Senate Bill 391 History
OTHER VERSIONS -
Enrolled Version - Final Version
Senate Bill No. 391
(By Senators Palumbo, Yost and Green)
[Introduced January 29, 2010; referred to the Committee on
to amend and reenact §18-5-1a of the Code of West Virginia,
1931, as amended, relating to county boards of education;
modifying eligibility requirements for a candidate for
membership on a board and for a member-elect of a board; and
making technical corrections.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §18-5-1a of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended,
be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5. COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION.
§18-5-1a. Eligibility of members; training requirements.
(a) A person who is a
candidate for membership on a county
board or who is a member or member-elect of a county board:
(1) Shall be a citizen and resident in the county in which he
or she serves
or seeks to serve on the county board.
person who is a candidate for membership on a county board or who is a member-elect of a county board shall be a citizen and resident
in the county in which he or she seeks to serve on the county
(2) May not be employed by the county board on which he or she
or seeks to serve, including employment as a teacher or
(3) May not engage in the following political activities:
(A) Become a candidate for or hold any other public office,
other than to succeed him or herself as a member of a county board
subject to the following:
(i) A candidate for a county board, who is not currently
serving on a county board, may hold another public office while a
candidate if he or she resigns from the other public office prior
to taking the oath of office as a county board member.
(ii) The term "public office" as used in this section does not
include service on any other board, elected or appointed, profit or
nonprofit, under the following conditions:
(I) The person does not receive compensation; and
(II) The primary scope of the board is not related to public
(B) Become a candidate for, or serve as, an elected member of
any political party executive committee;
(C) Become a candidate for, or serve as, a delegate, alternate
or proxy to a national political party convention;
(D) Solicit or receive political contributions to support the election of, or to retire the campaign debt of, any candidate for
(4) May engage in any or all of the following political
(A) Make campaign contributions to partisan or bipartisan
(B) Attend political fund raisers for partisan or bipartisan
(C) Serve as an unpaid volunteer on a partisan campaign;
(D) Politically endorse any candidate in a partisan or
bipartisan election; or
(E) Attend a county, state or national political party
(b) A member or member-elect of a county board, or a person
desiring to become a member of a county board, may make a written
request to the West Virginia Ethics Commission for an advisory
opinion to determine if another elected or appointed position held
or sought by the person is an office or public office which would
bar service on a county board pursuant to subsection (a) of this
(1) Within thirty days of receipt of the request, the Ethics
Commission shall issue a written advisory opinion in response to
the request and also shall publish the opinion in a manner which,
to the fullest extent possible, does not reveal the identity of the
person making the request.
(2) A county board member who relies in good faith upon an
advisory opinion issued by the West Virginia Ethics Commission to
the effect that holding a particular office or public office is not
a bar from membership on a county board and against whom
proceedings are subsequently brought for removal from the county
board on the basis of holding that office or offices is entitled to
reimbursement by the county board for reasonable attorney's fees
and court costs incurred by the member in defending against these
proceedings, regardless of the outcome of the proceedings.
(3) A vote cast by the member at a meeting of the county board
may not be invalidated due to a subsequent finding that holding the
particular office or public office is a bar to membership on the
(4) Good faith reliance on a written advisory opinion of the
West Virginia Ethics Commission that a particular office or public
office is not a bar to membership on a county board is an absolute
defense to any civil suit or criminal prosecution arising from any
proper action taken within the scope of membership on the county
board, becoming a member-elect of the county board or seeking
election to the county board.
(c) To be eligible for election or appointment as a member of
a county board,
on or after May 5, 1992, a person shall possess at
least a high school diploma or a general educational development
(GED) diploma. This provision does not apply to members or
members-elect who have taken office prior to May 5, 1992, and who serve continuously from that date forward.
(d) A person elected to a county board after July 1, 1990, may
not assume the duties of county board member unless he or she has
first attended and completed a course of orientation relating to
boardsmanship and governance effectiveness which shall be given
between the date of election and the beginning of the member's term
of office under the following conditions:
(1) A portion or portions of subsequent training such as that
offered in orientation may be provided to members after they have
commenced their term of office;
(2) Attendance at the session of orientation given between the
date of election and the beginning of the member's term of office
permits the member-elect to assume the duties of county board
member, as specified in this section;
(3) Members appointed to the county board shall attend and
complete the next
such orientation course offered following their
(4) The provisions of this subsection relating to orientation
do not apply to members who have taken office prior to July 1,
1988, and who serve continuously from that date forward.
(e) Annually, each member of a county board shall receive
seven clock hours of training in areas relating to boardsmanship,
governance effectiveness, and school performance issues including,
but not limited to, pertinent state and federal statutes such as
the "Process for Improving Education" set forth in section five, article two-e of this chapter and the "No Child Left Behind Act"
and their respective administrative rules.
(1) The orientation and training shall be approved by the
state board and conducted by the West Virginia School Board
Association or other organization or organizations approved by the
(A) The state board may exclude time spent in training on
school performance issues from the requisite seven hours herein
(B) If the state board elects to exclude time spent in
training on school performance issues from the requisite seven
hours, the state board shall limit the training to a feasible and
practicable amount of time.
(2) Failure to attend and complete the approved course of
orientation and training relating to boardsmanship and governance
effectiveness without good cause as determined by the state board
by duly promulgated legislative rules constitutes neglect of duty
under section seven, article six, chapter six of this code.
(g) (f) In the final year of any four-year term of office, a
member shall satisfy the annual training requirement before January
1. Failure to comply with the training requirements of this
section without good cause as defined by the state board by duly
promulgated legislative rules constitutes neglect of duty under
section seven, article six, chapter six of this code.
(h) (g) The state board shall appoint a committee named the "county board member training standards review committee" whose
members shall meet at least annually. Subject to state board
approval, the committee shall determine which particular trainings
and training organizations shall be approved and whether county
board members have satisfied the annual training requirement.
Members of the committee serve without compensation, but may be
reimbursed by their agencies or employers for all reasonable and
necessary expenses actually incurred in the performance of their
duties under this subsection.