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Introduced Version Senate Bill 720 History

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Senate Bill No. 720

(By Senators Plymale and Edgell)

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[Introduced March 21, 2005; referred to the Committee on Education; and then to the Committee on Finance.]

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A BILL to repeal §18-2-13 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; to amend and reenact §18-2-7a of said code; to amend and reenact §18-8A-1 of said code; and to amend and reenact §18A-3-1a and §18A-3-3a, all relating to public education; repealing the required integration of character education into all aspects of school culture, school functions and existing curriculum; the State Board Physical Fitness Program; expanding the definition of a homeless child as the term applies to the right to attend school; alternative teacher certificates; alternative teacher education programs; authorizing the State Board to adopt rules for the approval and operation of teacher education programs which are an alternative to the regular college or university programs for the education of special education teachers; and disbursements for tuition reimbursements for courses completed toward certification renewal and for courses completed toward an additional endorsement in an area of critical need and shortage.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §18-2-13 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be repealed; that §18-2-7a of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18-8A-1 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18A-3-1a and §18A-3-3a of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
CHAPTER 18. EDUCATION.

ARTICLE 2. STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION.

§18-2-7a. Program in physical fitness.

The State Board of education shall prescribe a program within the existing health and physical education program which incorporates the fitness testing, reporting, awards recognition, fitness events and incentive programs designed under the auspices of the president's council on physical fitness and sports and which requires the participation through in grade grades four through eight and the required high school course. nine of each student and of each school in the state in both the challenge program and the state champion program of the council The program shall be selected from nationally accepted fitness testing programs designed for school-aged children that test cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility and body composition. The program shall include the modified test for exceptional students. Each school in the state shall participate in national physical fitness and sports month in May of each year and shall make every effort to involve the community it serves in the related events.
ARTICLE 8A. ATTENDANCE OF HOMELESS CHILDREN.

§18-8A-1. Legislative findings; definition of homeless child.

(a) The Legislature hereby finds and declares that because of the growing number of children and families who are homeless in West Virginia there is a need to ensure that all homeless children receive a proper education. It is the intent of the Legislature that no child shall be denied the benefits of a free education in the public schools because the child is homeless.
The Legislature further finds that programs and materials must be made available to homeless and at-risk children to assure opportunities for an equal education. Programs shall include, but not be limited to, incorporating the ideas of academic achievement, career exploration, self-esteem enhancement, behavior modification and other programs relating to student development.
(b) As used in this article, unless the context otherwise requires, "homeless child" means:
(1) A child who lacks a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence; or
(2) A child who has a primary nighttime residence which is:
(i) A supervised, publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations, including welfare hotels, congregate shelters and transitional housing for the mentally ill;
(ii) An institution that provides a temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized; or
(iii) A public or private place not designed for, nor ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings; and
(3) Any other individual that meets the current or future definition of "homeless children and youths" set forth in 42 U.S.C. 11434a.

(c) "Homeless child" does not include any individual imprisoned or otherwise detained pursuant to an act of Congress or a state law.
CHAPTER 18A. SCHOOL PERSONNEL.

ARTICLE 3. TRAINING, CERTIFICATION, LICENSING, PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT.

§18A-3-1a. Alternative programs for the education of teachers.

(a) By the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-one, The State Board, of education after consultation with the Secretary of Education and the Arts, shall adopt rules in accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code for the approval and operation of teacher education programs which are an alternative to the regular college or university programs for the education of teachers. To participate in an approved alternative teacher education program, the candidate must hold an alternative program teacher certificate issued by the superintendent and endorsed for the instructional field in which the candidate seeks certification. An alternative program teacher certificate is a temporary certificate issued for one year to a candidate who does not meet the standard educational requirements for certification. This certificate may be renewed no more than two times. No individual may hold an alternative teacher certificate for a period exceeding three years. The alternative teacher certificate shall be considered a professional teaching certificate for the purpose of the issuance of a continuing contract. To be eligible for such a an alternative teacher certificate, an applicant shall:
(1) Possess at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher education in a discipline taught in the public schools except that the rules established by the Board may exempt candidates in selected vocational and technical areas who have at least ten years' experience in the subject field from this requirement;
(2) Pass an appropriate State Board approved basic skills and subject matter test or complete three years of successful experience within the last seven years in the area for which licensure is being sought;
(3) Be a citizen of the United States, be of good moral character and physically, mentally and emotionally qualified to perform the duties of a teacher, and have attained the age of eighteen years on or before the first day of October of the year in which the alternative program teacher certificate is issued; and
(4) Have been offered employment in a school included in an alternative teacher education plan approved by the board to offer an alternative teacher education program by a West Virginia county school district in a shortage area as defined by State Board rule pursuant to section three-a, article three of this chapter; and
(5) Complete a West Virginia State Police and Federal Bureau of Investigation background check.
Persons who pass the appropriate test as set forth in subdivision (2) above satisfy the requirements set forth in (1) through (5) shall be granted a formal document which will enable them to seek employment as an alternative program teacher in a public school approved to offer an alternative teacher education program work in a public school in West Virginia.
(b) The rules adopted by the Board shall include provisions for the approval of alternative teacher education programs which may be offered by schools, school districts, consortia of schools or regional educational service agency and for the setting of tuition charges to offset the program costs. An approved alternative teacher education program shall be in effect for a school, school district, consortium of schools or regional educational service agency before an alternative program teacher may be employed in that school, school district, consortium of schools or regional educational service agency. Approximately two hundred hours of formal instruction shall be provided in all of the three following phases combined. An approved alternative program shall provide essential knowledge and skills to alternative program teachers through the following instruction and phases of training:
(1) A full-time seminar/practicum of no less than twenty and no more than thirty days duration which is accomplished before the alternative program teacher has full responsibility for a classroom. The seminar/practicum shall provide formal instruction in the essential areas for professional study which shall emphasize the topics of student assessment, development and learning, curriculum, classroom management, and the use of educational computers and other technology and shall introduce basic teaching skills through supervised teaching experiences with students. The seminar and practicum components shall be integrated and shall include an orientation to the policies, organization and curriculum of the employing district;
(2) A period of intensive on-the-job supervision beginning the first day on which the alternative program teacher assumes full responsibility for a classroom and continuing for a period of at least ten weeks. During this time, the alternative program teacher shall be visited and critiqued no less than one time per week by members of a professional support team and shall be observed and formally evaluated at the end of five weeks and at the end of ten weeks by the appropriately certified members of the team. During the same period, formal instruction shall be continued in the essential areas for professional study which shall emphasize the topics of teaching skills, student assessment, development and learning, curriculum, classroom management, and the use of educational computers and other technology. At the end of the ten-week period, the alternative program teacher shall receive a formal written progress report from the chairperson of the support team; and
(3) An additional period of continued supervision and evaluation of no less than twenty weeks duration. During this period, the alternative program teacher shall be visited and critiqued at least twice per month and shall be observed formally and evaluated at least twice. No more than two months shall pass without a formal evaluation. Formal instruction shall continue in the essential areas for professional study. Opportunities shall be provided for the alternative program teacher to observe the teaching of experienced colleagues.
(1) Instruction -- The alternative preparation program shall provide a minimum of eighteen semester hours of instruction in the areas of student assessment; development and learning; curriculum; classroom management; the use of educational computers and other technology; and special education, diversity or both. All programs shall contain a minimum of three semester hours of instruction in special education, diversity or both out of the minimum eighteen required semester hours.
(2)
Phase I -- Phase I shall consist of a period of intensive on-the-job supervision by an assigned mentor and the school administrator for a period of not less than two weeks and no more than four weeks. During this time, the teacher shall be observed daily. This phase shall include an orientation to the policies, organization and curriculum of the employing district. The alternative program teacher shall begin to receive formal instruction in those areas listed above under subdivision (1) of this subsection.
(3)
Phase II -- Phase II shall consist of a period of intensive on-the-job supervision beginning the first day following the completion of Phase I and continuing for a period of at least ten weeks. During Phase II, the alternative program teacher shall be visited and critiqued no less than one time per week by members of a professional support team, set forth in subsection (c) of this section, and shall be observed and formally evaluated at the end of five weeks and at the end of ten weeks by the appropriately certified members of the team. At the end of the ten-week period, the alternative program teacher shall receive a formal written progress report from the chairperson of the support team. The alternative program teacher shall continue to receive formal instruction in those areas listed above under subdivision (1) of this subsection.
(4)
Phase III -- Phase III shall consist of an additional period of continued supervision and evaluation of no less than twenty weeks' duration. The professional support team shall determine the requirements of this phase with at least one formal evaluation being conducted at the completion of the phase. The alternative program teacher shall continue to receive formal instruction in those areas listed in subdivision (1) of this subsection and receive opportunities to observe the teaching of experienced colleagues.
(c) Training and supervision of alternative program teachers shall be provided by a professional support team comprised of a school principal, an experienced classroom teacher, a college or university education faculty member and a curriculum supervisor. Districts or schools which do not employ curriculum supervisors or have been unable to establish a relationship with a college or university shall provide for comparable expertise on the team. The school principal shall serve as chairperson of the team.
(d) The training efforts of the districts shall be coordinated by the Center for Professional Development and the Center shall provide an orientation and training program for professional support team members.
(e) A school, school district, consortium of schools or regional educational service agency seeking to employ an alternative program teacher must submit a plan to the State Board of education and receive approval in accordance with the same procedures used for approval of collegiate preparation programs. Each plan shall describe how the proposed training program will accomplish the key elements of an alternative program for the education of teachers as set forth in this section. Each school, school district, consortium of schools or regional educational service agency shall show evidence in its plan of having sought joint sponsorship of their training program with institutions of higher education.
(f) The State Board may adopt rules pursuant to article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code for the approval and operation of teacher education programs which are an alternative to the regular college or university programs for the education of special education teachers.
§18A-3-3a. Payment of tuition, registration and other fees for teachers; maximum payment per teacher.

(a) The West Virginia Department of Education State Board shall promulgate rules pursuant to article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to administer the reimbursement of tuition, registration and other required fees for coursework completed by teachers in accordance with the provisions of this section. The rules shall provide for reimbursement for courses completed toward both certification renewal, and additional endorsement in a shortage area.
(b) As used in this section, the following words and phrases have the meanings ascribed to them:
(1) "Teacher" has the meaning provided in section one, article one, chapter eighteen of this code.
(2) "Shortage area" shall be defined by State Board policy to indicate the subject areas for which an insufficient number of teachers are available.
(3) "Certification" and "certificate" mean means a valid West Virginia:
(A) Professional teaching, service or administrative certificate, or its equivalent; or
(B) Provisional professional teaching, service or administrative certificate, or its equivalent.
(4) "Requirements for certification renewal" are those requirements of the State Department of Education as provided in section three of this article.
(5) "Requirements for additional endorsement" are those requirements of the State Department of Education as provided in section three of this article.
(6) "State institution of higher education" has the meaning provided in section two, article one, chapter eighteen-b of this code.
(c) To the extent of funds appropriated for the purposes specified in this section, payment shall be made to any teacher who:
(1) Holds either a valid West Virginia:
(A) Certificate; or
(B) First class permit for full-time employment; and
(2) Is seeking:
(A) An additional endorsement in a shortage area, and either resides in the state or is employed regularly for instructional purposes in a public school in the state; or
(B) Certification renewal, and has a continuing contract with a county board.
(d) The payment shall be made as reimbursement for the tuition, registration and other required fees for any course completed at:
(1) Any college or university within the state; or
(2) A college or university outside the state if prior approval is granted by the Department.
(e) A course is eligible for reimbursement if it meets the requirements for:
(1) An additional endorsement in a shortage area; or
(2) Certification renewal.
(f) In the fiscal year beginning the first day of July, two thousand two, funds appropriated for the purposes specified in this section shall be disbursed evenly between courses completed toward certification renewal and courses completed toward additional endorsement in a shortage area. Thereafter, Funds shall be divided between reimbursement for courses completed toward certification renewal and reimbursement for courses completed toward an additional endorsement in an area of critical need and shortage renewal and endorsement in the same proportion that the number of applications for each was made toward the total number of applications received, subject to the following:
(1) except that Reimbursement toward either may not exceed seventy-five percent of total funds appropriated; and
(2) Notwithstanding subdivision (1) of this subsection, the seventy-five percent limit does not apply if that limit causes tuition reimbursement funds to remain unexpended during the final application processing date of a fiscal year.
(g) Reimbursement for both the courses completed toward certification renewal and the courses completed toward an additional endorsement in an area of critical need and shortage shall be limited to six semester hours per applicant per application period.
(g) (h) Payment made for any single fee may not exceed the amount of the highest corresponding fee charged at a state institution of higher education.
(h) (i) Reimbursement for courses completed toward certification renewal is limited to fifteen semester hours of courses for the lifetime of any teacher.
(i) (j) The West Virginia Department of Education shall seek funding from sources other than general revenue appropriation, including, but not limited to, workforce investment funds.
(j) (k) No provision of this section may be construed to require any appropriation or any specific amount of appropriation for the purposes specified in this section, or to require the Department to expend funds for those purposes from any other amounts appropriated for expenditure by the Department.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to repeal the section requiring integration of character education into all aspects of school culture, school functions and existing curriculum. The bill also: (1) Amends requirements applicable to the State Board physical fitness program; (2) expands the definition of a homeless child as the term applies to the right to attend school; (3) amends provisions relating to alternative teacher certificates;(4) amends provisions relating to alternative teacher education programs; (5) authorizes the State Board to adopt rules for the approval and operation of teacher education programs which are an alternative to the regular college and university programs for the education of special education teachers; and (6) amends provisions relating to the disbursement of appropriations for tuition reimbursement for courses completed toward certification renewal and for courses completed toward an additional endorsement in an area of critical need and shortage.

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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