Final Report - 82nd Legislative Session

The 82nd Legislative Session ended at midnight, March 12th.  It went into extended session for two days to work on the budget. Since no agreement was reached and since the budget deficit will be $92.4 million above the $353 million already estimated, legislators will come back for a special session to deal with the budget later in the spring.

WVPE was successful in achieving one of its long-term goals this session. HB 4171 designates one noninstructional day for teachers as a preparation day “which can be used for other purposes only at a teacher's discretion”.  Additonal WVPE goals were also achieved.  More flexibility in the school calendar is embodied in HB 4171. The State Superintendent of Schools announced that a change in assessment practices will be made, and many lawmakers have indicated an interest in studying the issue of allowing new teachers to accrue unused sick leave toward retirement.

The following bills tracked by WVPE's legislative representative passed both houses and have been sent to the Governor.  Some of these bills have been approved by the Governor as indicated.  However, the Governor has 5 days to approve or veto a bill if the legislature is in session. After the legislature adjourns, the governor has 15 days to act on most bills with the exception of the budget bill which must be acted upon withing 5 days. If the governor does not act within these time frames, the bill becomes law without his signature.

The following bills have been signed by the Governor

HB 4175 - relates to home schooling; among its many provisions it clarifies that a child who is exempt from compulsory school attendance is not subject to prosecution for failure to attend school; requires superintendent to show probable cause when seeking order to deny home instruction; modifies requirement that the person providing home instruction have a high school diploma; removes requirement to submit results of the assessment to superintendent annually; removes requirement for parent or legal guardian to pay assessment cost when given outside public school; permits parent or legal guardian to administer nationally normed standardized achievement test; removes requirement to provide written narrative of portfolio assessment to superintendent annually; and requires parent or legal guardian to submit to superintendent results of required assessments at grade levels three, five, eight and eleven by certain date; approved by Governor 3/3. 

SB 1 – [Right to Work Law] eliminates language allowing employment agreements require membership in a labor organization as a condition of employment; prohibits any requirement that a person must pay dues or other fees to a labor organization as a condition of employment; prohibits any requirement that a person contribute to a charity in lieu of paying dues or other fees to a labor organization; vetoed by Governor 2/12; veto overriden 2/12. 

SB 146 - replaces days per week requirement for early childhood education programs with instructional minutes per week and instructional minutes per year requirements for the school year 2016-2017 and continuing thereafter; these early childhood education programs shall provide at least forty-eight thousand minutes annually and no less than fifteen hundred minutes of instruction per week; modifies authority of parent to withdraw child from early childhood education program; and removes certain early childhood education program-related reporting requirements; approved by Governor 3/3.

SB 369 – reduces legislative education reporting requirements; approved by Governor 3/2.

SB 400 - reduces amount of sales tax proceeds annually dedicated to School Major Improvement Fund by $999,996 for fiscal year 2017; and reduces amount of sales tax proceeds annually dedicated to School Construction Fund by $3 million for fiscal year 2017; approved by Governor 3/15.

SB 483 - waiver for Cabell County for the purpose of implementing a comprehensive new teacher induction program; waiver for Marshall County for the purpose of increasing the compulsory school attendance age in Marshall County from seventeen to eighteen years of age as a part of its countywide dropout prevention initiative; waiver for Wyoming County for the purpose of increasing the compulsory school attendance age in Wyoming County from seventeen to eighteen years of age as a part of its countywide dropout prevention initiative; approved by Governor 3.17.

The following bills are awaiting the Governor's approval

(You will be notified in our Spring Newsletter if any of the following bills have been vetoed by the Governor.)

SB 459 - provides for payment of tuition by county boards of education to Mountaineer Challenge Academy for students graduating with a high school diploma from Mountaineer Challenge Academy; legislative action completed 3/11.

SB 476 - relates to driving restrictions in school zones; county board of education can request an expansion of a school zone for roads adjacent to school property; completed legislative action 3/11. 

HB 4014 – is a lengthy bill; some of its provisions are; declares that the Legislature has the authority and the responsibility to establish and be engaged constructively in the determination of the knowledge and skills that students should know; requires withdrawal from Memorandum of  Agreement relating to adoption of Common Core State Standards; requires withdrawal as governing state in Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium; establishes an Academic Standards Evaluation Panel consisting of six members and one ex officio member appointed by the deans responsible for the math, English, and science programs at West Virginia University and Marshall University; establishes criteria for any academic standards adopted by state board; requires Legislative Oversight Commission on Education and Accountability to review any proposed rules relating to academic standards; removes requirement for state board rule establishing comprehensive statewide student assessment program; removes state board authority to require ACT EXPLORE and ACT PLAN or other comparable assessments; changes statewide student assessment from a test every year in grades 3-12 to every year in grades 3-8 and then once in high school, with science only being tested once in grades 3-5 and once again in grades 6-8; any summative assessment approved by the state board shall take no more than two percent of a student’s instructional time; requires college readiness assessment to be administered at least once to each eleventh-grade student; requires state board to review and approve career readiness assessments and assessment based credentials; prohibits implementation of any assessment or test items developed specifically to align with Common Core State Standards; requires state board to develop plan and make recommendations regarding end-of-course assessments and student accountability measures; establishes maximum percentage of instructional time for summative assessment. We are still evaluating certain provisions of the bill to determine its effect.

Completed legislation 3/12.

HB 4171 - requires that the instructional term for students begin no earlier than August 10 and end no later than June 10, except for schools operating on a balanced calendar; removes preparation for opening and closing school from mandatory list of areas for which remaining noninstructional days may be designated by county school board; designates one noninstructional day

  for teachers as a preparation day; allows teacher preparation day to be used for other purposes only at teacher’s discretion; increases number of two-hour blocks for faculty senate meetings from four to six; removes requirement that faculty senate meetings be held once every forty-five days; designates time frames within which faculty senate meetings may take place; permits accrued minutes to be used for lost instructional days; any remaining minutes accrued may be used for instructional minutes or days lost, up to eight days, due to inclement weather or emergencies: provided, that any reimagining student instructional days that are awarded to the county by the state board must be exhausted prior to using accrued minutes to cover lost instructional days; to Governor 3/14.

HB 4261-prohibits the sale or transfer of student data to vendors and other profit making entities and other agencies; provides some clarity relating to test data needed to properly evaluate (ACT, College Board, etc.); completed legislative action 3/12.

HB 4295 - terminates funding for Innovation Zones and Local Solution Dropout Prevention and Recovery Innovation Zones; creates Innovation in Education Act; specifies minimum requirements; authorizes soliciting, accepting and expending gifts, donations and grants with certain limits; authorizes state board designation of innovation in education school; requires innovation in education plan as part of application; requires operational agreement between school principal and county board; requires evaluations of Innovation in Education designated schools; authorizes termination of designation of a school as an Innovation in Education school; authorizes designation of demonstration schools; creates Innovation in Education Fund; completed legislative action 3/12.

HB 4301 - proposes a transformation in school leadership which emphasizes the principal as instructional leader and includes teacher input in improving student performance; proposes a career ladder for master teachers with additional compensation for specific assignments to achieve instructional and school improvement; proposes a differentiation and improvement in the salary schedules and increments for principals subject to the newly defined roles outlined in the bill; the state board shall convene the relevant stakeholders, including, principals, teachers, superintendents, county board members, educator preparation program personnel, legislators or their designees and a Governor’s designee to assist the state board in developing state board policies consistent with this legislation; completed legislative action 3/11.

HB 4316 - provides reimbursement of certification fee for NBPTS (National Board for Professional Teaching Standards) certification; requires the submission of satisfactory evidence to the West Virginia Department of Education for reimbursement in place of the present requirements; completed legislative action 3/11.

HB 4351 - transfers the Cedar Lakes Camp and Conference Center from the West Virginia Board of Education to the Department of Agriculture; passed 3/11; to Governor 3/15.

HB 4461 – relates to School Building Authority School Major Improvement Fund eligibility; removes requirement for certain annual amounts to be expended by county board for facility maintenance; requires county board to provide facility maintenance expenditure data for review to assist authority in project determinations; completed legislation 3/11.

HB 4566 – is a lengthy bill relating to school personnel; following are some of its provisions; changes deadline for county board vote on termination of continuing contracts of teachers from March 1 to May 1; changes deadlines for teachers and service personnel to give notice of retirement to qualify for early notification payment from January 15 to March 1; changes deadline or notice of consideration for transfer to April 1; changes deadline for hearing on proposed transfer from April 15 to May 1; after the twentieth day prior to the beginning of the instructional term, no person employed and assigned to a professional position may transfer to another professional position in the county during that instructional term unless the person holding that position does not have valid certification; the person may apply for any posted, vacant positions with the successful applicant assuming the position at the beginning of the next instructional term; provides for filling position known on or before March 1 to exist for the next school year and requires employees subject to release shall be considered applicants for the positions for which they are qualified and shall be considered before posting such vacancies for application by nonemployees; changes requirements for notice and receipt notification to persons on preferred recall of all position openings; completed legislative action 3/12.

HB 4730 - requires submission by state board of plan for implementation of computer science instruction and learning standards in public schools to legislative oversight commission prior to 2017 legislative session; specifies areas to be included in plan; completed legislative action 3/12.

For further information call 1-877-565-3447 or to read the contents of a bill log one at , click on “bill status” and provide the bill number or contact

Ernest & AlmaPage, Jr. Elizabeth Mow
Executive Directors        One Bell Tower Drive
10587 Charleston RoadWatervliet, NY 12189
Red House, WV 25168(518) 713-4992
(304) 586-3451/ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.