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Introduced Version House Bill 3152 History

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H. B. 3152

 

         (By Delegate Manypenny)

         [Introduced February 15, 2011; referred to the

         Committee on Education then the Judiciary.]

 

 

 

 

A BILL to amend and reenact §18-8-1 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend and reenact §18-28-3 of said code, all relating to permitting the West Virginia Educational Standards Test 2 to be one of the optional methods to annually assess the academic achievement levels of home schooled students and students in private, parochial and church schools; and providing rule-making authority.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That §18-8-1 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that §18-28-3 of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:

ARTICLE 8. COMPULSORY SCHOOL ATTENDANCE.

§18-8-1. Compulsory school attendance; exemptions.

    (a) Exemption from the requirements of compulsory public school attendance established in section one-a of this article shall be made on behalf of any child for the causes or conditions set forth in this section. Each cause or condition set forth in this section is subject to confirmation by the attendance authority of the county.

    (b) A child is exempt from the compulsory school attendance requirement set forth in section one-a of this article if the requirements of this subsection, relating to instruction in a private, parochial or other approved school, are met. The instruction shall be in a school approved by the county board and for a time equal to the instructional term set forth in section forty-five, article five of this chapter. In all private, parochial or other schools approved pursuant to this subsection it is the duty of the principal or other person in control, upon the request of the county superintendent, to furnish to the county board such information and records as may be required with respect to attendance, instruction and progress of students enrolled.

    (c) A child is exempt from the compulsory school attendance requirement set forth in section one-a of this article if the requirements of either subdivision (1) or subdivision (2) of this subsection, both relating to home instruction, are met.

    (1) The instruction shall be in the home of the child or children or at some other place approved by the county board and for a time equal to the instructional term set forth in section forty-five, article five of this chapter. If the request for home instruction is denied by the county board, good and reasonable justification for the denial shall be furnished in writing to the applicant by the county board. The instruction shall be conducted by a person or persons who, in the judgment of the county superintendent and county board, are qualified to give instruction in subjects required to be taught in public elementary schools in the state. The person or persons providing the instruction, upon request of the county superintendent, shall furnish to the county board information and records as may be required periodically with respect to attendance, instruction and progress of students receiving the instruction. The state board shall develop guidelines for the home schooling of special education students including alternative assessment measures to assure that satisfactory academic progress is achieved.

    (2) The child meets the requirements set forth in this subdivision: Provided, That the county superintendent may seek from the circuit court of the county an order denying home instruction of the child. The order may be granted upon a showing of clear and convincing evidence that the child will suffer neglect in his or her education or that there are other compelling reasons to deny home instruction.

    (A) Annually, the person or persons providing home instruction shall present to the county superintendent or county board a notice of intent to provide home instruction and the name, address, age and grade level of any child of compulsory school age to be instructed: Provided, That if a child is enrolled in a public school, notice of intent to provide home instruction shall be given at least two weeks prior to withdrawing the child from public school;

    (B) The person or persons providing home instruction shall submit satisfactory evidence of a high school diploma or equivalent;

    (C) The person or persons providing home instruction shall outline a plan of instruction for the ensuing school year; and

    (D) On or before June 30 annually, the person or persons providing home instruction shall obtain an academic assessment of the child for the previous school year and submit the results to the county superintendent. When the academic assessment takes place outside of a public school, the parent or legal guardian shall pay the cost. The requirement of an academic assessment is satisfied in one of the following ways:

    (i) The child receiving home instruction takes a nationally normed standardized achievement test to be administered under standardized conditions as set forth by the published instructions of the selected test in the subjects of reading, language, mathematics, science and social studies. The child’s parent or legal guardian may not administer the test in any event. The publication date of the chosen test may not be more than ten years from the date the test is administered. The child is considered to have made acceptable progress when the mean of the child’s test results in the required subject areas for any single year meets or exceeds the fiftieth percentile or, if below the fiftieth percentile, shows improvement from the previous year’s results and completes the West Virginia Educational Standards Test 2 (WESTEST2). The State Board of Education is granted rule-making authority to promulgate rules by July 1, 2011 to determine the subjects to be tested for each grade and the proficiency scores necessary to remain in a home school environment;

    (ii) The child participates in the testing program currently in use in the state’s public schools. The test shall be administered to the child at a public school in the county of residence. Determination of acceptable progress shall be based on current guidelines of the state testing program;

    (iii) The county superintendent is provided with a written narrative indicating that a portfolio of samples of the child’s work has been reviewed and that the child’s academic progress for the year is in accordance with the child’s abilities. If the narrative indicates that the child’s academic progress for the year is in accordance with the child’s abilities, the child is considered to have made acceptable progress. This narrative shall be prepared by a certified teacher whose certification number shall be provided. The narrative shall include a statement about the child’s progress in the areas of reading, language, mathematics, science and social studies and shall note any areas which, in the professional opinion of the reviewer, show need for improvement or remediation; or

    (iv) The child completes an alternative academic assessment of proficiency that is mutually agreed upon by the parent or legal guardian and the county superintendent. Criteria for acceptable progress shall be mutually agreed upon by the same parties; and

    (E) When the annual assessment fails to show acceptable progress as defined under the appropriate assessment option set forth in paragraph (D) of this subdivision, the person or persons providing home instruction shall initiate a remedial program to foster acceptable progress. The county board shall notify the parents or legal guardian of the child, in writing, of the services available to assist in the assessment of the child’s eligibility for special education services. Identification of a disability does not preclude the continuation of home schooling. In the event that the child does not achieve acceptable progress as defined under the appropriate assessment option set forth in paragraph (D) of this subdivision for a second consecutive year, the person or persons providing instruction shall submit to the county superintendent additional evidence that appropriate instruction is being provided.

    (3) This subdivision applies to both home instruction exemptions set forth in subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection. The county superintendent or a designee shall offer such assistance, including textbooks, other teaching materials and available resources, all subject to availability, as may assist the person or persons providing home instruction. Any child receiving home instruction may upon approval of the county board exercise the option to attend any class offered by the county board as the person or persons providing home instruction may consider appropriate subject to normal registration and attendance requirements.

    (d) A child is exempt from the compulsory school attendance requirement set forth in section one-a of this article if the requirements of this subsection, relating to physical or mental incapacity, are met. Physical or mental incapacity consists of incapacity for school attendance and the performance of school work. In all cases of prolonged absence from school due to incapacity of the child to attend, the written statement of a licensed physician or authorized school nurse is required. Incapacity shall be narrowly defined and in any case the provisions of this article may not allow for the exclusion of the mentally, physically, emotionally or behaviorally handicapped child otherwise entitled to a free appropriate education.

    (e) A child is exempt from the compulsory school attendance requirement set forth in section one-a of this article if conditions rendering school attendance impossible or hazardous to the life, health or safety of the child exist.

    (f) A child is exempt from the compulsory school attendance requirement set forth in section one-a of this article upon regular graduation from a standard senior high school or alternate secondary program completion as determined by the state board.

    (g) A child is exempt from the compulsory school attendance requirement set forth in section one-a of this article if the child is granted a work permit pursuant to the subsection. After due investigation the county superintendent may grant work permits to youths under the termination age designated in section one-a of this article, subject to state and federal labor laws and regulations. A work permit may not be granted on behalf of any youth who has not completed the eighth grade of school.

    (h) A child is exempt from the compulsory school attendance requirement set forth in section one-a of this article if a serious illness or death in the immediate family of the child has occurred. It is expected that the county attendance director will ascertain the facts in all cases of such absences about which information is inadequate and report the facts to the county superintendent.

    (i) A child is exempt from the compulsory school attendance requirement set forth in section one-a of this article if the requirements of this subsection, relating to destitution in the home, are met. Exemption based on a condition of extreme destitution in the home may be granted only upon the written recommendation of the county attendance director to the county superintendent following careful investigation of the case. A copy of the report confirming the condition and school exemption shall be placed with the county director of public assistance. This enactment contemplates every reasonable effort that may properly be taken on the part of both school and public assistance authorities for the relief of home conditions officially recognized as being so destitute as to deprive children of the privilege of school attendance. Exemption for this cause is not allowed when the destitution is relieved through public or private means.

    (j) A child is exempt from the compulsory school attendance requirement set forth in section one-a of this article if the requirements of this subsection, relating to church ordinances and observances of regular church ordinances, are met. The county board may approve exemption for religious instruction upon written request of the person having legal or actual charge of a child or children. This exemption is subject to the rules prescribed by the county superintendent and approved by the county board.

    (k) A child is exempt from the compulsory school attendance requirement set forth in section one-a of this article if the requirements of this subsection, relating to alternative private, parochial, church or religious school instruction, are met. Exemption shall be made for any child attending any private school, parochial school, church school, school operated by a religious order or other nonpublic school which elects to comply with the provisions of article twenty-eight of this chapter.

    (l) Completion of the eighth grade does not exempt any child under the termination age designated in section one-a of this article from the compulsory attendance provision of this article.

ARTICLE 28. PRIVATE, PAROCHIAL OR CHURCH SCHOOLS, OR SCHOOLS OF A RELIGIOUS ORDER.

§18-28-3. Standardized testing requirements.

    (a) Each private, parochial or church school or school of a religious order or other nonpublic school electing to operate under this statute in lieu of the approval requirements set forth as part of section one, article eight, chapter eighteen, exemption A shall administer on an annual basis during each school year to every child enrolled therein between the ages of seven and sixteen years either the comprehensive test of basic skills, the California achievement test, the Stanford achievement test, the West Virginia Educational Standards Test 2 (WESTEST2) or the Iowa tests of basic skills tests of achievement and proficiency, which test will be selected by the chief administrative officer of each school in the subjects of English, grammar, reading, social studies, science and mathematics; and shall be administered under standardized conditions as set forth by the published instructions of the selected test: Provided, That any private, parochial, church school, school of a religious order or other nonpublic school that exclusively teaches special education students or children with learning disabilities shall not be required to comply with this subsection or subsection (d) of this section, but shall academically assess every child enrolled therein between the ages of seven and sixteen years on an annual basis during each school year by one or more of the following methods: (1) A standardized group achievement test; (2) a standardized individual achievement test; (3) a written narrative of an evaluation of a portfolio of samples of a child's work; (4) an alternative academic assessment of the child's proficiency as mutually agreed by the county superintendent, parent(s) or legal guardian(s) and the school.

    (b) Each child's testing results and the school composite test results shall be made available to such child's parents or legal guardians. Upon request of a duly authorized representative of the West Virginia Department of Education, the school composite test results shall be furnished by the school or by a parents organization composed of the parents or guardians of children enrolled in said school to the state superintendent of Schools.

    (c) Each school to which this article applies shall:

    (1) Establish curriculum objectives, the attainment of which will enable students to develop the potential for becoming literate citizens.

    (2) Provide an instructional program that will make possible the acquisition of competencies necessary to become a literate citizen.

    (d) If such school composite test results for any single year for English, grammar, reading, social studies, science and mathematics fall below the fortieth percentile on the selected tests, the school as herein described shall initiate a remedial program to foster achievement above that level. If after two consecutive calendar years school composite test results are not above the fortieth percentile level, attendance at the school may no longer satisfy the compulsory school attendance requirement exemption of exemption K, section one, article eight, chapter eighteen, until such time as the percentile standards herein set forth are met.




    NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to permit the West Virginia Educational Standards Test 2 to be one of the optional methods to annually assess the basic skills of achievement and proficiency of home schooled students and students in private, parochial or church schools. The bill also grants the State Board of Education rulemaking authority to determine the subjects to be tested and the proficiency scores necessary to be home schooled.


    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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