Senate Bill No. 38
(By Senator Jenkins)
[Introduced February 13, 2013; referred to the Committee on
Education; and then to the Committee on Finance.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new article, designated §18-5D-1, §18-5D-2,
§18-5D-3, §18-5D-4, §18-5D-5, §18-5D-6, §18-5D-7, §18-5D-8,
§18-5D-9, §18-5D-10, §18-5D-11, §18-5D-12, §18-5D-13, §18-5D-
14, §18-5D-15, §18-5D-16, §18-5D-17, §18-5D-18 and §18-5D-19,
all relating to public education; authorizing public colleges
or universities to sponsor community schools in cooperation
with county boards of education; providing short title;
stating legislative intent; providing definitions; stating
powers of community schools and requirements; providing for
boards of trustees and their powers; establishing pilot
projects; setting forth the content of an application for a
community school; requiring a written agreement between a
county board and the community school board; providing exemption from public schools facility rules; providing for
enrollment; providing for school staff and students; requiring
a county board of education to fund each community school in
its county; providing for the transportation of students;
establishing tort liability of community schools; requiring
annual reports and assessments; and providing causes for
nonrenewal or termination.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended
by adding thereto a new article, designated §18-5D-1, §18-5D-2,
§18-5D-3, §18-5D-4, §18-5D-5, §18-5D-6, §18-5D-7, §18-5D-8, §18-5D-
9, §18-5D-10, §18-5D-11, §18-5D-12, §18-5D-13, §18-5D-14, §18-5D-
15, §18-5D-16, §18-5D-17, §18-5D-18 and §18-5D-19, all to read as
ARTICLE 5D. HIGHER EDUCATION COMMUNITY SCHOOLS.
§18-5D-1. Short title.
This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Higher
Education Community School Law."
§18-5D-2. Legislative intent.
It is the intent of the Legislature, in enacting this article,
to provide opportunities for state universities and colleges to
establish and maintain schools that operate in cooperation with the
existing county school structure, as a method to accomplish all of the following:
(1) Improve pupil learning;
(2) Increase learning opportunities for all pupils;
(3) Encourage the use of different and innovative teaching
(4) Encourage curriculum and assessment development;
(5) Create new professional opportunities for teachers,
including the opportunity to be responsible for the learning
program at the school site;
(6) Provide parents and pupils with expanded choices in the
types of educational opportunities that are available within the
public school system; and
(7) Hold the schools established under this article
accountable for meeting measurable academic standards and provide
the school with a method to establish accountability systems.
As used in this article:
(1) "Agreement" means an agreement between a county board of
education and a university or college establishing a community
school under the provisions of this article.
(2) "County Board of Education" means the county board of
education in the county in which a proposed or an approved
community school is located.
(3) "Higher education community school" means a public school
established and operated under the provisions of this article.
(4) "State board" means the State Board of Education.
(5) "State university and college" means a public four-year
college or university with its primary campus in the school
district, with an approved teacher education program that meets
regional or national standards of accreditation.
(6) "Superintendent" means the State Superintendent of
§18-5D-4. Authority to create community schools.
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the
contrary, a state university or college may, pursuant to the
provisions of this article, and with the cooperation of the county
board of education in the county, establish a community school in
the county where its principal campuses are maintained. State
universities and colleges, with the cooperation of the county
boards of education have the authority to effectuate the provisions
of this article, notwithstanding any other provision of this
chapter or chapters eighteen-a and eighteen-b of this code.
(b) A community school may provide instruction for
kindergarten through twelfth grade. A community school is not
required to provide instruction for all grades.
§18-5D-5. Powers of community schools.
(a) A community school established under this article has all
powers necessary or desirable to carry out its agreement,
including, but not limited to, the power to:
(1) Adopt a name and seal, as long as any name selected
includes the words "community school";
(2) Sue and be sued, but only to the same extent and upon the
same condition that political subdivisions can be sued;
(3) Acquire real property from public or private sources by
purchase, lease, lease with an option to purchase or gift for use
as a community school facility;
(4) Receive and disburse funds for community school purposes
(5) Make contracts and leases for the procurement of services,
equipment and supplies;
(6) Incur temporary debts in anticipation of the receipt of
(7) Solicit and accept any gifts or grants for community
(b) A community school has all other powers that are necessary
to fulfill its agreement and which are not inconsistent with this
§18-5D-6. Community school requirements.
Community schools are required to comply with the following provisions:
(1) Except as otherwise provided in this article, a community
school is exempt from statutory requirements established in this
chapter and chapters eighteen-a and eighteen-b of this code, from
rules of the state board and supervision by the superintendent not
specifically applicable to community schools. Community schools
are not exempt from other statutes applicable to public schools;
(2) A community school is accountable to the parents, the
public and the state, with the delineation of that accountability
reflected in the school's agreement. Strategies for meaningful
parent and community involvement shall be developed and implemented
by each school;
(3) A community school may not unlawfully discriminate in
admissions, hiring or operation;
(4) A community school shall be nonsectarian in all
(5) A community school may not advocate unlawful behavior;
(6) A community school is only subject to the laws and rules
as provided in this article;
(7) A community school shall participate in any state
assessment and accountability program conducted under article two-e
of this chapter and shall cooperate with the office of education
performance audits which shall annually conduct an on-site review of the school;
(8) A community school shall provide a minimum of one hundred
eighty days of instruction or nine hundred hours per year of
instruction. This subdivision does not preclude the use of computer
and satellite linkages for delivering instruction to students; and
(9) Trustees of a community school are public officials.
§18-5D-7. Board of trustees.
(a) (1) Each school shall be operated by a board of trustees.
The board consists of the president of the county board of
education and one other board member elected by the board of
education, and the dean of the school of education of the
university or college and two other members appointed by the
president of the university or college. Within thirty days after
all the members representing the board of education and the
university or college are appointed they shall jointly appoint two
additional members. One of the additional members shall be a
parent of a child enrolled in a public school in the county where
the community school is proposed to be located. The other
additional member shall be either, a teacher employed by the county
board of education who is teaching in a public school in the county
where the community school is proposed to be located or, a retired
teacher residing in that county.
(2) After the students who will be attending the community school are selected and the teachers who will be teaching in the
community school are selected, the board of trustees shall jointly
appoint two additional members. One of the additional members
shall be a parent of a child who will attend the community school.
The other additional member shall be a teacher who will be employed
to teach in the community school.
(b) The president of the county board of education and the
dean of the school of education serve as cochairs for as long as
they remain in their positions. The members elected from the board
of education serve for terms of four years or until they are no
longer on the board of education, whichever occurs first. They may
be reappointed. The members appointed by the president shall serve
for four-year terms. If the president appoints a person to serve
on the board of trustees because the person holds a particular
position with the university or college, the person serves only as
long as he or she holds the position. All additional board members
serve terms of four years or until they fail to qualify, as
provided in subsection (a) of this section, whichever occurs first.
Members receive no compensation for their service on the board,
but shall be reimbursed for necessary expenses incurred as a
member of the board.
§18-5D-8. Powers of board of trustees.
(a) The board of trustees of a community school has the responsibility for the operation of the school and the authority to
decide matters related to its operation, including, but not limited
to, budgeting, curriculum and operating procedures, subject to the
school's agreement. The board may employ, discharge and contract
with necessary professional and nonprofessional employees subject
to the school's agreement and the provisions of this article.
(b) The board of trustees is a public body as that term is
used in article one, chapter twenty-nine-b of this code, and a
governing body as that term is used in article nine-a, chapter six
of this code.
§18-5D-9. Establishment of community school; pilot project.
(a) A community school, beginning in a school year prior to
the school year starting in 2015, may only be established by West
Virginia University or Marshall University, or both.
(b) A community school may only be established by creating a
(c) An application to establish a community school shall be
submitted to the county board of education where the community
school will be located by November 15 of the school year preceding
the school year in which the community school will be established,
except that for a community school beginning in the school year
starting in 2013, an application must be received by July 1, 2013.
(d) Within forty-five days of receipt of an application, the county board of education in which the proposed community school is
to be located shall hold at least one public meeting on the
provisions of the community school application. The meeting is
subject to article nine-a, chapter six of this code. At least
forty-five days shall transpire between the first public meeting
and the final decision of the board on the community school
application, except that for a community school beginning in the
school year starting in 2014, only thirty days are required to
transpire between the first public hearing and the final decision
of the board.
(e) (1) Not later than seventy-five days after the first
public meeting on the application, the county board of education
shall grant or deny the application. For a community school
beginning in the school year starting in 2013, the county board of
education shall grant or deny the application no later than thirty
days after the first public hearing.
(2) A community school application submitted under this
article shall be evaluated by the county board of education based
on criteria, including, but not limited to, the following:
(A) The demonstrated, sustainable support for the community
school plan by teachers, parents, other community members and
students, including comments received at the public hearing held
under subsection (d) of this section;
(B) The capability of the community school, in terms of
support and planning, to provide comprehensive learning experiences
to students pursuant to the adopted agreement;
(C) The extent to which the application considers the
information requested in section ten of this article and conforms
to the legislative intent outlined in section two of this article;
(D) The extent to which the community school may serve as a
model for other public schools.
(3) A community school application is approved by the county
board of education of a county upon affirmative vote by a majority
of all the members. Formal action approving or denying the
application shall be taken by the county board of education at a
public meeting, with notice or consideration of the application
given by the board, under article nine-a, chapter six of this code.
(4) Written notice of the board's action shall be sent to the
university or college. If the application is denied, the reasons
for the denial including a description of deficiencies in the
application shall be clearly stated in the notice sent by the
county board of education to the university or college.
(f) At the option of the university or college a denied
application may be revised and resubmitted to the county board of
education. When an application is revised and resubmitted to the county board of education, the board may schedule additional public
hearings on the revised application. The board shall consider the
revised and resubmitted application at the first board meeting
occurring at least forty-five days after receipt of the revised
application by the board. For a revised application resubmitted
for a community school desiring to begin in the school year
starting in 2013, the board shall consider the application at the
first board meeting occurring at least thirty days after its
receipt. The board shall provide notice of consideration of the
revised application under the provisions of article nine-a, chapter
six of this code.
§18-5D-10. Contents of application.
An application to establish a community school shall include
all of the following information:
(1) The identification of the community school applicant;
(2) The name of the proposed community school;
(3) The grade or age levels served by the school;
(4) A description of how parental participation will be
encouraged in the planning and the operation of the community
(5) The agreement and education goals of the community school,
the curriculum to be offered and the methods of assessing whether
students are meeting educational goals;
(6) The admission policy and criteria for evaluating the
admission of students which shall comply with the requirements of
section thirteen of this article;
(7) Procedures which will be used regarding the suspension or
expulsion of pupils. The procedures shall comply, as applicable,
with section eight, article eight of this chapter and section one-
a, article five, chapter eighteen-a of this code;
(8) Information on the manner in which community groups will
be involved in the community school planning process;
(9) The financial plan for the community school and the
provisions which will be made for auditing the school under article
nine, chapter six of this code;
(10) Procedures which shall be established to review
complaints of parents regarding the operation of the community
(11) A description of and address of the physical facility in
which the community school will be located and the ownership of the
facility and any lease arrangements;
(12) Information on the proposed school calendar for the
community school, including the length of the school day and school
year consistent with the provisions of section fifteen, article
eight of this chapter;
(13) The proposed faculty and a professional development plan for the faculty of the community school; and
(14) Whether any agreements have been entered into or plans
developed with the county board of education regarding
participation of the community school students in extracurricular
activities within the county. Notwithstanding any provision to the
contrary, a county of residence may not prohibit a student of a
community school from participating in any extracurricular activity
of that county of residence if the student is able to fulfill all
of the requirements of participation in the activity and the
community school does not provide the same extracurricular
§18-5D-11. Term and form of agreement.
Upon approval of a community school application under section
nine of this article, a written agreement shall be developed which
shall contain the provisions of the community school application.
This written agreement, when approved by the county board of
education and the community school's board of trustees acts as
legal authorization for the establishment of a community school.
This written agreement is legally binding on both the county board
of education and the community school's board of trustees. The
agreement shall be for a period of not less than three, nor more
than five years, and may be renewed for five-year periods upon
reauthorization by the county board of education.
The community school facility is exempt from public school
facility rules, except those pertaining to the health or safety of
(a) All resident children in this state qualify for admission
to a community school within the provisions of subsection (b) of
this section. If more students apply to the community school than
the number of attendance slots available in the school, then
students shall be selected on a random basis by the board of
trustees from a pool of qualified applicants meeting the
established eligibility criteria and submitting an application by
the deadline established by the community school. The community
school may give preference in enrollment to a child of a parent who
has actively participated in the development of the community
school and to siblings of students who are presently, or were
previously, enrolled in the community school.
(b) (1) A community school may not discriminate in its
admission policies or practices, except as provided in subdivision
(2) of this subsection, on the basis of intellectual ability,
athletic ability, measures of achievement or aptitude, status as a
person with a disability, proficiency in the English language or
any other basis that would be illegal if used by a county board of education.
(2) A community school may limit admission to a particular
§18-5D-14. School staff.
(a) The board of trustees shall determine the level of
compensation and all terms and conditions of employment of the
staff, except as may otherwise be provided in this article.
Professional staff members of a community school shall hold
appropriate state certification, as determined by the board of
(b) Each community school application shall list the general
qualifications needed to staff any noncertified positions.
(c) All employees of a community school shall participate in
the teachers' defined contribution retirement system, provided in
article seven-b of this chapter, to the same extent as if they were
employees of the county board of education. Except, that employees
transferring from a county board of education shall participate in
the retirement system they participated in as an employee of the
board of education. The community school shall make any required
employer's contribution to the county board of education's
(d) Every employee of a community school shall be provided the
same health care benefits as the employee would be provided if he or she were an employee of the county board of education. The
community school shall make any required employer's contribution to
the county board of education's health plan.
(e) Any public school employee offered employment at a
community school, by its board of trustees, may request a leave of
absence from the employing county board of education for up to five
years in order to work in a community school. Approval for a leave
may not be unreasonably withheld.
(f) Temporary professional employees on leave from a county
board of education may accrue tenure in the noncommunity public
school system the same as they would under article two, chapter
eighteen-a of this code if they had continued to be employed by
that county. Professional employees on leave from a county board
of education retain their continuing contract status rights, as
defined in article two, chapter eighteen-a of this code, in the
school entity from which they came. A temporary professional
employee or professional employee may not have tenure rights as
against a community school. Both temporary professional employees
and professional employees continue to accrue seniority in the
school entity from which they came if they return to that school
entity when the leave ends.
(g) Any temporary professional employee or professional
employee who leaves employment at a community school has the right to return to a comparable position for which the person is
properly certified in the school entity which granted the leave of
(h) Subsection (d), section fifteen-c, article five of this
chapter apply to community schools. The community school shall
obtain the information required by that subsection on all
individuals who will have direct contact with students prior to
accepting them for a position with the community school.
§18-5D-15. Funding for community schools.
(a) Funding for a community school shall be provided in the
(1) There may be no tuition charge for a resident student
attending a community school.
(2) The community school shall receive for each student
enrolled no less than the budgeted total expenditure per average
daily membership of the prior school year. This amount shall be
paid by the county board of education in the county of residence of
the community school.
(3) A community school may request the county board of
education in which the community school is located to provide
services to assist the community school to address the specific
needs of special education and exceptional students.
(4) Payments shall be made to the community school in twelve equal monthly payments, by the fifth day of each month, within the
operating school year. A student enrolled in a community school
shall be included in the average daily membership of the student's
county of residence for the purpose of providing education funding
payments pursuant to article nine-a of chapter eighteen of this
code. If a county board of education fails to make a payment to a
community school as prescribed in this clause the superintendent
shall deduct the amount, as documented by the community school,
from any and all state payments made to the county board of
education after receipt of documentation from the community school.
(b) The state board shall provide temporary financial
assistance to a county board of education due to the enrollment of
students in a community school who attended a nonpublic school in
the prior school year in order to offset the additional costs
directly related to the enrollment of those students in a public
community school. The state board shall pay the county board of
education of the county of residence of a student enrolled in a
nonpublic school in the prior school year who is attending a
community school an amount equal to the county board of education
of the county of residence's basic education subsidy for the
current school year divided by the county's average daily
membership for the prior school year. This payment may occur only
for the first year of the attendance of the student in a community school starting with the school year beginning in 2012. Total
payments of temporary financial assistance to county board of
educations on behalf of a student enrolling in a community school
who attended a nonpublic school in the prior school year shall be
limited to funds appropriated for this program in a fiscal year.
If the total of the amount needed for all students enrolled in a
nonpublic school in the prior school year who enroll in a community
school exceeds the appropriation for the temporary financial
assistance program, the amount paid to a county board of education
for each qualifying student shall be pro rata reduced. Receipt of
funds under this subsection do not preclude a county board of
education or state university or college from applying for funding
(c) The state board, with funds appropriated by the
Legislature and other available funds, shall create a grant program
to provide temporary transitional funding to a county board of
education due to the budgetary impact relating to any student
attending a community school. A county board of education that
approves a community school may apply for a grant under this
subsection. The state board shall develop criteria which shall
include, but not be limited to, the overall fiscal impact on the
budget of the county board of education resulting from students of
a county attending a community school. The criteria shall be published in the State Register. Payments under this subsection
shall be made for the first year of operation of the community
(d) A community school may receive, hold, manage and use,
absolutely or in trust, any devise, bequest, grant, endowment, gift
or donation of any property, real or personal and mixed or both
real and personal
, which is made to the community school for any of
the purposes of this article.
(e) A trustee of a community school, or any board of trustees
of a community school, or any other person affiliated in any way
with a community school may not demand or request, directly or
indirectly, any gift, donation or contribution of any kind from any
parent, teacher, employee or any other person affiliated with the
community school as a condition for employment or enrollment or
continued attendance of any pupil. Any donation, gift or
contribution received by a community school shall be given freely
Students who reside in the county in which the community
school is located shall be provided transportation to the community
school on the same terms and conditions as transportation is
provided to students attending the schools of the county.
§18-5D-17. Tort liability.
(a) For purposes of tort liability, employees of the community
school are considered public employees and the board of trustees is
considered the public employer in the same manner as political
subdivisions and local agencies.
(b) The Board of Risk and Insurance Management shall provide
adequate liability and other appropriate insurance for a community
school, its employees and the board of trustees of the community
school. The community school is responsible for the cost of the
§18-5D-18. Annual reports and assessments.
(a) The county board of education shall annually assess
whether each community school is meeting the goals of its agreement
and shall conduct a comprehensive review prior to granting a five-
year renewal of the agreement. The county board of education shall
have reasonable access to the records and facilities of the
community school to ensure that the community school is in
compliance with its agreement and this article and that
requirements for testing, civil rights and student health and
safety are being met.
(b) In order to facilitate the county board of education's
review, each community school shall submit an annual report no
later than August 1 of each year to the county board of education
and the superintendent.
(c) Five years following the effective date of this article,
the superintendent shall contract with an independent professional
consultant with expertise in public and private education. The
consultant shall receive input from members of the educational
community and the public on the community school program. The
consultant shall submit a report to the superintendent, the
Governor and the Joint Committee on Government and Finance and an
evaluation of the community school program, which shall include a
recommendation on the advisability of the continuation,
modification, expansion or termination of the program and any
recommendations for changes in the structure of the program.
§18-5D-19. Causes for nonrenewal or termination.
(a) During the term of the agreement or at the end of the term
of the agreement, the county board of education may choose to
revoke or not to renew the agreement based on any of the following:
(1) One or more material violations of any of the conditions,
standards or procedures contained in the written agreement approved
pursuant to section eleven of this article;
(2) Failure to meet any requirements for student performance
set forth in, or promulgated under, article two-e, chapter eighteen
of this code or failure to meet any performance standard set forth
in the written agreement approved pursuant to section eleven of
(3) Failure to meet generally accepted standards of fiscal
management or audit requirements;
(4) Violation of provisions of this article; or
(5) Violation of any provision of law from which the community
school has not been exempted, including federal laws and
regulations governing children with disabilities.
(b) A member of the board of trustees who is convicted of a
felony or any crime involving moral turpitude is immediately
disqualified from serving on the board of trustees.
(c) Any notice of revocation or nonrenewal of an agreement
given by the county board of education shall state the grounds for
the action with reasonable specificity and give reasonable notice
to the board of trustees of the community school of the date on
which a public hearing concerning the revocation or nonrenewal will
be held. The county board of education shall conduct the hearing,
present evidence in support of the grounds for revocation or
nonrenewal stated in its notice and give the community school
reasonable opportunity to offer testimony before taking final
action. Formal action revoking or not renewing a community school
agreement requires an affirmative vote by a majority of all members
of the county board of education at a public meeting after the
public has had thirty days to provide comments to the board.
(d) When a community school agreement is revoked or is not renewed, the community school shall be dissolved.
(e) When a community school agreement is revoked or is not
renewed, a student who attended the community school shall apply to
another public school in the student's county of residence. Normal
application deadlines will be disregarded under these
circumstances. All student records maintained by the community
school shall be forwarded to the county board of education in which
the student resides.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to authorize public
universities and colleges with an accredited education program to
operate public schools in cooperation with the local county board
of education. The bill establishes a pilot project allowing only
West Virginia University and Marshall University to operate public
schools in cooperation with the Monongalia and Cabell County Boards
of Education for school years beginning prior to 2015.
authorizes public colleges or universities to sponsor community
schools in cooperation with county boards of education. The bill
provides short title. The bill states legislative intent. The bill
provides definitions. The bill states powers of community schools
and requirements. The bill provides for boards of trustees and
their powers. The bill establishes pilot projects. The bill sets
forth the content of an application for a community school. The
bill requires a written agreement between a county board and the
community school board. The bill provides exemption from public
schools facility rules. The bill provides for enrollment. The bill
provides for school staff and students. The bill requires a county
board of education to fund each community school in its county. The
bill provides for the transportation of students. The bill
establishes tort liability of community schools. The bill requires
annual reports and assessments. The bill provides causes for
nonrenewal or termination.
This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.