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Introduced Version House Bill 4023 History

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hb4023 intr


H. B. 4023


(By Delegates Mezzatesta and Williams)

[Introduced January 11, 2002; referred to the

Committee on Education then Finance.]





A BILL to amend and reenact section twenty-six, article two, chapter eighteen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended; and to amend and reenact section eight-a, article nine-a of said chapter, all relating to regional educational service agencies; providing for the establishment of statewide standards for service delivery; requiring examination of agency plans, budgets and performance by the state superintendent; providing for committee to assist the state superintendent in establishing statewide standards and any annual modifications; providing for certain services for which standards must be established; changing requirements for reports and evaluations of agency services; requiring agency director to attend one meeting of each member county board each year for certain purposes; prohibiting county board member from being an employee of a regional educational service agency; changing the foundation allowance for regional educational service agencies to a line item appropriation for distribution subject to certain examination and determination by the state superintendent.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section twenty-six, article two, chapter eighteen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that section eight-a, article nine-a of said chapter be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2. STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION.

§18-2-26. Establishment of multicounty regional educational service agencies; purposes; authority to implement regional services; annual performance standards.

(a) In order to consolidate and administer more effectively existing educational programs and services so individual districts will have more discretionary moneys for educational improvement and in order to equalize and extend educational opportunities, The state board of education shall establish multi county regional educational service agencies for the purpose of providing high quality, cost effective educational programs and services to the county school systems, and shall make such promulgate rules consistent with the provisions of this section as may be necessary for the effective administration and operation of the agencies. The rules shall include procedures for: (1) The establishment of statewide standards, which may be revised annually, for service delivery by the agencies; (2) the timely communication of the standards to the agencies for planning and budgeting for the ensuing fiscal year; and (3) the examination of the agencies' performance, service delivery plans and budgets by the state superintendent for the purposes of section eight-a, article nine-a of this chapter. To assist the state superintendent in the establishment of the statewide standards and any annual modifications, the state superintendent shall convene and chair a committee composed of the following ex officio members or their designees: The president of the West Virginia school boards association; the president of the West Virginia association of school administrators; the president of the West Virginia secondary school principals association; the president of the West Virginia association of elementary and middle school principals; the chair of the RESA directors; and the executive director of the center for professional development.
The standards shall include, but are not limited to, services to: (1) Consolidate and administer more effectively existing educational programs and services so individual districts will have more discretionary moneys for educational improvement; (2) equalize and extend educational opportunities; (3) provide technical and other assistance to low performing schools to improve performance before they become seriously impaired; (4) assist the department of education in providing technical and other assistance to seriously impaired schools; and (5) other services provided for in this section or required by the state board.

(b) In furtherance of these purposes, the board of directors of each regional educational service agency shall continually explore possibilities for the delivery of services on a regional basis which will facilitate equality in the educational offerings among counties in its service area, permit the delivery of high quality educational programs at a lower per student cost, strengthen the cost effectiveness of education funding resources, reduce administrative and/or operational costs, including the consolidation of administrative, coordinating and other county level functions into region level functions, and promote the efficient administration and operation of the public school systems generally.
Technical, operational, programmatic or professional services are among the types of services appropriate for delivery on a regional basis.
(c) In addition to performing the services and functions required by the provisions of this or any other section of this code, a regional educational service agency may implement regional programs and services by a majority vote of its board of directors. When the vote is not unanimous, the board of directors shall file a plan for the service or program delivery with the state board describing the program or service, the manner of delivery and the projected savings and/or the improved quality of the program or service. The state board shall promulgate rules requiring a county board that declines to participate in the programs or services to show just cause for not participating and the estimated savings accruing to the county from the program or services. If a county board fails to show that savings will accrue to the county or that the quality of the program will be significantly and positively affected as a result of its decision not to participate, the state board shall withhold from the county's foundation allowance for administrative cost the lesser of the amount of the estimated savings or the allocation for the county's foundation allowance for administrative cost.
(d) The state board, in conjunction with the various regional educational service agencies, shall develop an effective model for the regional delivery of instruction in subjects where there exists low student enrollment or a shortage of certified teachers or where the delivery method substantially improves the quality of an instructional program. The model shall incorporate an interactive electronic classroom approach to instruction. To the extent funds are appropriated or otherwise available, county boards or regional educational service agencies may adopt and utilize the model for the delivery of the instruction.
(e) Each county board of education shall use the uniform integrated regional computer information system recommended by the state board of education for data collection and reporting to the state department of education. County boards of education shall bear the cost of and fully participate in the implementation of the system by: (1) Acquiring necessary, compatible equipment to participate in the regional computer information system; or (2) following receipt of a waiver from the state superintendent, operating a comparable management information system at a lower cost which provides at least all uniform integrated regional computer information system software modules and allows on-line, interactive access for schools and the county board of education office onto the statewide communications network. All data formats shall be the same as for the uniform integrated regional information system and will reside at the regional computer. Any county granted a waiver shall receive periodic notification of any incompatibility or deficiency in its system. No county shall expand any system either through the purchase of additional software or hardware that does not advance the goals and implementation of the uniform integrated regional computer information system as recommended by the state board.
(f) Each regional educational service agency shall submit to the state superintendent on such date and in such form as specified in the rules adopted by the state board a report and evaluation of the technical assistance and other services provided and utilized by the schools within each respective region and their effectiveness. Furthermore, each Any school shall may submit an evaluation of the services provided by the regional educational service agency to the state superintendent at any time, which shall include an evaluation of the regional educational service agency program, suggestions as to how to improve utilization and the individual school's plan suggestions as to the development of new programs and the enhancement of existing programs. The report is due by the first day of January of each year and reports and evaluations submitted pursuant to this subsection shall be made available to the state board of education, the standing committees on education of the West Virginia Senate and House of Delegates and to the secretary of education and the arts upon request.
(g) A regional board may receive and disburse funds from the state and federal governments, member counties, gifts and grants.
(h) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, employees of regional educational service agencies shall be reimbursed for travel, meals and lodging at the same rate as state employees under the travel management office of the department of administration.
(i) Regional educational service agencies shall hold at least one half of their regular meetings during hours other than those of a regular school day. The director of each regional educational service agency shall attend at least one meeting of each of the member county boards of education each year to explain the agency's services, garner suggestions for program improvement and provide any other information as may be requested by the county board.
(j) Regional educational service agencies shall serve as the lead agency for computer installation, maintenance and repair for the basic skills computer program. Each regional educational service agency shall submit a quarterly status report on turn around time for computer installation, maintenance and repair to the state superintendent of schools who shall then submit a report to the legislative oversight commission on education accountability. The status report for turn around time for computer installation, maintenance and repair shall be based on the following suggested time schedules:
Network File Servers............forty-eight hours
Local Area Networks.............forty-eight hours
West Virginia Education
Information System..............twenty-four hours
Computer Workstations...........three to five days
Printers........................three to five days
Other Peripherals...............three to five days
Regional educational service agencies shall also submit an audit report to the legislative oversight commission on education accountability each year.
(k) Pursuant to the processes and provisions of section twenty-three-a, article two, chapter eighteen of this code, each regional educational service agency shall provide coordinated professional development programs within its region to meet the professional development goals established by the state board.
(l) Notwithstanding any other provision of the code to the contrary, county board members serving on regional educational service agency boards may receive compensation at a rate not to exceed one hundred dollars per meeting attended, not to exceed fifteen meetings per year. County board members serving on regional educational service agency boards may be reimbursed for travel at the same rate as state employees under the rules of the travel management office of the department of administration. A county board member may not be an employee of a regional educational service agency.
ARTICLE 9A. PUBLIC SCHOOL SUPPORT.

§18-9A-8a. Foundation allowance for regional educational service agencies.

For the fiscal year beginning on the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-one two thousand two, and for each fiscal year thereafter, the foundation allowance a line item appropriation shall be made in the department of education account for regional educational service agencies. The amount of the appropriation shall be equal to sixty-three one-hundredths percent of the allocation for professional educators as determined in section four of this article. Provided, That for the fiscal year beginning on the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-four only, the foundation allowance for regional educational service agencies shall be at least equal to fifty-five one- hundredths percent of the allocation for professional educators as determined in section four of this article The allowance amount of the appropriation due to a regional education service agency shall be distributed to the regional educational service agencies it upon an examination by the state superintendent of the regional educational service agency's performance on achieving the standards established for regional educational service agencies pursuant to section twenty-six, article two of this chapter during the preceding fiscal year, and a determination by the state superintendent that the budget and service delivery plan submitted by the regional educational service agency will enable it to achieve the standards during the next fiscal year. in accordance with rules adopted by the state board The allowance for regional educational service agencies shall be excluded from the computation of total basic state aid as provided for in section twelve of this article.


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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