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Introduced Version Senate Bill 595 History

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Senate Bill No. 595

(By Senators Plymale, Edgell, Stollings, Bailey, Green, Hunter, Wells, White, Boley, Facemyer, Kessler, Hall, Jenkins, McKenzie and Unger)

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[Introduced February 6, 2008; referred to the Committee on Education; and then to the Committee on Finance.]

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A BILL to repeal §18B-1-1, §18B-1-1b and §18B-1-1c of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; to repeal §18B-1A-1 and §18B-1A-2 of said code; to repeal §18B-1B-8 and §18B-1B-9 of said code; to repeal §18B-3B-1 and §18B-3B-2 of said code; to repeal §18B-11-5 of said code; to amend and reenact §18-1-4 of said code; to amend and reenact §18B-1-1a of said code; to amend said code by adding thereto a new article, designated §18B-1D-1, §18B-1D-2, §18B-1D-3, §18B-1D-4, §18B-1D-5, §18B-1D-6, §18B-1D-7 and §18B-1D-8; and to amend said code by adding thereto a new section, designated §18B-14-9, all relating to education generally; establishing Vision 2020: An Education Blueprint for Two Thousand Twenty; requiring State Board of Education rule that includes goals, objectives, strategies, indicators and benchmarks; specifying certain public education goals and objectives; providing legislative findings, intent and purposes; establishing goals for public higher education; creating education partnership to achieve state goals and objectives; establishing elements of higher education accountability system; requiring Higher Education Policy Commission and Council for Community and Technical College Education to propose rules by certain date; defining terms; specifying objectives and priorities; establishing date to achieve certain objectives and priorities; defining responsibilities of Higher Education Policy Commission, Council for Community and Technical College Education and state institutions of higher education relative to accountability system; requiring system master plans, state compacts, institutional compacts and institutional and system report cards; establishing submission, approval, review and reporting requirements; authorizing implementation plans; assigning geographic areas of responsibility; specifying that certain reports are no longer required to be prepared annually except under certain conditions; providing for committee to examine higher education facility needs; specifying membership; and requiring recommendations to Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability by certain date.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §18B-1-1, §18B-1-1b and §18B-1-1c of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be repealed; that §18B-1A-1 and §18B-1A-2 of said code be repealed; that §18B-1B-8 and §18B-1B-9 of said code be repealed; that §18B-3B-1 and §18B-3B-2 of said code be repealed; that §18B-11-5 of said code be repealed; that §18-1-4 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §18B-1-1a of said code be amended and reenacted; and that said code be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §18B-1D-1, §18B-1D-2, §18B-1D-3, §18B-1D-4, §18B-1D-5, §18B-1D-6, §18B-1D-7 and §18B-1D-8; and that said code be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §18B-14-9, all to read as follows:
CHAPTER 18. EDUCATION.

ARTICLE 1. DEFINITIONS; LIMITATIONS OF CHAPTER; GOALS FOR EDUCATION.

§18-1-4. Vision 2020: An Education Blueprint for Two Thousand Twenty.

(a) The Governor, the Legislature, the state board and the people of West Virginia agree that the education of their children is of utmost importance to the future well-being of the state and that the purpose of enacting education laws and providing funding to support a system of free schools is to assure that all of our children have every opportunity to secure an education which is thorough and is provided in an efficient manner. The Governor, the Legislature, the state board and the people of West Virginia further agree that improvements are needed in the education system of West Virginia if these objectives are to be met.
(b) Therefore, the Governor, the Legislature, the state board and the people of West Virginia have established goals for themselves which are measurable and achievable through the combined efforts of the government, the school system and the people through an increased focus on the needs of children. These goals are:
(a) This section, together with section one-a, article one, chapter eighteen-b of this code and article one-d of said chapter, shall be known as and may be cited as Vision 2020: An Education Blueprint for Two Thousand Twenty.
(b) The Legislature finds that:
(1) Along with many of the other successful policies that the state has adopted over the last decade, the state recently has embraced and is implementing the Partnership for 21st Century Skills model for teaching and learning. This model includes six key elements: Core subjects, 21st Century content, learning and thinking skills, information and communications technology literacy, life skills and 21st Century assessments;
(2) Education Week's Quality Counts 2008 gives West Virginia's public education system an overall grade of "B" while the nation as a whole only scored a "C";
(3) While the state should take pride in this overall score, Quality Counts 2008 gives the state lower than average grades in two of the six categories: Chance for success and K-12 achievement;
(4) According to the two thousand census, West Virginia's percentage of population in need of basic skills education is twenty-seven percent which ranks tenth highest among the states, territories and the District of Columbia. The individuals in need of basic skills education are those individuals aged sixteen years of age and older who have not attained a high school diploma or its equivalent and are not currently enrolled in school;
(5) Because of these areas in which the state is below average and because the state must keep moving forward in the other areas in order to stay ahead of the other states, it is important that West Virginia's public education system continue to make substantial progress. In addition to the importance of a quality public education system to each individual student, it is also critical to the state's economy;
(6) Because West Virginia faces such obstacles as lower family income levels and lower parent education levels, the state must do even more to compete with other states to increase student achievement and ensure that high school graduates are fully prepared for post-secondary education or gainful employment;
(7) Section one, article XII of the Constitution of West Virginia requires the Legislature to provide for a thorough and efficient system of free schools;
(8) Therefore, a clear plan that includes goals, objectives, strategies, indicators and benchmarks is needed in order to keep the state's education system on track for success and to help maintain and exceed the constitutional requirement of a thorough and efficient system of free schools in West Virginia;
(9) The purpose of this section is to require that this clear plan be established as part of Vision 2020: An Education Blueprint for Two Thousand Twenty; and
(10) In order to eliminate any confusion, these goals, objectives, strategies, indicators and benchmarks for public education should be set forth in one state board rule that is promulgated pursuant to this section and that meets the requirements of this section.

(c) For the purposes of this section:
(1) "Goals" means those long-term public purposes which are the desired and expected end result and only may include those items listed in subsection (e) of this section;
(2) "Objectives" means the ends to be accomplished or attained within a specified period of time for the purpose of meeting the established goals; and
(3) "Strategies" means specific activities carried out by the public education system which are directed toward accomplishing specific objectives.
(d) The state board shall promulgate a rule in accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code that includes:
(1) The goals set forth in this section and no other goals;
(2) At least the objectives set forth in this section and specified periods of time for achieving those objectives and any other objectives that may be included in the rule;
(3) Strategies for achieving the specific objectives;
(4) Indicators for measuring progress toward the goals and objectives established in this section; and
(5) Benchmarks for determining when the goals and objectives have been achieved.
(e) The rule shall include the following list of exclusive goals for the public education system in West Virginia:
(1) Academic achievement according to national and international measures will exceed national and international averages. These national and international measures should include scores on assessments such as the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the ACT, the SAT and the Programme for International Assessment (PISA);
(2) The public education system will prepare fully all students for post-secondary education or gainful employment;
(3) All working-age adults will be functionally literate;
(4) The public education system will maintain and promote the health and safety of all students and will develop and promote responsibility, citizenship and strong character in all students; and
(5) The public education system will provide equitable education opportunity to all students.
(f) The rule also shall include at least the following policy- oriented objectives:
(1)
Rigorous 21st Century curriculum and engaging instruction for all students. -- All students in West Virginia public schools should have access to and benefit from a rigorous 21st Century curriculum that develops proficiency in core subjects, 21st Century content, learning skills and technology tools. These students also should have that curriculum delivered through engaging, research-based instructional strategies that develop deep understanding and the ability to apply content to real-world situations;
(2)
A 21st Century accountability and accreditation system. -- The prekindergarten through twelve education system should have a public accrediting system that: (i) Holds local school districts accountable for the student outcomes the state values; and (ii) provides the public with understandable accountability data for judging the quality of local schools. The outcomes on which the system is based should be rigorous and should align with national and international standards such as the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the ACT, the SAT and the Programme for International Assessment (PISA). The broad standards established for these outcomes should include a focus on: (A) Mastery of basic skills by all students; (B) closing the achievement gap among student subgroups; and (C) high levels of proficiency in a wide range of desired 21st Century measures and processes. The system for determining school and district accreditation should include school and district self-analysis and generate appropriate research-based strategies for improvement. It also should allow opportunities to create innovative approaches to instructional delivery and design. Thus, the system will incorporate processes for encouraging innovation, including streamlined applications for waivers to state board policy, financial support for successful initiatives and recognition of those practices that can be brought to a district or statewide scale. Although the primary goal of the accreditation system is to drive school improvement, it also will serve as a basis for rewards, sanctions and interventions. This 21st Century accountability and accreditation system also should include the methods of addressing capacity set forth in section five, article two-e of this chapter;
(3)
A statewide balanced assessment process that includes an individualized student data management system. -- State, district, school and classroom decisionmaking should be grounded in 21st Century balanced assessment processes that reflect national and international rigorous performance standards and examine student proficiency in 21st Century content, skills and technology tools. A balanced assessment system includes statewide summative assessments, local benchmark assessments and classroom assessments for learning. West Virginia's assessment system also should include international benchmarking processes that allow comparison of West Virginia performance to international performance. To effectively use assessment data, principals and teachers should be provided ready access to results through student digital data profiles that individually track student performance and provide educators with diagnostic information necessary to make appropriate instructional decisions on behalf of students;
(4)
A personnel allocation, licensure and funding process that aligns with the needs of 21st Century school systems and is supported by a quality coordinated professional development delivery system. -- Increased accountability demands, as well as the focus on 21st Century learning, require a reexamination of traditional approaches to personnel allocation, licensure and funding. Creating schools of the 21st Century requires new staffing roles and staffing patterns. It also requires ongoing professional development activities focused on enhancing student achievement and achieving specific goals of the school and district strategic plans. Thus, schools should have the ability to access, organize and deliver high quality embedded professional development that provides staff with in-depth sustained and supported learning. Effective school improvement should be supported by a flexible school calendar that allows opportunity for staff to collectively learn, plan and implement curricular and instructional improvements on behalf of the students they serve;
(5)
School environments that promote safe, healthy and responsible behavior and provide an integrated system of student support services. -- Each school should create an environment focused on student learning and one where students know they are valued, respected and safe. Furthermore, the school should incorporate programs and processes that instill healthy, safe and responsible behaviors and prepare students for interactions with individuals of diverse racial, ethnic and social backgrounds. School and district processes should include a focus on developing ethical and responsible character, personal dispositions that promote personal wellness through planned daily physical activity and healthy eating habits consistent with high nutritional guidelines and multicultural experiences that develop an appreciation of and respect for diversity. The school and school system also should address the needs of students who arrive at school with social, emotional and physical needs that require specialized and diverse services. School systems should have the capability to access, manage and deliver services to these students in an organized integrated system that taps the resources of both the school and the broader community;
(6)
A leadership recruitment, development and support continuum. -- Quality schools and school systems of the 21st Century cannot be created without high quality leaders. Thus, West Virginia should have an aligned leadership professional development continuum that attracts, develops and supports educational leadership at the classroom, school and district level. This leadership development continuum should focus on creating: (i) Learning-centered schools and school systems; (ii) collaborative processes for staff learning and continuous improvement; and (iii) accountability measures for student achievement;
(7)
Equitable access to 21st Century technology and education resources and school facilities conducive to 21st Century teaching and learning. -- A quality educational system of the 21st Century should have access to technology tools and processes that enhance effective and efficient operation. Administrators should have the digital resources to monitor student performance, manage a variety of data and communicate effectively. In the classroom, every teacher in every school should be provided with the instructional resources and educational technology necessary to deliver the West Virginia content standard and objectives. Schools of the 21st Century require facilities that accommodate changing technologies, 21st Century instructional processes and 21st Century staffing needs and patterns. These school facilities should mirror the best in green construction and shall be environmental and educationally responsive to the communities in which they are located;
(8)
Aligned public school with post-secondary and workplace readiness programs and standards. -- An educational system in the 21st Century should be seen as a continuum from the public school (prekindergarten through twelve) program through post-secondary education. In order to be successful in a global competitive marketplace, learning should be an ongoing, life-long experience. Thus, the public schools and the institutions of post-secondary education in West Virginia should create a system of common standards, expectations and accountability. Creating such an aligned system will enhance opportunities for success and assure a seamless educational process for West Virginia students; and
(9)
A universal prekindergarten system. -- Every eligible student should be enrolled in a high quality, universal prekindergarten system. The system promotes oral language and preliteracy skills and reduces the deficit of these foundational skills through proactive, early intervention. Research indicates that universal prekindergarten systems improve graduation rates, reduce grade level retentions and reduce the number of special education placements. Therefore, local school systems should create the supports and provide the resources to assure a quality prekindergarten foundation is available to all eligible students.
(g) In addition to the policy-oriented objectives set forth in subsection (f) of this section, the rule established pursuant to this section also shall include at least the following performance oriented objectives:
(1) All children entering the first grade will be ready for the first grade;
(2) All students will have equal education opportunity;
(3) Student performance on national measures of student performance will equal or exceed national averages and (2) The performance of students falling in the lowest quartile on national and international measures of student performance will improve by fifty percent;
(4) (3) Ninety percent of ninth graders will graduate from high school;
(5) High school graduates will be fully prepared for college, other post-secondary education or gainful employment. The number of high school graduates entering post-secondary education will increase by fifty percent. and
(6) All working age adults will be functionally literate.
(4) By two thousand twelve, the ten counties with the lowest college-going rates as of the effective date of this act will increase their college-going rate to the two thousand twelve state average and the college-going rate of the state will equal the college-going rate of the member states of the Southern Regional Education Board; and
(5) By two thousand twenty, the ten counties with the lowest college-going rates as of the effective date of this act will increase their college-going rate to the two thousand twenty college-going rate of the member states of the Southern Regional Education Board and the college-going rate of the state will exceed the college-going rate of the member states of the Southern Regional Education Board by five percentage points.
The intent of the Governor, the Legislature and the state board is to pursue the accomplishment of these goals through strategies which focus on: (i) Early childhood development; (ii) improving the quality of teaching; (iii) technology and learning; (iv) helping at-risk students; (v) work force preparation; and (vi) restructuring and accountability in the education system.
(c) The state board shall report progress toward meeting and achieving the goals, as set forth in subsection (b) of this section, to the Governor and the Legislature at the beginning of the legislative session in each of the next four years, beginning in the year one thousand nine hundred ninety-seven, and shall include in such report how the legislative priorities of the board address attainment of the goals.
CHAPTER 18B. HIGHER EDUCATION.

ARTICLE 1. GOVERNANCE.
§18B-1-1a. Legislative intent; findings; establishment of state goals for higher education and education; creation of partnership to achieve state goals and objectives.

(a) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this section to establish state goals for public higher education which benefit the citizens of the State of West Virginia.
(b) It is further the intent of the Legislature that this section be read and implemented in conjunction with the accountability system established in article one-d of this chapter and that any reference to this section in this code includes the provisions of that article.
(c) Findings. -- The Legislature finds that post-secondary education is vital to the future of West Virginia. For the state to realize its considerable potential in the Twenty-First Century, it must have a system for the delivery of post-secondary education which is competitive in the changing national and global environment, is affordable for the state and its citizenry and has the capacity to deliver the programs and services necessary to meet regional and statewide needs.
The Legislature further finds that it is vitally important for young people entering the workforce to have the education and skills to succeed in today's high-technology, knowledge-based economy. It is equally important for working-age adults who are the majority of the current and potential workforce also to possess the requisite education and skills to compete successfully in the workplace and to have the opportunity to continue learning throughout their lives. The future of the state rests not only on how well its youth are educated, but also on how well it educates its entire population of any age.
The Legislature further finds that providing access to a high-quality and affordable post-secondary education is a state responsibility and, while states spent more than seventy billion dollars on public higher education in two thousand six, they are not maximizing that investment. The Legislature recognizes the efforts of the National Conference of State Legislatures' Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher Education in producing a report to assist the states in higher education policymaking. According to the commission report, "Transforming Higher Education: National Imperative -- State Responsibility", the United States is losing its competitive advantage in a new, high-tech, highly mobile global economy. This lack of competitiveness is a matter of the highest urgency for federal and state policymakers and higher education is at the center of this discussion. The reports goes on to add that "higher education is both the problem and the solution" because the nation has failed to focus on how higher education energizes American competitiveness and revitalizes the states. Pursuant to these findings, the commission made some specific recommendations addressed to the states which include the following:
(1) Define clear state goals;
(2) Identify your state's strengths and weaknesses;
(3) Know your state demographic trends for the next ten to thirty years;
(4) Identify a place or structure to sustain the public policy agenda;
(5) Hold institutions accountable for their performance;
(6) Rethink funding formulas and student aid;
(7) Make a commitment to access, success and innovation;
(8) Encourage partnerships;
(9) Give special attention to adult learners; and
(10) Focus on productivity.
All of these recommendations are useful in providing policy guidance and have been given careful consideration in the development of this section and article one-d of this chapter.
(d) Establishment of state goals. -- In recognition of its importance to the citizens of West Virginia, the Legislature hereby establishes the following goals for public higher education in the state:
(1) The ultimate goal of public education is to enhance the quality of life for citizens of the State of West Virginia.
(2) The overall focus of public education is on developing and maintaining a process of lifelong learning which is as seamless as possible at all levels, encourages citizens of all ages to increase their knowledge and skills and provides ample opportunities for them to participate in public higher education.
(3) Higher education collaborates with public education and other providers to offer education opportunities:
(A) To individuals of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds in all areas of the state; and
(B) To overcome financial barriers to participation for both traditional and nontraditional students.
(4) Higher education seeks to enhance state efforts to diversify and expand the economy by focusing available resources on programs and courses which best serve students, provide the greatest opportunity for job creation and retention and are most supportive of emerging high-technology and knowledge-based businesses and industries.
(5) Higher education creates a learning environment that is student-friendly and that encourages and assists students in the completion of degree requirements, certifications or skill sets within a reasonable period of time.
(6) The learning environment expands participation for the increasingly diverse student population and responds to the needs of the current workforce and other nontraditional students.
(7) Through the establishment of innovative curricula and assessment efforts, state institutions of higher education ensure that students graduate from nationally recognized and accredited programs and meet or exceed national and international standards for performance in their chosen fields as evidenced through placement and professional licensure examinations.
(8) Higher education promotes academic research and innovation to achieve measurable growth in West Virginia's knowledge-based economic sector.
(9) State institutions of higher education emphasize productivity and strive to exceed the performance and productivity levels of peer institutions. In return, and within the constraints of fiscal responsibility, the state seeks to invest in institutions so that they may adequately compensate faculty, classified employees and other employees at a competitive level to attract and retain high quality personnel.
(10) State institutions of higher education are committed to a shared responsibility with faculty, staff, students and their communities to provide access to the knowledge and to promote acquisition of the skills and abilities necessary to establish and maintain physical fitness and wellness.
(A) Programs that encourage healthy lifestyles are essential for the vibrancy of the institutions of higher education, for the well-being of the communities they serve and for the state as a whole.
(B) Increasing the fitness levels of adults on college and university campuses is critically important for the people of West Virginia, not only for disease prevention, but also, and perhaps most importantly, to enhance the overall quality of life.
(C) While individuals must bear the primary responsibility for their own health, it is imperative that the institutions provide appropriate education and support focused on enriching and expanding the short and long term views and attitudes towards physical activity, understanding the principles of wellness and their application to a healthy lifestyle, understanding what components are a necessary part of an all-round healthy lifestyle and learning how to set and achieve realistic goals aimed at establishing healthy habits for the benefit of long-term health and well-being.
(e) Education partnership to achieve state goals and objectives. -- If public institutions of higher education are to provide services that meet the needs of state citizens as outlined in this section and article one-d of this chapter, then West Virginia must create and participate in a partnership across various education organizations that recognizes the valuable contributions each member of the group can make. In addition to public education as outlined in section four, article one, chapter eighteen of this code, and in addition to the State of West Virginia, key members of this partnership include the state institutions of higher education, the Council for Community and Technical College Education and the Higher Education Policy Commission.
(1) State institutions of higher education. -- The institutions are the cornerstone of efforts to provide higher education services that meet the needs of state citizens. To varying degrees, and depending upon their missions, these institutions serve the state in three major ways:
(A) Instruction. -- By providing direct instruction to students along with the student services necessary to support the instructional mission. These services have two primary goals:
(i) To produce college graduates who have the knowledge, skills and desire to make valuable contributions to society; and
(ii) To provide opportunities for citizens to engage in lifelong learning to enhance their employability and their overall quality of life.
(B) Public service. -- By providing an occupational home for experts in a variety of fields and by serving as the educational home for students. In these capacities, institutions create a large and varied pool of high quality human resources capable of making valuable contributions to business and industry, local and state governments and communities. The following are examples of the types of public service that higher education institutions have to offer:
(i) Workforce development, primarily through community and technical colleges, to meet the immediate and long-term needs of employers and employees;
(ii) Technical assistance to state and local policymakers as they work to address challenges as diverse as ensuring that West Virginia's citizens receive quality health care, assisting in the development of a solid transportation infrastructure and ensuring that public school teachers have enriching professional development opportunities; and
(iii) Opportunities to learn and serve in local communities, to teach civic responsibility and to encourage civic engagement.
(C) Research. -- By conducting research at state institutions of higher education, particularly Marshall University and West Virginia University, to enhance the quality of life in West Virginia in the following ways:
(i) Targeting cutting-edge research toward solving pressing societal problems;
(ii) Promoting economic development by raising the level of education and specialization among the population; and
(iii) Creating jobs through development of new products and services.
(2) The Council for Community and Technical College Education and the Higher Education Policy Commission. -- In their role as state-level coordinating boards, the council and commission function as important partners with state policy leaders in providing higher education that meets state needs. The council and commission provide service to the state in the following ways:
(A) By developing a public policy agenda for various aspects of higher education that is aligned with state goals and objectives and the role and responsibilities of each coordinating board;
(B) By ensuring that institutional missions and goals are aligned with relevant parts of the public policy agenda and that institutions maximize the resources available to them to fulfill their missions and make reasonable progress toward meeting established state goals;
(C) By evaluating and reporting on progress in implementing the public policy agenda;
(D) By promoting system efficiencies through collaboration and cooperation across institutions and through focusing institutional missions as appropriate; and
(E) By conducting research, collecting data and providing objective recommendations to aid elected state officials in making policy decisions.
(3) State of West Virginia. -- Elected state officials represent the citizens of West Virginia and are critical partners in providing quality higher education. In this context, these state-level policymakers serve the state in the following ways:
(A) By establishing goals, objectives and priorities for higher education based on a thoughtful, systematic determination of state needs;
(B) By providing resources necessary to address state goals, objectives and priorities for higher education; and
(C) By providing incentives for and removing barriers to the achievement of state goals, objectives and priorities.
ARTICLE 1D. HIGHER EDUCATION ACCOUNTABILITY.
§18B-1D-1. Legislative intent and purpose; short title; rules required.

(a) The intent of the Legislature in the enactment of this article is to outline and organize the elements of accountability for public higher education into an effective, coherent system to provide guidance to the state institutions of higher education, the commission and the council and to clarify the roles, relationships and responsibilities between and among these entities, the citizens of West Virginia and elected state officials. The main purposes of the accountability system are as follows:
(1) To develop agreement on higher education goals, objectives and priorities through negotiation and consensus-building between elected officials acting on behalf of the citizens of the state, and the commission and the council and institutions which receive public funds and provide education services;
(2) To create a seamless education system and hold boards and institutions accountable for meeting state goals and objectives.
(3) To provide a data-driven, step-by-step process to determine the progress of public higher education in addressing established goals, objectives and priorities;
(4) To promote cooperation and collaboration among all entities which are involved in the delivery of public education in West Virginia; and
(5) To provide for generation, collection and dissemination of data on which sound state-level policy decisions can be based. Possible uses of this data include the following:
(A) Identifying institutions and systems that increase quality and productivity; and
(B) Creating a mechanism to target a portion of state appropriations to institutions and systems based on performance in meeting established state goals and objectives.
(b) This article, together with section one-a, article one of this chapter and section four, article one, chapter eighteen of this code shall be known as and may be cited as Vision 2020: An Education Blueprint for Two Thousand Twenty.
(c) By the first day of October, two thousand eight, the commission and the council shall propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of section six, article one of this chapter and article three-a, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code concerning the accountability system for higher education outlined in this article.
(1) The commission and the council may propose rules jointly or separately and may choose to address all of the accountability system in a single rule or may propose additional rules to cover specific elements.
(2) At a minimum, the rules shall address the respective responsibilities of the various parties, the development of statewide master plans, the process of entering into institutional and state compacts, performance indicators and institution and state-level reporting to ensure that higher education is accountable to the citizens of West Virginia.
§18B-1D-2. Definitions.
(a) General. -- For the purposes of this article and section one-a, article one of this chapter, terms have the meaning ascribed to them in section two, article one of this chapter, unless the context in which the term is used clearly requires a different meaning or a specific definition is provided in this section.
(b) Definitions. --
(1) "Accountability system for public higher education" or "accountability system" means all research, reports, documents, data and any other materials, the collection, analysis and dissemination of which are necessary or expedient to accomplish the purposes of this article or section one-a, article one of this chapter. The system includes legislative goals, objectives and priorities; public policy agendas; statewide master plans; state and institutional compacts; implementation plans; institutional mission statements and master plans; and the statewide report card.
(2) "Education partnership to achieve state goals and objectives" or "education partnership" means the formal and informal working relationships established between and among the State of West Virginia, the commission, the council, the State Board of Education and State Department of Education and the state institutions of higher education for the purpose of achieving state goals and objectives.
(3) "Functional literacy rate" means the percentage of adults over the age of seventeen who are able to read beyond a fourth grade level and interpret basic information from sources such as road signs, job applications, newspaper articles and food and medicine labels.
(4) "Goals" means those long-term public purposes which are the desired and expected end result for which public higher education is established.
(5) "Implementation plan" means a document developed within the higher education community that identifies a series of objectives, sets forth performance indicators that can be used to determine if objectives are being achieved, outlines strategies for accomplishing the objectives and identifies benchmarks for evaluating progress in accomplishing the objectives over the life cycle of the plan.
(6) "Institutional compact" means a formal, written contract between either the commission or council and a state institution of higher education under its jurisdiction expressing intent to accomplish state and system goals and objectives.
(7) "Institutions under the jurisdiction of the commission" relative to the accountability system established by this article and section one-a, article one of this chapter means Bluefield State College, Concord University, Fairmont State University, Glenville State College, Marshall University, Shepherd University, West Liberty State College, the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, West Virginia State University and West Virginia University, including Potomac State College of West Virginia University and the West Virginia University Institute of Technology.
(8) "Institutions under the jurisdiction of the council" relative to the accountability system established by this article and section one-a, article one of this chapter means Blue Ridge Community and Technical College, the Community and Technical College at West Virginia University Institute of Technology, Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College, Marshall Community and Technical College, New River Community and Technical College, Pierpont Community and Technical College, Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, West Virginia Northern Community and Technical College, West Virginia State Community and Technical College and West Virginia University at Parkersburg.
(9) "Net college costs" means the total cost of tuition, room and board minus the amount of financial aid a student receives.
(10) "Objectives" means the ends to be accomplished or attained within a specified period of time for the purpose of meeting the established goals.
(11) "Priority" or "priorities" means the order in which objectives are to be addressed for the purpose of achieving state goals.
(12) "Strategy" or "strategies" means specific activities carried out by public higher education which are directed toward accomplishing specific objectives.
(13) "Statewide master plan" or "system master plan" means a document developed by the council or commission that sets forth system goals, objectives and strategies and is aligned with, but not limited to, meeting state goals, objectives and priorities.
(14) "STEM courses and programs" means curricula leading to a degree or other recognized credential in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields of study or specialization.
(15) "State compact" means a formal, written agreement between the council and/or the commission and at least one other member of the education partnership to achieve state goals and objectives where significant collaboration and commitment of resources between the parties to the agreement is required in order to achieve the desired results.
§18B-1D-3. State vision for public higher education; findings; establishment of objectives.

(a) The Legislature finds that availability of high-quality post-secondary education is so important to the well-being of the citizens of West Virginia that it is in the best interests of the state to focus attention on areas of particular concern and within those areas to specify objectives and priorities that must be addressed by two thousand twenty. The purpose of these objectives and priorities is to achieve the broad-based goals for public higher education established in section one-a, article one of this chapter. Areas of special concern to the Legislature include economic and workforce development; education access and affordability; innovation; student preparation; degree and/or program completion; intra- and inter-system cooperation and collaboration; research; and teaching and learning.
(1) Economic and workforce development. --
(A) Diversifying and strengthening the economy of the state;
(B) Providing incentives to systems and institutions to focus attention on those courses and programs which create and retain jobs in the state, especially among the emerging high-technology, knowledge-based businesses and industries.
(2) Access and affordability. --
(A) Maintaining geographic access while eliminating unnecessary duplication;
(B) Enhancing education opportunities for the widest range of state citizens:
(1) By establishing tuition and fee levels for in-state students that do not inhibit access to public education nor cause students to incur excessive debt. This is particularly important in West Virginia where about two-thirds of all students attending college are enrolled in public higher education institutions and where families devote a very large share of their incomes to pay the cost of education. The share of costs paid by families remains very high even after adjusting for the impact of financial aid; and
(2) By establishing tuition and fee rates for out-of-state students at levels which, at a minimum, cover the full cost of instruction unless doing so is inconsistent with a clearly delineated public policy goal established by the Legislature, the commission or the council.
(3) Innovation. -- Devise innovative programs, delivery modes, partnerships, research initiatives, curricula and pedagogy to achieve the needs of the state and its citizens and carry out the mission and objectives of the state institutions of higher education. Methods include aligning entrepreneurial efforts, research, and partnerships with established state goals.
(4) Student preparation. -- Ensure that potential students are academically prepared for college and that graduates are adequately prepared for careers or further education.
(5) Degree and/or program completion. -- Despite significant improvement over the past decade, fewer than twenty percent of state residents hold a bachelor's degree. This shortage of highly educated, highly qualified workers substantially limits the state's ability to compete in the knowledge-based economy.
(6) Collaboration and cooperation. -- Deliver education services to the extent possible through collaboration, coordination and brokering, with particular emphasis on the need for a seamless relationship between public and post-secondary education.
(7) Research. -- Develop a greater research capacity within public higher education to enhance West Virginia in the eyes of the larger economic and education community, develop greater specialized expertise in high technology and policy fields, create more employment opportunities within the state and provide a basis for improved capacity to compete in the new economy through research focused on meeting state needs.
(8) Teaching and learning. -- Develop admission and exit standards for students and emphasize professional staff development, program assessment and evaluation and other incentives to improve teaching and learning. Ensure access to stable and continuing graduate-level programs in every region of the state, particularly in STEM subject areas and teacher education related to teaching within a subject area to improve teacher quality.
(b) Vision 2020: Objectives for public higher education. -- In view of the findings outlined in subsection (a) of this section, the Legislature hereby establishes the following objectives to be addressed as highest priorities beginning on the effective date of this article through development of compacts and/or implementation plans between and among members of the education partnership as provided in subsection (e), section one-a, article one of this chapter. The following is the legislative vision for the years two thousand eight through two thousand twenty:
(1) Objective. -- Develop a state-level facilities plan and funding mechanism to reduce the obligation of students and parents to bear the cost of higher education capital projects and facilities maintenance.
(A) Problem statement. --
(i) West Virginia is one of the very few states in the nation which does not address higher education capital project and facilities maintenance needs through a statewide plan.
(ii) The burden of paying for capital projects and deferred maintenance is placed on students and their families through collection of capital fees at the institution level and contributes significantly to the poor grade West Virginia receives each year in the category of "Affordability" on "Measuring Up: The National Report Card on Higher Education".
(iii) Net college costs for low- and lower-middle-income students to attend state community and technical colleges and four-year colleges and universities average approximately forty-five percent of their annual family income and the state offers few low-cost college opportunities.
(iv) The high cost of capital fees contributes directly to the amount of debt incurred by students during their college years and the necessity to repay student loans severely limits career choices and areas of residence after graduation.
(B) Expected outcomes. -- Success in meeting this goal can be measured in part by benchmarks which include the following:
(i) Development by the council and commission of a compact with elected state officials to fund a significant portion of higher education capital project needs from dedicated state revenues;
(ii) Development by the council and commission of a system to establish priorities for institution capital projects in a manner that is consistent with state public policy goals for higher education;
(iii) Implementation of facilities maintenance plans by institutions to ensure that maintenance needs are not deferred inappropriately;
(iv) Efficient use of existing classroom and other space by institutions:
(I) New capital funding is applied effectively to projects at institutions that have a demonstrated need for new facilities and major renovations; and
(II) The cost of operating and maintaining the facilities and physical plants of institutions are appropriate for the size and mission of the institution; and
(v) Capital and facilities maintenance planning that gives careful consideration to the recommendations arising from the study mandated by section nine, article fourteen of this chapter.
(2) Objective. -- Increase academic rigor and improve learning at higher education institutions.
(A) Problem statement. -- West Virginia has made significant progress on certain indicators within the category of student learning, but lags far behind national and regional averages on others.
(i) The state compares very well in workforce preparation as reflected in professional licensure examinations, ranking among the top five states in the country. More West Virginia graduates take these examinations than is typical nationally and the passage rate is at the national average.
(ii) The state also ranks well above the national average passage rate on the state teacher's examination when compared to other states; however, there is serious cause for concern when the state is compared to the national benchmark in preparing students for graduate study.
(I) West Virginia ranks more than fifty percentage points below the national average in preparing students to take and pass graduate admissions examinations.
(II) Fewer West Virginia graduates take these examinations than is typical nationally and the proportion earning competitive scores is only about seventy-five percent of the national average.
(B) Expected outcomes. -- Success in meeting this goal can be measured in part by benchmarks which include the following:
(i) State institutions of higher education develop or use existing nationally normed assessments of student learning outcomes. Data generated through these assessments are analyzed and the results applied by the institutions to improve the quality of undergraduate general education programs; and
(ii) Implementation plans at the system and institution levels are developed to improve student preparation for graduate study and to expand graduate and professional education, where appropriate.
(3) Objective. -- Increase the percentage of entering students who persist to receive a degree, a certificate or an industry-recognized credential.
(A) Problem statement. --
(i) This goal is particularly important to West Virginia where only about one person in five holds an associate degree or higher.
(ii) The lack of a well-trained workforce is reflected in the most recent score of forty-one received by the state on the nationally recognized New Economy Index which measures the extent to which a state is prepared to participate in knowledge-based industries. This low score places the state well below the national benchmark of sixty on the index.
(iii) State institutions of higher education have placed a greater emphasis on student recruitment than on student retention and completion. This strategy alone cannot be successful in meeting state needs for the following reasons:
(I) The number of state high school graduates is expected to decline over the next several years; therefore, institutions must improve their performance in retaining the students who enroll.
(II) West Virginia is among the leading states in the percentage of first-year students at community colleges who return for their second year and large percentages of freshmen at four-year colleges and universities return for their sophomore year; however, when compared with other states, only a small percentage of these students actually persist to earn a bachelor's degree or associate degree within six years.
(III) The state performs poorly on international comparisons of enrolled students who complete certificates or degrees, trailing behind other industrialized and even some third world nations.
(IV) While the state college-going rate has improved, most state institutions have made only marginal progress over the past decade in increasing the percentage of students who persist to obtain a degree or certificate.
(B) Expected outcomes. --
(i) Enhanced quality of life for West Virginians including increased level of per capita income; and
(ii) Increased economic development opportunities by expanding existing high-technology and knowledge-based businesses and industries and attracting new ones which demand highly qualified professionals.
(4) Objective. -- State institutions of higher education, particularly community and technical colleges, make maximum effort to recruit and retain adults twenty-five years old or over.
(A) Problem statement. --
(i) The percentage of West Virginia's working-age adults enrolled part-time in college-level education or training is very low and the state has experienced one of the largest declines in the nation on this measure over the past twelve years.
(ii) A large part of preparing workers for the Twenty-First Century and for a high-quality style of life hinges upon providing opportunity for adults to acquire a series of skill sets in addition to obtaining a degree or other credential.
(iii) A major focus for community and technical colleges is upon providing programs to upgrade employee skills through obtaining industry credentials. Currently, however, only Certificate program degrees (one-year) and associate degrees (two-year) are counted for funding purposes even though other types of credentials often are as important in meeting workforce development goals as providing degree programs.
(B) Expected outcomes. --
(I) Provide programs of interest to nontraditional students including those that afford them the opportunity to obtain certificates and credentials, enhance career development and acquire new skill sets;
(II) Develop a high-visibility marketing program which makes adults aware of the opportunities available to them and assists them in entering or reentering the learning environment;
(III) Provide for lower cost tuition and fee rates, particularly at the community and technical colleges, and/or greater access to financial aid for adult full- and part-time students.
(IV) Develop open admissions policies which provide opportunities for adults to participate in public post-secondary education beginning at any level of preparedness. Most working-age adults cannot or will not "go back to high school" in order to prepare themselves to participate in higher education.
(V) Tailor institutional policies to meet the needs of adults, recognizing that these individuals have responsibilities that are different from those of traditional-aged college students. High on this list of needs are flexible class schedules to accommodate work obligations and waiving dorm residency requirements.
(5) Objective. -- Provide incentives to state institutions of higher education to encourage emphasis on STEM courses and programs leading to degrees in the high-demand fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics and to encourage collaboration with public education to stimulate interest and prepare students to succeed in these fields.
(A) Problem statement. --
(i) STEM courses often are more expensive to deliver than traditional programs; therefore, institutions may be reluctant to start or expand programs in these areas because of anticipated cost;
(ii) Institutions have difficulty recruiting and retaining faculty members in STEM areas because of competition from surrounding states and other market forces;
(iii) There is insufficient communication between STEM teachers in public education, STEM faculty in higher education and professionals employed in STEM-related careers such as engineering;
(iv) Many students have not taken sufficiently rigorous high school courses to allow them to succeed in post-secondary STEM courses and programs. A large percentage of students enrolled in higher education STEM programs either withdraw from the institution or change majors within the first year; and
(v) The transition from high school to college is difficult for many high school students who lack a family role model to provide guidance relevant to the higher education experience.
(B) Expected outcomes. --
(i) Increased capacity for high quality instruction across public higher education;
(ii) Increased student access to high quality undergraduate and graduate research opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics;
(iii) Enhanced economic development opportunities through increased numbers of highly-qualified professionals available to business and industry;
(iv) Development of a consistent and effective forum for communication among STEM faculty in public and higher education and relevant professional communities to address the continuing needs of students, educators and industry;
(v) Increased percentage of high school students who have access to and take advantage of rigorous STEM courses;
(vi) Alignment of STEM curricula between public and higher education;
(vii) Development of a finance formula that gives greater weight to courses taken in high-cost disciplines and/or those that are critical to the state economy; and
(viii) Creation of a STEM coordinator position within the faculty of each state institution of higher education to provide outreach to secondary schools, to mentor freshman students and to collaborate with coordinators at other institutions. Because of the size of the student body, the two research universities may need to create coordinator positions specific to certain high-demand STEM disciplines such as engineering and computer science.
(6) Objective. -- Develop a stable funding stream for state institutions of higher education to pay for essential programs which are expensive to deliver, are in high demand and/or are critical to the state's capacity to replace an aging workforce as employees retire. This objective has a particular impact on community and technical colleges which deliver high cost technical programs.
(A) Problem statement. --
(i) An educated and technically skilled work force is vital to the state's ability to be competitive in the global market place. Currently, West Virginia's employers must struggle to find a sufficient number of highly qualified workers to fill the jobs they have available; and
(ii) The majority of technical occupations require the delivery of equipment-intensive, high-cost programs that state institutions of higher education, especially community and technical colleges, lack the capacity to provide.
(B) Expected outcomes. --
(i) State institutions delivering community and technical college education focus on expanding and/or implementing technical programs to meet the needs of high-demand, high-wage occupations;
(ii) Funding priorities for community and technical colleges focus on developing and maintaining high-cost technical programs;
(iii) Creation of a strategy to fund the replacement, upgrading and purchase of equipment to implement and/or maintain technical education programs; and
(iv) Support critical, non credit programming by incorporating the number of contact hours delivered into a formula to distribute funding to community and technical colleges.
(7) Objective. -- Develop a mechanism to assure uniform delivery of community and technical college education for all regions of the state.
(A) Problem statement. -- The average education attainment rate in West Virginia lags eleven percent behind the national average in part because delivering education programs to the state's adult, place-bound and rural populations presents significant challenges.
(B) Expected outcomes. --
(i) All state citizens have access to a minimum of two years of college education regardless of their place of residence within the state.
(ii) The state institutions increase the innovative use of technology and distance education to provide general and technical education access in sparsely populated rural areas.
(iii) Creation of a seamless education system and uniform transfer of credits with special attention to transfers between community and technical colleges and four-year institutions;
(iv) Appropriate use of adjunct faculty; and
(v) Where feasible, use of facilities in public schools, technical centers and other public facilities as classroom space.
(8) Objective. -- Develop greater research capacity throughout public higher education, with a special focus on the state's two doctoral degree-granting universities.
(A) Problem statement. --
(i) West Virginia ranks near the bottom among all states in the amount of federal and privately funded sponsored research it receives. Historically, only the National Science Foundation's Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCOR) has focused on building research capacity in the state, but if West Virginia is to benefit from the increased economic opportunity, better jobs and higher standard of living associated with more STEM professionals in the population, the state must invest more to build its research capacity; and
(ii) Low research capacity results in low levels of intellectual property creation, patenting and licensing of commercial property.
(B) Expected outcomes. --
(i) Partnering between and among higher education institutions in West Virginia and between state institutions and larger, resource-rich higher education institutions outside the state;
(ii) Developing an institutional and/or statewide research niche and focusing resources on research that contributes most to meeting state needs;
(iii) Leveraging scarce resources to make steady, targeted investments in research in niche areas where the state can be a real player at a competitive level;
(iv) Developing specific research expertise within the two state doctoral degree-granting universities to generate and analyze data to provide policy recommendations. The areas of focus include funding strategies for higher education, demographic trends and methods to determine and meet workforce development needs by anticipating job creation and credential requirements;
(v) Improving communication among the research branches of higher education institutions, including identification of mutually complementary areas of interest to increase funding opportunities and collaboration on intellectual property issues; and
(vi) Focusing on economic development through commercial applications of research and recruitment of new research faculty members for this purpose.
(9) Objective. -- Increase the percentage of functionally literate adults in each region of the state.
(A) Problem statement. --
(i) The literacy attainment of a population is defined at its most basic level as the percentage of those individuals over the age of fifteen who can read and write, but such a definition does not address the realities of the Twenty-First Century. The National Literacy Act of 1991 and the national Workforce Investment Act of 1998 both define literacy more broadly as "an individual's ability to read, write, speak in English, compute and solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job, in the family of the individual and in society".
Approximately twenty percent of the adult population in West Virginia cannot meet this definition of functional literacy. One adult out of every five in the state lacks the basic literacy skills needed to succeed at work, to enter the learning environment of post-secondary education, to acquire advanced occupational training or to participate in preparing his or her own children to learn.
(ii) The high rate of illiteracy in West Virginia not only handicaps adults in seeking employment and achieving their goals for their own quality of life, but also has serious implications for the future of their children and for the state.
There is a direct, positive correlation between the reading scores of children and the education level of their parents. The National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) has concluded that youngsters whose parents are functionally illiterate are twice as likely to become functionally illiterate adults.
(iii) When the level of functional illiteracy in West Virginia is compared to the requirements for high-demand occupations, the negative consequences for the economy of the state become obvious. The International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) established a scale of five levels which is used extensively to measure the literacy attainment of adults. When this scale was used to compare the literacy requirements of projected high-growth occupations with those in declining occupations such as certain types of manufacturing, researchers found that level three literacy is required for the new jobs, while level two is sufficient for the jobs in the declining occupations. Therefore, workers displaced from jobs in declining occupations as well as those seeking to enter or reenter the work place must possess literacy skills a full level higher than those required for workers only a few years ago. Documents such as manuals outlining standard operating procedures, health and safety manuals, leave forms and retirement options that they encounter daily require a level of literacy well above level two.
(iv) A highly skilled and literate work force is essential to the success of state businesses and industry. A ten percent increase in the average education of all workers, equivalent to approximately one additional year of schooling, is associated with an increase of about nine percent in the productivity of that labor force. Additionally, workers who lack literacy skills cannot provide the data and feedback that companies need to make informed business decisions. A company whose employees cannot record reliable production data cannot assess its performance from year to year or determine how well it is meeting its long range goals and objectives.
(v) The rate of functional illiteracy in West Virginia also has a direct impact on the health of state citizens. Residents with low literacy skills have difficulty in many health areas including the following:
(I) Understanding the correct way to take medication, interpret test results or perform simple self-testing such as taking temperatures or checking blood glucose levels;
(II) Understanding and following directions given by physicians or the written instructions provided with prescription or over-the-counter medication for themselves or for their children;
(III) Reading and understanding information on food labels and other nutrition information to make sound decisions necessary to establish and maintain healthy lifestyles; and
(IV) Furnishing correct information in emergencies to medical providers about illnesses, surgeries and medications or understanding how to fill out insurance forms and other health-related documents.
(B) Expected outcomes. --
(i) Develop greater access and capacity to deliver literacy and remedial education, workforce development training and other higher education services to place-bound adults primarily through the community and technical colleges;
(ii) Increase the percentage of the working age population who participate in higher education, either full or part time;
(iii) Establish a statewide mechanism to collect data to provide a baseline for measuring progress toward meeting the goal of functional literacy for all working-age adults and to serve as a framework for setting priorities, identifying gaps in service and targeting services to key populations, industries, economic sectors and geographic areas;
(iv) Develop programs that include, at a minimum, the following:
(A) Learning opportunities within a real-life context, such as workplace and family literacy programs;
(B) Recognition of the diversity of individual abilities, skill levels, circumstances and life goals; and
(C) Strategies to access, promote and accommodate a variety of instructional methods and learning styles.
(v) Develop a culture committed to life-long learning by creating literacy-rich environments wherever people live and work that are capable of influencing changes in individual behavior; and
(vi) Create partnerships among schools, employers, workers, governments and communities to achieve these objectives and mechanisms to collect, interpret and disseminate data to assist policymakers in determining the appropriate level of resources essential to support lifelong learning systems.
§18B-1D-4. Responsibilities of Higher Education Policy Commission and Council for Community and Technical College Education; development of public policy agendas; reports; institutional responsibilities.

(a) It is the responsibility of the commission, in cooperation with the council, to develop, oversee and advance the public policy agenda mandated by section four, article one-b of this chapter to address the goals and objectives established pursuant to this article and section one-a, article one of this chapter including, but not limited to, aligning state and institutional compacts, master plans, implementation plans and institutional missions with state goals and objectives to accomplish the purposes of this article.
(b) It is the responsibility of the council, in cooperation with the commission when applicable, to develop, oversee and advance the public policy agenda mandated by section six, article two-b of this chapter to address the goals and objectives established pursuant to this article and section one-a, article one of this chapter including, but not limited to, aligning state and institutional compacts, master plans, implementation plans and institutional missions with state goals and objectives to accomplish the purposes of this article.
(c) It is further the responsibility of the commission and council to collect the data, assemble it in the appropriate format and transmit all reports and any other essential documents as needed to fulfill the purposes of this article. Each report shall contain a brief, concise executive summary and shall include trends and recommendations in text format. Recommendations shall be ranked by order of importance and shall be supported by objective data available elsewhere in the report. In addition to those specifically mandated by this chapter or chapter eighteen-c of this code, reporting responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) Ensuring that data systems collect the essential information state-level policymakers need to answer key policy questions to fulfill the purposes of the accountability system established pursuant to this article and section one-a, article one of this chapter;
(2) Collaborating with public education to establish policies to link existing pre-K, K-12, higher education and teacher data systems to enable tracking of student progress and teacher performance over time; and
(3) Ensuring that reports provide data analyses to determine if students entering the public higher education systems are prepared for post-secondary education and if students obtaining degrees, certificates or other credentials are prepared to pursue careers or to continue their education.
(d) It is the responsibility of public institutions of higher education to report to the commission or the council, as appropriate, on plans, accomplishments and recommendations to implement the goals and objectives contained in the institutional and state compacts.
§18B-1D-5. Master plans; reports; approval process.
(a) The commission and the council each shall develop a master plan for public higher education that is closely aligned with the goals and objectives of this article and section one-a, article one of this chapter as they relate to the missions of institutions under their respective jurisdictions.
(b) The authority of the commission and the council, respectively, related to developing and implementing statewide master plans is subject to the following conditions:
(1) The master plans shall be established for periods of not more than five years.
(2) The master plans in place on the effective date of this article continue in effect until the end of the five-year planning cycle unless amended or rescinded by the commission or council, respectively, pursuant to this article.
(3) Any new master plan proposed by the commission or council shall be communicated to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability and may not be adopted or implemented without the approval of that body;
(4) The commission and council each shall perform a comprehensive review of its master plan at least annually and shall revise it periodically as appropriate to meet state goals and objectives.
(5) The commission and the council each shall review the progress of its higher education system in meeting the goals and objectives of the master plan and report to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability, with detailed recommendations for amending the plan, by the first day of January, two thousand eight, and annually thereafter.
(6) At the end of each five-year planning cycle and as an integral part of the preparation of a new master plan, the commission and the council, respectively, shall prepare and submit to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability a comprehensive report containing at least the following:
(A) A detailed, data-based analysis of the progress of the system and the institutions within the system toward meeting each goal and objective included in the current plan; and
(B) A strategy for using this data as a basis for developing the master plan for the next planning cycle.
(c) The master plan shall include a detailed set of system objectives designed to meet the state goals and objectives outlined in this article and section one-a, article one of this chapter including, but not limited to, the following:
(A) A well-developed analysis of missions, degree offerings, resource requirements, physical plant needs, personnel needs, enrollment levels and other planning determinants and projections for public higher education and other matters necessary in such a plan to assure that the needs of the state for a quality system of higher education are addressed; and
(B) A strategy for cooperation and collaboration with the State Board of Education and State Department of Education, state institutions of higher education, the counterpart state coordinating board and other relevant education providers to assure that a comprehensive and seamless system of education is developed and implemented for West Virginia.
§18B-1D-6. State compacts; legislative intent; rule required; implementation plans authorized.

(a) It is the intent of the Legislature that members of the education partnership to achieve state goals and objectives engage in developing state compacts between and among themselves for the purpose of enhancing the well-being of the citizens of West Virginia. Such a compact constitutes a formal contract and focuses on the goals and objectives established pursuant to this article and section one-a, article one of this chapter. A compact is called for when achievement of specific goals or objectives requires significant collaboration and commitment of resources by more than one member of the partnership.
(b) The rules to be proposed relating to state compacts pursuant to subsection (c), section one of this article shall include, but are not limited to, the following components:
(1) A procedure to determine when a state compact is necessary or desirable;
(2) A procedure for determining the identity of parties to the compact and for establishing compact terms:
(A) Parties to the compact may be any two or more members of the education partnership to achieve state goals and objectives who are positioned to make significant contributions to meeting compact objectives; and
(B) The terms of the compact shall focus on achievement of objectives. The expected outcomes shall be stated in concrete terms that are measurable.
(3) A mechanism for negotiating agreement on compact objectives. The mechanism shall provide for negotiation and development of consensus among the parties and must be reasonable in its operation and outcomes expectations;
(4) A procedure for creating and consolidating commitment between and among parties to the compact. Most state compacts will extend over multiple years and will require that negotiation between education partners and elected state officials take into account the constraints of the political process and the limits on available resources; and
(5) A process for periodic review, assessment and reporting of progress toward meeting the compact objectives. The rule shall provide for objective analysis and reporting to the compact partners and to the elected officials of the state.
(c) In addition to authorizing the commission and the council to enter into state compacts pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) of this section, it is the intent of the Legislature to encourage them strongly to develop implementation plans together with other members of the public higher education community to achieve system and institutional goals and objectives which are consistent with and supportive of the goals and objectives established in this article and section one-a, article one of this chapter.
(1) At a minimum, each implementation plan shall contain the following elements:
(A) Identification of the goal and the objectives to be achieved;
(B) Identification of the parties to the implementation plan and a process for developing consensus among the parties;
(C) A needs assessment or other mechanism to determine current status of the proposed objectives, including a survey of available resources and other data relevant to achieving the objectives;
(D) Identification of challenges or barriers to meeting objectives;
(E) Delineation of tasks to be performed;
(F) A specific time line for meeting objectives;
(G) An evaluation process administered periodically to determine progress in meeting the objectives during the life span of the plan; and
(H) A method for determining success in achieving the objectives following the closing date established by the time line.
(2) Implementation plans are internal documents developed among members of the public higher education community and are not subject to an external approval process.
§18B-1D-7. Findings; establishment of institutional compacts; compact elements; submission date; review and approval process; rule required.

(a) The Legislature finds that West Virginia long has recognized the value of education and, on a per capita income basis, ranks very high among the states in its investment to support public education. The Legislature further finds that a combination of state and national demographic and economic factors as well as significant changes in methods of course and program delivery compel both the state and public higher education to create a process that will strengthen institutional capacity to provide the services so valued by the citizens of the state and so essential to promoting economic vitality.
(b) Therefore, each state college and university shall prepare an institutional compact for submission to the commission and each community and technical college shall prepare an institutional compact for submission to the council. When the process herein provided is completed, the resulting institutional compact constitutes a negotiated contract between the state institution of higher education and the commission or council, respectively, containing at a minimum the following basic components:
(1) Institutional strategies for focusing resources on meeting the goals and objectives set forth in this article and section one-a, article one of this chapter; and
(2) Commission or council strategies for promoting and supporting the institution in fulfilling its mission and objectives, to make it more competitive with its peers, and to ensure the continuity of academic programs and services to its students.
(c) In addition to the basic contract components described in subsection (b) of this section, each compact shall contain at least the following elements:
(1) A determination of the mission of the institution which specifically addresses changes necessary or expedient to accomplish the goals and objectives articulated by the state and the appropriate statewide master plan;
(2) A detailed statement of how the compact is aligned with and will be implemented in conjunction with the master plan of the institution;
(3) A comprehensive assessment of education needs within the institution's geographic area of responsibility;
(4) A strategy to ensure access to comprehensive community and technical college and workforce development services within each respective region of the state consistent with the mission of the institution;
(5) Provision for collaboration and brokering of education services as necessary or expedient to carry out the institutional mission and meet its objectives;
(6) Provision of student services at the optimum level to support the institutional mission and to achieve state goals and objectives;
(7) Strategies for using existing infrastructure and resources within each region, where feasible, to increase student access while controlling costs and maintaining academic quality; and
(8) Other public policy objectives or initiatives adopted by the commission or council pursuant to the intent and purposes of this article and section one-a, article one of this chapter.
(d) Each institutional compact shall be updated annually and shall follow the same general guidelines contained in this section.
(e) Development and updating of the institutional compacts is subject to the following conditions:
(1) The ultimate responsibility for developing and updating the compacts at the institutional level resides with the board of advisors or the board of governors, as appropriate. It is the responsibility of the commission or council to provide technical assistance as requested and to negotiate with the institution development of the strategies to promote and support the institution pursuant to subsection (b) of this section;
(2) The commission and the council each shall establish a date by which institutions under their respective jurisdictions shall submit their compacts to the commission or council pursuant to the provisions of this article. The date established by each state-level coordinating board shall apply uniformly to all institutions under the jurisdiction of that coordinating board and shall meet the following additional conditions:
(A) Allow sufficient time for careful analysis of the compacts by the central office staff and for review by members of the commission or the council, as appropriate; and
(B) Allow sufficient time for the institutions to make necessary revisions to the compacts, as provided in this section.
(3) The commission and council shall review each compact from the institutions under their respective jurisdictions and either adopt the compact or return it with specific comments for change or improvement. The commission and council, respectively, shall continue this process as long as each considers advisable;
(4) By the first day of May annually, if the institutional compact of any institution as presented by that institution is not adopted by the respective commission or council, then the commission or council is empowered and directed to develop and adopt the institutional compact for the institution and the institution is bound by the compact so adopted; and
(5) As far as practicable, the commission and council each shall establish uniform processes and forms for the development and submission of the institutional compacts by the institutions under their respective jurisdictions, taking into consideration the differences in institutional missions and objectives. As a part of this function, the commission and council each shall organize the statements of legislative goals and objectives contained in this article and section one-a, article one of this chapter in a manner that facilitates the purposes therein.
(f) Assignment of geographic areas of responsibility. --
(1) The commission shall assign geographic areas of responsibility to the state institutions of higher education under its jurisdiction, except for the state institutions of higher education known as Marshall University and West Virginia University. For institutions other than the state institutions of higher education known as Marshall University and West Virginia University, the geographic areas of responsibility are made a part of their institutional compacts to ensure that all areas of the state are provided necessary programs and services to achieve state goals and objectives. The commission and the council each shall develop data-based measures to determine the extent to which institutions under their respective jurisdictions are providing higher education services aligned with state goals and objectives and institutional missions within their geographic areas of responsibility. This information shall be reported in the statewide report card established pursuant to section eight of this article.
(2) The council shall assign geographic areas of responsibility to the state institutions of higher education under its jurisdiction, including the administratively linked institution known as Marshall Community and Technical College, the administratively linked institution known as the Community and Technical College at West Virginia University Institute of Technology, and the regional campus known as West Virginia University at Parkersburg.
(3) The geographic areas of responsibility for the state institutions of higher education known as Marshall University and West Virginia University are assigned by the Legislature.
(4) The benchmarks established in the institutional compacts include measures of programs and services by geographic area throughout the assigned geographic area of responsibility.
(g) The compacts shall contain benchmarks to be used to determine progress toward meeting the objectives established in the compacts. The benchmarks shall meet the following criteria:
(1) They shall be objective;
(2) They shall be directly linked to the objectives in the compacts;
(3) They shall be measured by the indicators described in subsection (h) of this section; and
(4) Where applicable, they shall be used to measure progress in geographic areas of responsibility.
(h) The rules required by subsection (c), section one of this article shall include indicators which measure the degree to which the goals and objectives set forth in this article and section one-a, article one of this chapter are being met by the institutions under the jurisdiction of the commission and the council, respectively.
(1) The rules pertaining to benchmarks and indicators in effect for the commission and the council on the effective date of this section remain in effect for the institutions under their respective jurisdictions until amended, modified, repealed or replaced by the commission or the council, respectively, pursuant to the provisions of this article, section six, article one of this chapter and article three-a, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.
(2) The rules shall set forth at least the following as pertains to all state institutions of higher education:
(A) The indicators used to measure the degree to which the goals and objectives are being met;
(B) Uniform definitions for the various data elements to be used in establishing the indicators;
(C) Guidelines for the collection and reporting of data; and
(D) Sufficient detail within the benchmarks and indicators to provide the following information:
(i) Measurable evidence that the pursuits of the institution are focused on the education needs of the citizens of the state and are aligned with the objectives of the institutional compacts and statewide master plans;
(ii) Delineation of the objectives and benchmarks for an institution so that the commission or council can precisely measure the degree to which progress is being made toward achieving the goals and objectives provided in this article and section one-a, article one of this chapter; and
(iii) Identification of specific objectives within the master plan or compact of an institution that are not being met or toward which sufficient progress is not being made.
(3) In addition to any other requirement, the rule established by the council shall set forth at least the following as pertains to community and technical college education:
(A) Benchmarks and indicators which are targeted to identify the following:
(i) The degree to which progress is being made by institutions toward meeting state goals and objectives and the essential conditions for community and technical college education pursuant to section three, article three-c of this chapter;
(ii) Information and data necessary to be considered by the council in making the determination required by section three, article two-c of this chapter; and
(B) Sufficient detail within the benchmarks and indicators to provide clear evidence to support an objective determination by the council that an institution's progress toward achieving state goals and objectives and the essential conditions for community and technical college education is so deficient that implementation of the provisions of section four, article two-c of this chapter is warranted and necessary.
(i) The commission and the council, respectively, shall approve the compacts developed for the institutions under their respective jurisdictions by the boards of governors or the boards of advisors pursuant to this section and consistent with the powers and duties prescribed in section four, article two-a of this chapter and section one, article six of this chapter.
§18B-1D-8. Institutional and system report cards.

(a) The purpose of the institutional and statewide report cards is to make information available to parents, students, faculty, staff, state policymakers and the general public on the quality and performance of public higher education. The focus of the report cards is to determine annual progress of the commission, the council and institutions under their respective jurisdictions toward achieving state goals and objectives identified in this article and section one-a, article one of this chapter and system goals and objective contained in the statewide master plans of the commission and council created pursuant to section five of this article.
(b) The information contained in the report cards shall be consistent and comparable between and among state institutions of higher education. If applicable, the information shall allow for easy comparison with higher-education-related data collected and disseminated by the Southern Regional Education Board, the United States Department of Education and other education data-gathering and data-disseminating organizations upon which state policymakers frequently rely in setting policy.
(c) The rules required by subsection (c), section one of this article shall provide for the collection, analysis and dissemination of information on the performance of the state institutions of higher education, including health sciences education, in relation to the findings, goals and objectives set forth in this article and section one-a, article one of this chapter and those contained in the statewide master plans of the commission and council developed pursuant to section five of this article.
(1) The objective of this portion of the rule is to ensure that the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability and others identified in subsection (a) of this section are provided with full and accurate information while minimizing the institutional burden of recordkeeping and reporting.
(2) This portion of the rule shall identify various indicators of student and institutional performance that, at a minimum, must be reported annually, set forth general guidelines for the collection and reporting of data and provide for the preparation, printing and distribution of report cards under this section.
(d) The report cards shall be analysis-driven, rather than simply data-driven, and shall present information in a format that can inform education policymaking. They shall include an executive summary which outlines significant trends, identifies major areas of concern, and discusses progress toward meeting state and system goals and objectives. They shall be brief and concise, reporting required information in nontechnical language. Any technical or supporting material to be included shall be contained in a separate appendix.
(e) The statewide report card shall include the data for each separately listed, applicable indicator identified in the rule promulgated pursuant to subsection (c) of this section and the aggregate of the data for all public institutions of higher education.
(f) The statewide report card shall be prepared using actual institutional, state, regional and national data, as applicable and available, indicating the present performance of the individual institutions, the governing boards and the state systems of higher education. Statewide report cards shall be based upon information for the current school year or for the most recent school year for which the information is available, in which case the year shall be clearly noted.
(g) The president or chief executive officer of each state institution of higher education shall prepare and submit annually all requested data to the commission at the times established by the commission.
(f) The higher education central office staff, under the direction of the vice chancellor for administration, shall provide technical assistance to each institution and governing board in data collection and reporting and is responsible for assembling the statewide report card from information submitted by each governing board.
(g) The statewide report card shall be completed and disseminated with copies to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability prior to the first day of January of each year and the staff of the commission and the council shall prepare a report highlighting specifically the trends, progress toward meeting goals and objectives and major areas of concern for public higher education, including medical education, for presentation to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability at the interim meetings in January, two thousand nine, and annually thereafter.
(j) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this code to the contrary, the following statutorily mandated reports are not required to be prepared and submitted annually unless a member of the Legislature makes a specific request for a particular report:
(1) An annual report, pursuant to subsection (a), section forty-eight, article three, chapter five-a of this code, on vehicle fleets;
(2) An annual report, pursuant to subsection (e), section ten, article one of this chapter, on plans, accomplishments and recommendations in implementing a cooperative relationship between Potomac State College and Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College;
(3) An annual report, pursuant to paragraphs (A) and (B), subdivision (10), subsection (a), section four, article one-b of this chapter, concerning higher education performance and enrollment data;
(4) An annual report, pursuant to paragraph (A), subdivision (11), subsection (b), section six, article two-b of this chapter, concerning community and technical college performance;
(5) An annual report, pursuant to subsection (b), section seven, article five of this chapter, on all sales of obsolete, unusable or surplus commodities;
(6) An annual report, pursuant to section eight, article five of this chapter, on purchases from West Virginia businesses;
(7) An annual report, pursuant to subsection (j), section one, article ten of this chapter, on the amount of auxiliary fees collected to replace state funds subsidizing auxiliary services;
(8) An annual report, pursuant to subsection (c), section five, article thirteen of this chapter, on technical assistance provided to qualified businesses within approved research parks, research zones or technology centers;
(9) An annual report, pursuant to subsection (e), section six, article eighteen of this chapter, on the status of the Eminent Scholars Endowment Trust Fund; and
(10) An annual report, pursuant to subsection (e), section one, article three, chapter eighteen-c of this code, relevant to the health education loan program.
(k) For a reasonable fee, the vice chancellor for administration shall make copies of the report cards, including any appendices of supporting material, available to any individual requesting them.
ARTICLE 14. MISCELLANEOUS.

§18B-14-9. Legislative findings; establishment of study committee; membership; recommendations on higher education facilities.

(a) The Legislature finds that it is in the best interest of the state to have an effective and comprehensive system for the delivery of public higher education programs. West Virginia is one of the very few states in the nation which does not address higher education capital project and facilities maintenance needs through a statewide plan. State institutions of higher education vary widely in their ability to incur debt for capital projects and the conditions of their facilities infrastructure. Some institutions have incurred substantial amounts of debt to address capital needs, while other institutions have not.
The Legislature further finds that average tuition and fees for current and former administratively linked community and technical colleges rank well above the national average primarily because of the capital fees that students at those institutions have to pay. The large amount of capital fees that students must pay at the institution level contributes significantly to the poor grade the state receives each year in the category of "Affordability" on "Measuring Up: The National Report Card on Higher Education". Net college costs for state students who come from families in the lowest forty percent of the population in terms of income to attend community and technical colleges and four-year colleges and universities in West Virginia represent about forty-five percent of their family's annual income and there are few low-cost college opportunities.
The Legislature further finds that the high cost of capital fees contributes directly to the amount of debt incurred by students during their college years. The debt load, in turn, severely limits students' career choices and often dictates their place of residence after graduation.
(b) It is the responsibility of the Legislature to determine how to make the best use of available resources and how best to address the problems outlined in subsection (a) of this section. Therefore, the Joint Committee on Government and Finance shall create a committee for the purposes of making a specific and detailed analysis of higher education capital project and facilities maintenance needs and providing recommendations to the Legislature.
(c) The committee consists of the following members:
(1) The President of the Senate or designee;
(2) The Speaker of the House of Delegates or designee; (3) The chairs of the Senate and House of Delegates Committees on Education, who shall co chair the committee;
(4) The vice chairs of the Senate and House of Delegates Committees on Education;
(5) The chairs of the Senate and House of Delegates Committees on Finance or their designees;
(6) The co chairs of the Joint Commission on Economic Development or their designees;
(7) Two members each from the Senate Committees on Finance and Education appointed by the President of the Senate; and
(8) Two members each from the House Committees on Finance and Education appointed by the Speaker of the House.
(d) The committee shall develop and recommend a state-level facilities plan which includes, but is not limited to, the following:
(1) A review of capital project and facilities maintenance needs of all state institutions of higher education and recommendations for addressing those needs;
(2) Recommendations concerning the appropriate capital debt load that reasonably should be maintained by the commission, council and state institutions of higher education;
(3) Recommendations for a funding mechanism to reduce the obligation of students and parents to bear the cost of higher education capital projects and facilities maintenance;
(4) Recommendations for maximizing changes in bonding capacity that will occur in two thousand twelve;
(5) Development of a uniform definition of deferred maintenance;
(6) Recommendations for an appropriate mechanism to target a percentage of state capital contributions to address deferred maintenance needs; and
(7) Recommendations for a transparent methodology to set priorities for funding capital projects.
(e) The committee shall commence its work on or before the fifteenth day of May, two thousand eight, and shall deliver its recommendations, together with draft legislation to implement the recommendations, to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability and the Joint Committee on Government and Finance by the first day of December, two thousand eight.

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(NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to establish goals and objectives for 2020 for both public and higher education, to focus and clarify elements of the accountability system for public higher education and to create a committee to study capital projects and facilities maintenance needs in higher education.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

§18B-1D-1, §18B-1D-2, §18B-1D-3, §18B-1D-4, §18B-1D-5, §18B-1D-6, §18B-1D-7, §18B-1D-8 and §18B-14-9 are new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.)


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FINANCE COMMITTEE AMENDMENT


On page sixty-six, section five, line twenty-one, by striking out the word "eight" and inserting in lieu thereof the word "nine".
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