H. B. 4554
(By Delegates D. Poling, Caputo, Fragale,
Stephens, Moye and Longstreth)
(Originating in the House Committee on Education)
[February 22, 2008]
A BILL to amend and reenact §18A-4-8e of the Code of West Virginia,
1931, as amended, relating to competency testing for service
personnel; and establishing the testing schedule for school
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That of the Code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred
thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as
ARTICLE 4. SALARIES, WAGES AND OTHER BENEFITS.
§18A-4-8e. Competency testing for service personnel.
(a) The State Board of Education shall develop and
cause to be
available competency tests for all of the classification
titles defined in section eight and listed in section eight-a of
this article for service personnel. Each classification title
defined and listed is considered a separate classification category of employment for service personnel and has a separate competency
test, except for those class titles having Roman numeral
designations, which are considered a single classification of
employment and have a single competency test.
The cafeteria manager class title is included in the same
classification category as cooks and has the same competency test.
The executive secretary class title is included in the
same classification category as secretaries and has the same
The classification titles of chief mechanic, mechanic and
assistant mechanic are included in one classification title and
have the same competency test.
(b) The purpose of these tests is to provide county boards
a uniform means of determining whether school service
who do not hold a classification title in a
particular category of employment meet the definition of the
classification title in another category of employment as defined
in section eight of this article. Competency tests may not be used
to evaluate employees who hold the classification title in the
category of their employment.
(c) The competency test consists of an objective written or
performance test, or both.
Provided, That applicants have the
opportunity to Applicants may
take the written test orally if
requested. Oral tests are recorded mechanically and kept on file. The oral test is administered by persons who do not know the
The performance test for all classifications and
categories other than bus operator is administered by an employee
of the county board
or an employee of a multi-county
vocational school that serves the county at a location designated
by the Superintendent and approved by the Board. The location may
be a vocational school that serves the county.
(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the
contrary, the competency test for a bus operator is administered as
(A) For a bus operator with regular employee status and
continuing contract status the test is administered biennially and
may not be administered more frequently;
(B) For a substitute bus operator or for a bus operator with
regular employee status but on a probationary contract, the test is
A standard passing score is established by the State
Department of Education for each test and is used by county boards.
The subject matter of each competency test is commensurate
with the requirements of the definitions of the classification
titles as provided in section eight of this article. The subject
matter of each competency test is designed in such a manner that achieving a passing grade does not require knowledge and skill in
excess of the requirements of the definitions of the classification
titles. Achieving a passing score conclusively demonstrates the
qualification of an applicant for a classification title.
Once an employee passes the competency test of a
classification title, the applicant is fully qualified to fill
vacancies in that classification category of employment as provided
in section eight-b of this article and
not be required to
take the competency test again.
(d) An applicant who fails to achieve a passing score is given
other opportunities to pass the competency test when making
application for another vacancy within the classification category.
(e) Competency tests are administered to applicants in a
uniform manner under uniform testing conditions. County boards
are responsible for scheduling competency tests,
notifying applicants of the date and time of the one day of
training prior to taking the test, and the date and time of the
test. County boards
may not use a competency test
other than the test authorized by this section.
(f) When scheduling of the competency test conflicts with the
work schedule of a school employee who has applied for a vacancy,
the employee is excused from work to take the competency test
without loss of pay.
(g) A minimum of one day of appropriate in-service training is provided to employees to assist them in preparing to take the
(h) Competency tests are used to determine the qualification
of new applicants seeking initial employment in a particular
classification title as either a regular or substitute employee.
(i) Notwithstanding any provisions in this code to the
contrary, once an employee holds or has held a classification title
in a category of employment, that employee is considered qualified
for the classification title even though that employee no longer
holds that classification.
(j) The requirements of this section do not alter the
definitions of class titles as provided in section eight of this
article or the procedure and requirements of section eight-b of