H. B. 4710
(By Delegates Mezzatesta, Manuel, Williams, Harrison,
Henderson, Anderson and Osborne)
[Originating in the Committee on Education]
[March 5, 1998]
A BILL to amend and reenact section one-a, article nine-a,
chapter eighteen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand
nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to legislative
findings; public school support plan; prohibiting unfunded
mandates; and placing fiscal responsibility for any unfunded
mandate with any executive or judicial governmental entity
by which it was created.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section one-a, article nine-a, chapter eighteen of the
code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 9A. PUBLIC SCHOOL SUPPORT.
§18-9A-1a. Legislative findings; public school support plan.
(a) The Legislature finds and declares that the future of
education in this state is dependent upon a plan of financial
support for the public schools which provides for a fair and
adequate pay scale for teachers sufficient to ensure teacher excellence, as well as adequate financial support for the public
schools generally; upon an economic base which ensures levels of
revenue sufficient to fund the public schools; and upon
independent professional management of public funds in order to
assure a climate of financial stability and responsibility in
which construction and maintenance of school facilities becomes
The plan of support for the public schools, which will be
known as the West Virginia public school support plan, will fix
statutorily both state and county responsibility for the
financing of the same. In enacting this plan, the Legislature
has in mind the following purpose: To effect a basic foundation
support plan that shall provide for program growth which will
assure more equitable educational opportunity for all children
and youth irrespective of where they may live.
(b) The Legislature finds that the current school aid
formula in West Virginia is ranked second in the nation, and that
acts of the Legislature relating to education are aimed at
providing a thorough and efficient system of education for all
students in the state. Therefore, it is the intent of the
Legislature to prohibit all unfunded mandates, as they hamper and
impede education and curriculum. The Legislature further finds
that unfunded mandates add more educational programs to a system
that cannot sustain the current level of programming. As a
result of unfunded mandates resources are diluted, which detracts
from the overall effectiveness of the education system.
(c) Any executive or judicial governmental entity that
creates an unfunded mandate relating to education is fiscally
responsible for supporting the mandate.