Senate Bill 602 History
Senate Bill No. 602
(By Senators Hunter, Dempsey, Minard, Jenkins, Barnes and Unger)
[Introduced March 18, 2005; referred to the Committee
on Education; and then to the Committee on Finance.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §15-1B-24 of the Code of West Virginia,
1931, as amended; and to amend and reenact §18-2-6 of said
code, all relating to designation of Mountaineer Challenge
Academy as special alternative education program; providing
for State Board rule and minimum provisions; application
limited to Academy consent; making additional findings and
stating intent; making applicable references; and updating
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §15-1B-24 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended,
be amended and reenacted; and that §18-2-6 of said code be amended
and reenacted, all to read as follows:
CHAPTER 15. PUBLIC SAFETY.
ARTICLE 1B. NATIONAL GUARD.
§15-1B-24. Mountaineer Challenge Academy.
The Mountaineer Challenge Academy, operated by the Adjutant
General at Camp Dawson, is hereby acknowledged to be a program of
great value in meeting the educational needs of at-risk youth
throughout the state. Further, the Mountaineer Challenge Academy
is hereby designated as a special alternative education program as
is further provided pursuant to section six, article two, chapter
eighteen of this code. It is, therefore, the
sense intent of the
Legislature that the Mountaineer Challenge Academy should enjoy the
full cooperation of the executive agencies of state government in
carrying out its program.
that this end, the State Board of Education shall,
notwithstanding any other provision in this code to the contrary:
(1) Include the Mountaineer Challenge Academy in the child
on the same basis as other public schools;
(2) Provide the names and mailing addresses of all high school
dropouts in the state to the director of the Mountaineer Challenge
upon request annually; and
(3) Provide for Mountaineer Challenge Academy graduates to
participate in the adult basic education program.
Further cooperation with the Mountaineer Challenge Academy is
encouraged by the Legislature for the purpose of assisting the
Mountaineer Challenge Academy
in achieving to achieve its mission
and help prepare young people for productive adulthood.
CHAPTER 18. EDUCATION.
ARTICLE 2. STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION.
§18-2-6. Classification and standardization of schools; standards
for degrees and diploma; certificates of proficiency;
establishment of alternative education programs.
(a) The State Board shall
make promulgate rules for the
accreditation, classification and standardization of all schools in
the state, except institutions of higher education, and shall
determine the minimum standards for the granting of diplomas and
certificates of proficiency by those schools. Not later than the
school year one thousand nine hundred ninety--ninety-one, The
certificates of proficiency including shall include specific
information regarding the graduate's skills, competence and
readiness for employment or honors and advanced education and shall
be granted, along with the diploma, to every eligible high school
graduate. The certificate of proficiency shall include the program
of study major completed by the student only for those students who
have completed the required major courses, or higher level courses,
advanced placement courses, college courses or other more rigorous
substitutes related to the major, and the recommended electives.
No (b) An institution of less than collegiate or university
status may not grant any diploma or certificate of proficiency on
any basis of work or merit below the minimum standards prescribed
by the State Board.
No (c) A charter or other instrument containing the right to issue diplomas or certificates of proficiency shall may not be
granted by the State of West Virginia to any institution or other
associations or organizations of less than collegiate or university
status within the state until the condition of granting or issuing
such diplomas or other certificates of proficiency has first been
approved in writing by the State Board.
(d) The State Board
also may establish policies and procedures
shall promulgate a rule for the approval of alternative education
programs for disruptive students who are at risk of not succeeding
in the traditional school structure. These policies and procedures
This rule may provide for the waiver of other policies of the State
Board, the establishment and delivery of a nontraditional
curriculum, the establishment of licensure requirements for
alternative education program teachers, and the establishment of
performance measures for school accreditation.
(e) The State Board shall promulgate a rule to support the
operation of the National Guard Youth Challenge Program operated by
the Adjutant General and known as the "Mountaineer Challenge
Academy" which is designated as a special alternative education
program pursuant to section twenty-four, article one-b, chapter
fifteen of this code, for students who are at risk of not
succeeding in the traditional school structure. The rule shall set
forth policies and procedures applicable only to the Mountaineer
Challenge Academy that provide for, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) Implementation of provisions set forth in section
twenty-four, article one-b, chapter fifteen of this code;
(2) Precedence of the policies and procedures designated by
the National Guard Bureau for the operation of the Mountaineer
Challenge Academy special alternative education program;
(3) Consideration of a student participating in the
Mountaineer Challenge Academy special alternative education program
at full enrollment status in the referring county for the purposes
of funding and calculating attendance and graduation rates;
(4) Articulation of the knowledge, skills and competencies
gained through alternative education so that students who return to
regular education may proceed toward attainment or attain the
standards for graduation without duplication; and
(5) Consideration of eligibility to take the General
Educational Development (GED) tests by qualifying within the
extraordinary circumstances provisions established by State Board
rule of a student participating in the Mountaineer Challenge
Academy special alternative education program who does not meet any
other criteria for eligibility.
Nothing in this section or the rules promulgated hereunder
compels the Mountaineer Challenge Academy to be operated as a
special alternative education program or to be subject to any other
laws governing the public schools except by its consent.
Note: The purpose of this bill is to require a State Board
rule which designates the National Guard Youth Challenge Program
operated by the Adjutant General and known as the "Mountaineer
Challenge Academy" as a special alternative education program. The
rule must contain provisions applicable only to the Challenge
Academy with respect to precedence of National Guard policies,
retention of funding at the student's home county, program
articulation, qualification for GED testing and other elements
listed in the bill.
Strike-throughs indicate existing language that would be
removed, and underscoring indicates new language that would be