Senate
House
Joint
Bill Status
WV Code
Audits/ Reports
Educational
Contact
home
home

Committee Substitute House Bill 2836 History

OTHER VERSIONS  -  Introduced Version  |  DOWNLOAD  wpd  |  Email


HB2836 SUB
Committee Substitute

for

H. B. 2836


(By Mr. Speaker, (Mr. Thompson) and Delegate Armstead)

[By Request of the Executive]

[Originating in theCommittee on Education.]

[March 17, 2009]


A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §18-5B-1, §18-5B-2, §18-5B-3, §18-5B-4, §18-5B-5, §18-5B-6, §18-5B-7 and §18-5B-8, all relating to school innovation zones; setting forth legislative findings, intent and purpose; authorizing State Board to designate school innovation zones; establishing processes for application and plan review and approval and amendment; providing process for grant of exceptions to State Board and county policies, rules and interpretations, and statutes, and prohibiting exceptions from certain policies, rules and interpretations, and statutes; providing for revocation of designation and plan approval; requiring annual report by the State Board; providing for the voluntary transfer of employees; providing for teacher job postings that exceed certain qualifications and requirements; and authorizing the board of education to promulgate rules and emergency rules.

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 §18-5B-1, §18-5B-2, §18-5B-3, §18-5B-4, §18-5B-5, §18-5B-6, §18-5B-7 and §18-5B-8, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5B. SCHOOL INNOVATION ZONES ACT.
§18-5B-1. Title.

This article shall be known as the "School Innovation Zones Act."
§18-5B-2. Legislative findings and purpose.
(a)
Legislative findings. -- The Legislature finds that:
(1) Decades of school improvement literature substantiate that schools where the principal uses a collaborative and distributed approach to leadership and where the teachers have a unity of purpose, operate in a cohesive learning-centered culture and implement consistent, pervasive and research-based approaches to learning, can and do improve student learning;
(2) As in all enterprises,
rules are established in public education to manage the resources efficiently, allot time among the activities and processes required and ensure attention to the goals mandated, but rules, by their nature, also limit the flexibility of professional educators to engage in those activities and implement those approaches that may best improve the learning of their students for the 21st century;
(3) Allowing individual schools to seek and receive exceptions from certain statutes, policies, rules and interpretations through the creation of school innovation zones will provide them greater control over important educational factors that impact student achievement, such as curriculum, personnel, organization of the school day, organization of the school year, technology utilization and the delivery of educational services to improve student learning; and

(4) Providing greater flexibility at innovation zones schools
will enable school-level professional educators to exercise more fully their professional judgement to improve student learning for the 21st century by instituting creative and innovative practices.
(b)
Intent and purpose. -- The intent and purpose of this article is to:
(1) Provide for the establishment of school innovation zones to improve educational performance;
(2) Provide principals and teachers at schools approved as innovation zones with greater flexibility and control to meet the needs of a diverse population of students by removing certain policy, rule, interpretive and statutory constraints;
(3) Provide a testing ground for innovative educational reform programs and initiatives to be applied on an individual school level;
(4) Provide information regarding the effects of specific innovations and policies on student achievement;
(5) Document educational strategies that enhance student success; and
(6) Increase the accountability of the state's public schools for student achievement as measured by
the state assessment programs and local assessment processes identified by the schools.
§18-5B-3. School innovation zones; application for designation; State Board rule.

(a) The State Board shall promulgate a rule, including an emergency rule if necessary, in accordance with article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to implement the provisions of this article. The rule shall include provisions for at least the following:
(1) A process for schools to apply for designation as innovation zones that encompasses at least the following:
(A) The manner, time and process for the submission of a school's innovation zone application;
(B) The contents of the application; and
(C) Factors to be considered by the state board when evaluating a school's application, which shall include, but are not limited to, the following factors:
(i) The level of staff commitment to apply for designation as an innovation zone
as determined by a vote by secret ballot at a special meeting of all employees regularly employed at the school as provided in section six of this article ;
(ii) Support from parents, students, the county board of education, the local school improvement council and the school's business partners; and
(iii) The potential for a school to be successful as an innovation zone; and
(2) Standards for the State board to review school applications for designation
as innovation zones and to make determinations on the designation of innovation zone schools.
(b) The State Board shall review a school's application in accordance with the standards adopted by the board and shall determine whether to designate the school as an innovation zone. The State Board shall notify a school of the Board's determination within sixty days of receipt of the school's innovation zone application .
§18-5B-4. Innovation zone schools; required plans; plan approval; State Board rule.

(a) The rule promulgated by the State Board pursuant to section three of this article shall also include at least the following:
(1) Each school designated as an innovation zone in accordance with this article shall develop an innovation zone plan;
(2) The innovation zone plan shall contain:
(A) A description of the programs, policies or initiatives the school intends to implement as an innovative strategy to improve student learning if the plan is approved in accordance with section five of this article;
(B) A list of all county and state board rules, policies and interpretations, and all statutes, if any, that the school has identified as prohibiting or constraining the implementation of the plan, including an explanation of the specific exceptions to the rules, policies and interpretations and statutes required for plan implementation. A school may not request an exception from any State Board rule, policy or interpretation, or from any statute,
nor may an exception be granted or otherwise authorized under any provisions of this article, from any of the following:
(i) An assessment program administered by the West Virginia Department of Education;
(ii) Any provision of law or policy required by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Public Law No. 107-110
; and
(iii) Section seven, article two and sections seven-a, seven- b, eight and eight-b, article four, chapter eighteen-a of this code, except as provided in section eight of this article
; and
(C) Any other information the State Board requires; and

(3) The innovation zone plan may include:
(1)
An emphasis in the early childhood through intermediate grade levels on ensuring that each student is prepared fully at each grade level, including additional intervention strategies at grade levels three and eight to reinforce the preparation of students who are not prepared fully for promotion, or an emphasis in the secondary grade levels on ensuring that each student is prepared fully for college or other post-secondary education, as applicable for the school; and
(2) An emphasis on innovative strategies that allow academically advanced students to pursue academic learning above grade level or not available through the normal curriculum at the school.
(b) Each school designated as an innovation zone shall submit its innovation zone plan to the school's employees, the county superintendent and board having jurisdiction over the school, the State Board, and the State Superintendent in accordance with section five of this article.
§18-5B-5. Approval of innovation zone plans; waiver of statutes, policies, rules or interpretations.

(a) Each school designated as an innovation zone shall:
(1) Submit its innovation zone plan to the employees assigned to the school for review. An innovation zone plan is approved by the school when approved
by a vote by secret ballot at a special meeting of all employees regularly employed at the school as provided in section six of this article;
(2) Submit its innovation zone plan as approved by vote of the school's employees to the county superintendent and board for review. The county board shall within sixty days of receipt of the plan review the plan and with recommendations from the county superintendent report its support or concerns, or both, and return the plan and report to the school principal, faculty senate and local school improvement council; and
(3) Submit its innovation zone plan as approved by vote of the school's employees along with the report of the county board to the State Board and State Superintendent for review. The county board shall be given an opportunity to present its concerns with the plan, if any, to the State Board during its review. Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, the State Board and State Superintendent shall approve or disapprove the plan within sixty days of receipt.
(b) Upon the approval of a school's innovation zone plan by the State Board and State Superintendent, all exceptions to county and State Board rules, policies and interpretations listed within the plan are granted.
(c) If a school's innovation zone plan, or a part thereof, may not be implemented unless an exception to a statute is granted by Act of the Legislature, the State Board and State Superintendent may approve the plan, or the part thereof, only upon the condition that the Legislature acts to grant the exception. If the State Board and State Superintendent approve a plan upon such a condition, the State Board and State Superintendent shall submit the plan with the request for an exception to a statute, along with supporting reasons, to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability. The Commission shall review the plan and request and make a recommendation to the Legislature on the exception requested.
(d) The rule promulgated by the State Board pursuant to section three of this article shall include a process for amending or revising an innovation zone plan. The process shall require
that any amendments or revisions to an innovation zone plan are subject to the approval requirements of subsection (a) of this section.
§18-5B-6. School approval of innovation plan application and plan; transfer of employees.

(a) A secret ballot
vote at a special meeting of all employees regularly employed at the school is required for each of the following:
(1) Determining the level of staff commitment to apply for designation as an innovation zone in accordance with section three of this article; and
(2) The approval of an innovation zone by a plan by a school as provided in section five of this article
.
(b) A panel consisting of the elected officers of the school's faculty senate, one representative of the service personnel employed at the school and one parent member of the school's local school improvement council shall call the meetings required in subsection (a) of this section, conduct the votes and certify the results to the principal, the county superintendent and the president of the county board
. The panel shall provide notice of the special meetings to all employees regularly employed at the school at least two weeks prior to the meeting and shall provide an absentee ballot to each employee who can not attend the meeting to vote.
(c) At least eighty percent of the employees regularly employed at
the school and voting as provided in this section must vote to apply for designation as an innovation zone before the level of staff commitment at the school is sufficient for the school to apply.
(d) At least eighty percent of the employees regularly employed at
the school and voting as provided in this section must vote to approve the school's innovation zone plan before the plan is approved by the school: Provided, That if there is no possibility for an employee regularly employed at the school who will be affected by implementation of the innovation zone plan to be granted a lateral transfer as provided in subsection (e) of this section because there are no other schools in the county with a position that the employee is qualified to hold, the affirmative vote of all affected employees voting must be one hundred percent to approve an innovation zone plan.
(e) An employee regularly employed at
a school applying for or designated as an innovation zone who is or will be affected by implementation of the innovation zone plan or proposed plan may request a transfer to another school in the school district. The county board shall make every reasonable effort to accommodate the transfer.
§18-5B-7. Progress reviews and annual reports.
(a) At least annually, the State Board or its designated committee shall review the progress of the development or implementation of a school's innovation zone plan. If, following such a review, the State Board determines that a designated school has not made adequate progress toward developing or implementing its plan, the board shall submit a report to the school identifying its areas of concern. The State Board or its designated committee may conduct an additional review within six months of submitting a report in accordance with this section. If, following such additional review, the State Board or its designated committee determines that the school has not made adequate progress toward developing or implementing its innovation zone plan, the State Board may revoke the school's designation as an innovation zone or, if the school's innovation zone plan has been approved in accordance with section five of this article, rescind its approval of the plan.
(b) The State Board shall provide an annual report on innovation zones and the progress of innovation zone plans to
the Legislative Oversight Committee for Educational Accountability.
§18-5B-
8. Teacher vacancies in an innovation zone; job postings
exceeding certain qualifications and requirements; approval of postings.

A school designated as an innovation zone whose school innovation zone plan has been approved in accordance with section five of this article may make a job posting for a teacher vacancy at the school that sets forth standards or qualifications that exceed the standards and qualifications provided in section seven- a, article four, chapter eighteen-a of this code:
Provided, That teachers in the county approve the job posting by majority vote: Provided, however, That the county superintendent administers the vote and the record of the vote remains on file in the personnel office of the county board until the school is no longer designated as an innovation zone.
This Web site is maintained by the West Virginia Legislature's Office of Reference & Information.  |  Terms of Use  |   Web Administrator   |   © 2014 West Virginia Legislature ***