H. B. 2041
(By Delegates Campbell, Paxton and Williams)
[Introduced January 11, 2012
; referred to the
Committee on Education then Finance.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §18A-3-3a of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to reimbursement of teachers for courses completed toward certification renewal and additional endorsement; removing division between these areas of funds appropriated for reimbursements; and limiting the number of courses for which certain reimbursement may be paid per certain period, year and lifetime.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §18A-3-3a of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 3. TRAINING, CERTIFICATION, LICENSING, PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT.
§18A-3-3a. Payment of tuition, registration and other fees for teachers; maximum payment per teacher.
(a) The West Virginia Department of Education shall promulgate rules to administer the reimbursement of tuition, registration and other required fees for course work 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 of chapter eighteen.
(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 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 of chapter eighteen-b.
(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 renewal and endorsement in the same proportion that the number of applications for each was made toward the total number of applications received, except that reimbursement toward either may not exceed seventy-five percent of total funds appropriated.
(g) (f) 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) (g) Reimbursement for courses completed toward certification renewal is limited to reimbursement for six semester hours of courses per teacher per certification renewal period and fifteen semester hours of courses for any teacher, per lifetime.
(h) Reimbursement for courses completed toward certification in a shortage area is limited to reimbursement for six semester hours of course per teacher per year, with no lifetime limit.
(i) 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) 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 allow for more teachers to be reimbursed for approved course work by limiting the amount of course work for which any one teacher may be reimbursed and removing a division between reimbursement for certification renewal and additional endorsement courses of the available funds.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.