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SB223 SUB1 Senate Bill 223 History

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SB223 SUB1
COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE

FOR


Senate Bill No. 223

(By Senators Tomblin, Mr. President, and Caruth,

By Request of the Executive)

____________

[Originating in the Committee on Education;

reported February 20, 2008.]

____________



A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §11-13Y-1; and to amend said code by adding thereto a new section, designated §18A-4-21, all relating to establishing the Teacher Shortage Incentive Pilot Program; addressing geographic shortage areas and subject matter shortage areas through a bonus, tax credit, tuition reimbursement, housing allowance or any combination thereof; distributing moneys to county boards for addressing teacher shortages; conditioning the distribution on having a plan for addressing the teacher shortages that is approved by the state board; establishing a special account; and requiring a report to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability.

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 section, designated §11-13Y-1; and that said code be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §18A-4-21, to read as follows:
CHAPTER 11. TAXATION.

ARTICLE 13Y. TAX CREDITS FOR CERTAIN TEACHERS.
§11-13Y-1. Teacher Shortage Incentive Pilot Program tax credits.

(a) Credit allowed. -- As part of the Teacher Shortage Incentive Pilot Program, for the tax year beginning on the first day of January, two thousand eight only, there shall be allowed a credit for a classroom teacher employed in a geographic shortage area or a subject matter shortage area, as those terms are defined in section twenty-one, article four, chapter eighteen-a of this code, against personal income taxes imposed by this state for wages paid to that teacher, subject to the following:
(1) A classroom teacher is not eligible for the credit unless the teacher is employed by a county board that has a plan approved by the State Board of Education pursuant to section twenty-one, article four, chapter eighteen-a of this code, and the plan includes the use of a tax credit for addressing a geographic teacher shortage, a subject matter teacher shortage or both; and
(2) The tax credit shall be for the amount specified in the county board's approved plan.
(b) Legislative rule. -- The Tax Commissioner, after consulting with the State Superintendent of Schools, shall promulgate an emergency rule in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to implement this section.

CHAPTER 18A. SCHOOL PERSONNEL.

ARTICLE 4. SALARIES, WAGES AND OTHER BENEFITS.
§18A-4-21. Teacher shortage incentive pilot program.

(a) The Legislature hereby finds and declares that:
(1) There is an urgent demand for the recruitment of new teachers to fill positions of immediate need;
(2) The shortages that exist in the state include both geographic area shortages and subject matter shortages;
(3) The geographic area shortages exist in counties such as Berkeley County and Jefferson County where student enrollment increases and competition from higher teacher salaries in neighboring states come together to create significant teacher shortage problems;
(4) The subject matter shortages in mathematics, science and foreign language are important subjects that are consistent with the vision for twenty-first century schools, are critical to gaining a competitive edge in an increasingly global economy and are closely aligned with major Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) initiatives supported by the United States Department of Education, the National Governor's Association and others;
(5) Prospective classroom teachers in the teacher preparation programs of West Virginia should be encouraged to obtain certification in these subject matter shortage area fields and all teachers should be encouraged to fill subject matter shortage area and geographic shortage area positions; and
(6) Therefore, a one year pilot program that provides funding to counties for addressing geographic shortage areas and subject matter shortage areas would be an effective method for developing permanent strategies for addressing the shortages.
(b) This section shall be known as and may be cited as "The Teacher Shortage Incentive Pilot Program". The program is to exist for one year from the effective date of this section.
(c) For the purposes of this section:
(1)"Geographic shortage area" means any classroom teacher position in either Berkeley County or Jefferson County for which an opening is posted; and
(2) "Subject matter shortage area" means any classroom teacher position requiring certification in the subjects of math, science or foreign language for which an opening is posted.
(d) Subject to subsection (e) of this section, for each position in a county that is in either a geographic shortage area or a subject matter shortage area, the state board shall distribute funding that may be used by the county to address the teacher shortage through one or more of the following methods:
(1) A bonus for the classroom teacher employed in either or both shortage areas;
(2) A tax credit for the classroom teacher employed in either or both shortage areas;
(3) Tuition reimbursement for the classroom teacher employed in either or both shortage areas; or
(4) A housing allowance for the classroom teacher employed in either or both shortage areas.
(e) No county is eligible for any funding provided pursuant to this section unless the county submits a plan to the state board no later than the fifteenth day of April, and the plan is approved by the state board. The plan shall not be approved by the state board unless:
(1) The plan sets forth which of the four methods of addressing teacher shortages authorized by this section or which combination of those methods that the county board will use to address teacher shortages;
(2) The plan includes details for each of the methods used on how the method will be implemented;
(3) The details of implementing each of the methods are consistent with any requirements established in this section; and
(4) The plan meets any other requirements that are established by the state board.
(f) For any county board that adopts a plan that includes the implementation of one or more of the methods of addressing teacher shortages, the plan shall not be approved by the state board unless the plan provides that:
(1) A classroom teacher is not eligible for any of the benefits authorized by subsection (d) of this section unless he or she has accepted an offer of employment in either a geographic shortage area or a subject matter shortage area;
(2) A classroom teacher is not eligible for any of the benefits authorized by subsection (d) of this section unless he or she has been offered employment on or after the date the plan is approved;
(3) A classroom teacher is not eligible for any of the benefits authorized by subsection (d) of this section if he or she has been employed in a geographic shortage area or a subject matter shortage area position within the twelve months immediately preceding his or her hire;
(4) No classroom teacher is eligible to receive the bonus or the tax credit authorized by subsection (d) of this section more than once;
(5) Any bonus payment shall be made in a lump sum payment upon the effective date of employment;
(6) Any of the benefits authorized by subsection (d) of this section shall be subject to all applicable federal and state employment or wage withholding requirements;
(7) Any of the benefits authorized by subsection (d) of this section shall be in addition to any amounts prescribed in the applicable state minimum salary schedule; and
(9) In consideration for any of the benefits authorized by subsection (d) of this section, the county board shall require a classroom teacher that receives the benefit to enter into a written agreement in advance of receiving the benefit that, if the classroom teacher voluntarily discontinues employment or voluntarily accepts another position of employment with the county board that would render the teacher ineligible for the benefit, at any time within three years immediately following payment of the bonus, he or she shall be obligated to pay to the county board a pro rata portion of the value of the benefit equal to the part of the three-year period which the teacher has chosen not to remain employed by the county board in a position eligible for the receipt of the benefit. The county board is authorized to withhold the prorated amounts from any final payments due and owing to the teacher.
(g) Any tax credit given to a teacher shall be in accordance with section one, article thirteen-y, chapter eleven of this code. The state board shall coordinate with the Department of Revenue in developing a procedure for reimbursement of any revenue lost as a result of the credit.
(h) Payment of any amounts to counties pursuant to this section is subject to the availability of funds, and nothing in this section guarantees payment of the amounts absent specific legislative appropriation therefor;
(I) For fiscal year two thousand nine:
(1) There is hereby established in the State Treasury a special account designated the Teacher Shortage Incentive Pilot Program Fund;
(2) The fund consists of five million dollars which shall be appropriated by the Legislature and any interest or other return on the moneys in the fund. Any expenditures or distributions made pursuant to this section are limited to the five million dollars;
(3) Any moneys remaining in the account at the end of the two thousand nine fiscal year, including accrued interest, revert to the General Revenue Fund;
(4) Moneys appropriated for deposit into this account shall be administered by the State Department of Education and distributed to county boards pursuant to procedures established by the State Department of Education; and
(5) Forty percent of the moneys appropriated for deposit into the account shall be used for the payment to counties for addressing geographic shortage area positions, and sixty percent shall be used for the payment to counties for addressing subject matter shortage area positions.
(I) The State Department of Education shall report to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability after the one year pilot program has elapsed, but not later than the first day of August, two thousand nine. The reports shall include at least the following information:
(1) The frequency of use of each of the four methods authorized by this section for addressing teacher shortages;
(2) The degree of success experienced using each of the four methods for addressing teacher shortages set forth in this section; and
(3) Recommendations for establishing a permanent program for addressing geographic and subject matter teacher shortages including recommended definitions of "geographic shortage area" and "subject matter shortage" area that best fit the needs of the state.
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