Senate Bill No. 177
(By Senators White, Sharpe and Hunter)
[Introduced January 19, 1998; referred to the Committee
A BILL to amend and reenact section five, article five-a, chapter
eighteen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine
hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to local school
involvement; and requiring written explanation if a
principal rejects a recommendation of the faculty senate.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section five, article five-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 5A. LOCAL SCHOOL INVOLVEMENT.
§18-5A-5. Public school faculty senates established; election of
officers; powers and duties.
(a) There is established at every public school in this
state a faculty senate which shall be comprised of all permanent, full-time professional educators employed at the
school who shall all be voting members. Professional educators
as used in this section means professional educators as defined
in chapter eighteen-a of this code. A quorum of more than one
half of the voting members of the faculty shall be present at any
meeting of the faculty senate at which official business is
conducted. If a faculty senate votes by a simple majority of
those members present to recommend a rule, policy or practice for
the school or to take a specific action, the faculty senate chair
shall give a written notice of this action to the principal of
the school within five days of the faculty senate meeting. The
principal shall, within ten days of receipt of the notice, give
a written response to the faculty senate chair stating whether
the principal will implement the action. If the principal
decides not to implement the action of the faculty senate, the
principal shall specifically state the reasons for this decision
in the response. If the principal believes that the action is
outside the authority, power and duties of the faculty senate,
the principal shall state reasons for that belief in the written
response along with any other reasons for not implementing the
action of the faculty senate. Prior to the beginning of the
instructional term each year, but within the employment term, the
principal shall convene a meeting of the faculty senate to elect
a chair, vice chair and secretary and discuss matters relevant to the beginning of the school year. The vice chair shall preside
at meetings when the chair is absent. Meetings of the faculty
senate shall be held on a regular basis as determined by a
schedule approved by the faculty senate and amended from time to
time if needed. Emergency meetings may be held at the call of
the chair or a majority of the voting members by petition
submitted to the chair and vice chair. An agenda of matters to
be considered at a scheduled meeting of the faculty senate shall
be available to the members at least two employment days prior to
the meeting, and in the case of emergency meetings, as soon as
possible prior to the meeting. The chair of the faculty senate
may appoint such committees as may be desirable to study and
submit recommendations to the full faculty senate, but the acts
of the faculty senate shall be voted upon by the full body.
(b) In addition to any other powers and duties conferred by
law, or authorized by policies adopted by the state or county
board of education or bylaws which may be adopted by the faculty
senate not inconsistent with law, the powers and duties listed in
this subsection are specifically reserved for the faculty senate.
The intent of these provisions is neither to restrict nor to
require the activities of every faculty senate to the enumerated
items except as otherwise stated. Each faculty senate shall
organize its activities as it deems most effective and efficient
based on school size, departmental structure and other relevant factors.
(1) Each faculty senate shall control funds allocated to the
school from legislative appropriations pursuant to section nine,
article nine-a of this chapter. From such funds, each classroom
teacher and librarian shall be allotted fifty dollars for
expenditure during the instructional year for academic materials,
supplies or equipment which in the judgment of the teacher or
librarian will assist him or her in providing instruction in his
or her assigned academic subjects, or shall be returned to the
faculty senate: Provided, That nothing contained herein shall
prohibit such funds from being used for programs and materials
that, in the opinion of the teacher, enhance student behavior,
increase academic achievement, improve self-esteem and address
the problems of students at-risk. The remainder of funds shall
be expended for academic materials, supplies or equipment in
accordance with a budget approved by the faculty senate.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of the law to the contrary,
funds not expended in one school year shall be available for
expenditure in the next school year: Provided, however, That the
amount of county funds budgeted in a fiscal year shall not be
reduced throughout the year as a result of the faculty
appropriations in the same fiscal year for such materials,
supplies and equipment. Accounts shall be maintained of the
allocations and expenditures of such funds for the purpose of financial audit. Academic materials, supplies or equipment shall
be interpreted broadly, but shall not include materials, supplies
or equipment which will be used in or connected with
interscholastic athletic events.
(2) A faculty senate may establish a process for faculty
members to interview new prospective professional educators and
paraprofessional employees at the school and submit
recommendations regarding employment to the principal, who may
also make independent recommendations, for submission to the
county superintendent: Provided, That such process must permit
the timely employment of persons to perform necessary duties.
(3) A faculty senate may nominate teachers for recognition
as outstanding teachers under state and local teacher recognition
programs and other personnel at the school, including parents,
for recognition under other appropriate recognition programs and
may establish such programs for operation at the school.
(4) A faculty senate may submit recommendations to the
principal regarding the assignment scheduling of secretaries,
clerks, aides and paraprofessionals at the school.
(5) A faculty senate may submit recommendations to the
principal regarding establishment of the master curriculum
schedule for the next ensuing school year.
(6) A faculty senate may establish a process for the review
and comment on sabbatical leave requests submitted by employees at the school pursuant to section eleven, article two of this
(7) Each faculty senate shall elect three faculty
representatives to the local school improvement council
established pursuant to section two of this article.
(8) Each faculty senate may nominate a member for election
to the county staff development council pursuant to section
eight, article three, chapter eighteen-a of this code.
(9) Each faculty senate shall have an opportunity to make
recommendations on the selection of faculty to serve as mentors
for beginning teachers under beginning teacher internship
programs at the school.
(10) A faculty senate may solicit, accept and expend any
grants, gifts, bequests, donations and any other funds made
available to the faculty senate: Provided, That the faculty
senate shall select a member who shall have the duty of
maintaining a record of all funds received and expended by the
faculty senate, which record shall be kept in the school office
and shall be subject to normal auditing procedures.
(11) On or after the first day of January, one thousand nine
hundred ninety-two, any faculty senate may review the evaluation
procedure as conducted in their school to ascertain whether such
evaluations were conducted in accordance with the written system
required pursuant to section twelve, article two, chapter eighteen-a of this code and the general intent of this
Legislature regarding meaningful performance evaluations of
school personnel. If a majority of members of the faculty senate
determine that such evaluations were not so conducted, they shall
submit a report in writing to the state board of education:
Provided, That nothing herein shall create any new right of
access to or review of any individual's evaluations.
(12) Each faculty senate shall be provided by its local
board of education at least a two-hour per month block of
noninstructional time within the school day: Provided, That any
such designated day shall constitute a full instructional day.
This time may be utilized and determined at the local school
level and shall include, but not be limited to, faculty senate
(13) Each faculty senate shall develop a strategic plan to
manage the integration of special needs students into the regular
classroom at their respective schools and submit said strategic
plan to the superintendent of the county board of education by
the thirtieth day of June, one thousand nine hundred ninety-five,
and periodically thereafter pursuant to guidelines developed by
the state department of education. Each faculty senate shall
encourage the participation of local school improvement councils,
parents and the community at large in the development of the
strategic plan for each school.
Each strategic plan developed by the faculty senate shall
include at least: (A) A mission statement; (B) goals; (C) needs;
(D) objectives and activities to implement plans relating to each
goal; (E) work in progress to implement the strategic plan; (F)
guidelines for the placement of additional staff into integrated
classrooms to meet the needs of exceptional needs students
without diminishing the services rendered to the other students
in integrated classrooms; (G) guidelines for implementation of
collaborative planning and instruction; and (H) training for all
regular classroom teachers who serve students with exceptional
needs in integrated classrooms.
NOTE: This bill requires principals who reject
recommendations of faculty senates to explain in writing their
decisions rejecting the faculty senates recommendation.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.