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Introduced Version Senate Bill 223 History

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Senate Bill No. 223

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

By Request of the Executive)

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[Introduced January 16, 2008; referred to the Committee on Education; and then to the Committee on Finance.]

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A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §18A-4-21, relating to authorizing an additional salary bonus for certain classroom teachers employed to provide classroom instruction in math, science or special education or employed in certain positions that have remained vacant for a period of one year or more.

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 §18A-4-21, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 4. SALARIES, WAGES AND OTHER BENEFITS.
§18A-4-21. Math, science, special education and immediate need bonus.

(a) Legislative findings. -- The Legislature hereby finds and declares that there is an urgent demand for the recruitment of new teachers to fill positions of immediate need, as well as to provide instruction in certain subject area fields such as mathematics, science, and special education, and that teacher shortages in these positions threaten the state's competitive standing in the economy of the twenty-first century. Therefore, prospective classroom teachers in the public schools of West Virginia should be encouraged to obtain certification in these subject area fields and/or to fill positions of immediate need through an additional salary bonus to be paid in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(b) Eligible teachers. -- To receive an additional salary bonus in accordance with the provisions of this section, a classroom teacher shall have accepted an offer of employment in a position meeting one of the following criteria:
(1) The classroom teacher shall have accepted an offer of employment in a teaching position that, for a period of at least one year prior to the offer of employment, has been posted in accordance with the provisions of section seven-a, article four of this chapter, and for which no fully qualified applicant has been employed; or
(2) The classroom teacher shall hold a valid teaching certificate in accordance with the provisions of article three of this chapter licensing him or her to teach in mathematics, science, or special education and shall have accepted an offer of employment to provide classroom instruction in his or her area of certification and licensure.
(c) Limitations. -- To receive an additional salary bonus in accordance with the provisions of this section, a classroom teacher shall have been offered employment on or after the effective date of this section: Provided, That a classroom teacher shall not have been employed in a position meeting either of the eligibility criteria set forth in subsection (b) of this section within the twelve months immediately preceding his or her hire: Provided, however, That on the effective date of this section, a classroom teacher employed in a position that does not meet either of the eligibility criteria set forth in subsection (b) of this section may thereafter qualify for the additional salary bonus by accepting an offer of employment in a position meeting either of the eligibility criteria set forth therein: Provided further, That notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, no classroom teacher is eligible to receive the additional salary bonus authorized by this section more than once.
(d) Bonus. -- In addition to any amounts prescribed in the applicable state minimum salary schedule, effective the first day of July, two thousand eight, an additional salary bonus of five thousand dollars shall be paid to each classroom teacher meeting the eligibility criteria and limitations set forth in subsections (b) and (c) of this section: Provided, That payment of the additional salary bonus shall be subject to the availability of funds, and nothing in this section shall be construed to guarantee payment of the additional salary bonus to any classroom teacher absent specific legislative appropriation therefor. The payment shall be:
(1) Made in a lump sum payment upon the effective date of employment; and
(2) Subject to all applicable federal and state employment or wage withholding requirements.
(e) Repayment of bonus. -- In consideration for the additional salary bonus paid pursuant to this section, the county board of education shall require a classroom teacher that receives the additional salary bonus to enter into a written agreement in advance of the payment of such bonus that, if the classroom teacher should voluntarily discontinue employment or voluntarily accept another position of employment with the county board that does not meet the eligibility criteria and limitations set forth in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, 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 additional salary bonus equal to the part of such three-year period which the teacher has chosen not to remain employed by the county board in a position eligible for the receipt of such bonus. The county board is authorized to withhold such prorated amounts from any final payments due and owing to the teacher.
(f) Math, science, special education and immediate need bonus fund. --
(1) There is hereby established in the State Treasury a special account designated the Math, Science, Special Education and Immediate Need Bonus Fund.
(2) The fund shall consist of any moneys appropriated by the Legislature and any interest or other return on the moneys in the fund. Any moneys remaining in the account at the end of a fiscal year, including accrued interest, do not revert to the General Revenue Fund, but remain in the account.
(3) Moneys appropriated for deposit into this account shall be administered by the State Department of Education to provide additional salary bonuses authorized by this section and distributed to county boards of education pursuant to procedures established by the State Department of Education.


NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to establish a recruitment bonus for new math, science and special education teachers, or teachers filling positions that have remained vacant for one year or more.

This section is new, therefore strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.
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