest on improving efficiency so that the resources focused on improving student, school and school system performance and progress may be maximized, it is the intent of this section to establish a framework to avoid the imposition of policies and practices upon the public schools that interfere with the Legislature's ability to provide for a thorough and efficient system of education by distracting attention and resources from the core mission of the public schools, improving student, school and school system performance and progress.
(b) Every policy, rule or proposed program under consideration by the State Board, its agencies or any other agency of the State that will affect the public schools shall have a fiscal note attached to it that estimates the cost to the public schools including, but not limited to, the following as applicable:
(1) Direct expenditures for personnel, including substitute coverage and the need for personnel in specific certification areas, materials, training, equipment, facilities, travel and any other areas for which direct expenditures may be necessary;
(2) Indirect expenses and costs such as the anticipated additional time that will be required for teachers and administrators to comply with the requirements of the policy, rule or proposed program, including any additional documentation or reporting requirements; and
(3) Opportunity costs to the extent that any existing duties, functions or activities will or may be hindered, diminished or eliminated as a result of the policy, rule or proposed program and the contribution of these duties, functions and activities toward providing a thorough and efficient education that will be lost, including, but not limited to, changes in the allocation of time and effort by teachers and principals, changes in the allocation of instructional time and resources, existing courses and programs of study that will or are likely to be reduced or eliminated if new requirements are added without additional resources and any other current activities that will or may be hindered, diminished or eliminated.
(c) Any policy, rule or program adopted by the State Board, an agency of the State Board or other agency of the State that affects the public schools shall be subject to the following alternative conditions:
(1) The State Board, the agency of the State Board or another agency of the State that adopts a policy, rule or program affecting the public schools is solely responsible for any direct, indirect or opportunity costs to the public schools resulting from the policy, rule or program and such policy, rule or program shall be enforceable in the public schools only to the extent that the State Board, agency of the board or other agency of the State that adopted the policy, rule or program provides the resources necessary for implementation; or
(2) The State Board, an agency of the State Board or another agency of the State that has a policy, rule or proposed program affecting the public schools under consideration may notify the members of the process for improving council of the policy, rule or proposed program and its fiscal note and request a meeting to consult on the policy, rule or proposed program with the objective of achieving consensus on the importance of the policy, rule or program for improving student, school and school system performance and progress, the strategies for minimizing the direct, indirect and opportunity costs to the public schools of implementation of the policy, rule or program and the action to be undertaken to ensure the capacity of the public schools to implement the policy, rule or program including, if necessary, plans for requesting and receiving additional resources from the Legislature or other sources prior to adoption of the policy, rule or program; or
(3) The State Board, an agency of the State Board or another agency of the State that has a policy, rule or proposed program affecting the public schools under consideration may submit an improvement package in its budget request to the Legislature prior to adoption of the policy, rule or program requesting such additional resources and statutory amendments it considers necessary to provide adequate capacity for the public schools to implement the policy, rule or program.
(b) The state board shall:
(1) Direct the office of education performance audits to include in its review of county boards and schools a determination of
(d) The office of education performance audits shall conduct a review of all policies, rules and programs affecting the public schools that have been adopted, amended or initiated since the initial effective date of this section, the first day of July, one thousand ninety-nine, to determine whether the county boards and schools have the capacity to meet the requirements within the policies, rules and programs. to the of the state board for school systems to provide additional new courses and determine the capacity of school systems to deliver these new courses, if any If it is determined that a the county boards and schools do does not have the capacity to meet these requirements, the office of education performance audits shall report these findings to the State Board along with any recommendations it considers necessary for additional capacity building, or modification or repeal of the policy, rule or program. A copy of each report shall also be filed with the legislative oversight commission on education accountability. state board shall direct the department to develop and implement a plan to assist the counties in meeting the requirements
(2) Review the organization of the state department of education to ensure that it is able to provide the best communication, technical assistance and support for schools and school systems in a number of areas, including, but not limited to:
(i) The advantages and disadvantages of various methods of scheduling and how they can be modified to best meet the needs of students;
(ii) Establishing policies which allow advanced students to test out of required courses for which they already possess the required academic skills; and
(iii) Subject to the provision of section eight-d of this article, establishing policies which allow students, whether they are preparing for college, other post-secondary education or work, to take a higher level course, advanced placement course, college course or other more rigorous substitute in place of a required major course as set forth in the applicable program of study.
(3) Prepare and report annually to the legislative oversight committee on educational accountability by the first day of December a plan for the repair, maintenance and upgrade of technology in the public schools.
(c) (e) It is further the intent of the Legislature to regularly consult with the State Board, examine the progress it is making with respect to these issues, and consider alternative measures to ensure that all students continue receiving the thorough and efficient education to which they are entitled.


NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide a framework to avoid imposition of policies and practices on the public schools that distract from the education process. The bill contains the following provisions in furtherance of its primary purpose, as aforesaid: (1) It makes findings and expresses legislative intent; (2) it requires the use of fiscal notes on policies, rules and programs affecting public schools which outline applicable costs; (3) it provides alternative conditions under which policies, rules and programs may be adopted; and (4) it provides for an audit of capacity to implement certain past policies, rules and programs as well as requiring the issuance of a report of recommendations.


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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