Final Report - 83rd Legislative Session

West Virginia Professional Educators
Final Legislative Report, 83rd Legislative Session
April 28, 2017

Following is a list of bills affecting education which passed both houses of the Legislature and have been approved by the Governor. Their effective date is indicated. However, the Governor and the members of the Legislature have not yet agreed on a budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year which starts on July 1st. As you will recall there is a $500 million hole in the budget which needs to be filled either by cutting spending, increasing taxes or a combination of both. The Governor and legislative leaders are working toward a solution, and the Governor has called a special session for May 4 to address this issue. The Legislature removed the teacher pay raise before passing the Governor's education bill (HB 2711). Our legislative representative believes that a teacher pay raise is still on the table, but it is difficult to be optimistic under the present circumstances. We will notify you by email and in our Newsletter after the budget is adopted whether or not a teacher payraise is included.


The following bills have been approved by the Governor and are now law.

SB 36 – provides for the administration of anantagonist by a school nurse or other trained and authorized nonmedical school personnel for emergency care or treatment of an adverse opioid event; approved by Governor 4/11/17; effective 90 days from April 1st.

SB 40 - provides that the West Virginia Secondary Athletics Commission promulgate rules to establish guidelines for emergency action plans for athletics by August 1, 2017 and all member schools to submit emergency action plans to the commission and their county boards of education by December 31, 2017; sets forth a limit of liability; approved by Governor 4/26/27; effective August 1, 2017.

SB 186 - changes the kindergarten age requirement from age five prior to September 1 to age five prior to July 1, with the July 1 date to become enforceable in the 2019-2020 school year; changes the early childhood education program age requirement from age four prior to September 1 to age four prior to July 1, with the July 1 date becoming enforceable in the 2018-2019 school year; and changes the age for which compulsory attendance begins to those who attain age six by July 1 of each year, with the July 1 date becoming enforceable in the 2019-2020 school year; effective 90 days from April 5th; approved by Governor 4/18/17.

SB 221 - reduces the number of PEIA Board members from ten to eight; changes the experience requirements for members; prohibits a member of the board being a registered lobbyist; adds qualifications to other members such as the member who represents teachers must have been a teacher for at least three years and must remain a teacher for the duration of his/her term; approved by Governor 4/26/17; effective 90 days from April 7th.

SB 231 - provides that a county board of education is not required to seek Medicaid reimbursement if it determines there is not a net benefit after consideration of costs and time involved with seeking the reimbursement for eligible services and that the billing process detracts from the educational program; approved by Governor 3/24/17; effective 90 days from April 1st.

SB 256 - prohibits aiding and abetting of sexual abuse by school personnel; prohibits individuals from assisting school employees, contractors or agents in obtaining a new job if the individual knows, or has probable cause to believe, that the person engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor or student; effective July 1, 2017; approved by Governor 4/24/17.

SB 497 - relates to liability for health care providers who provide services at school athletic events; provides that persons licensed, certified or registered in this state or another state to provide health care or professional health care services are subject to limited liability if they render emergency care or treatment at a public or private elementary or secondary school athletic event; establishes that acts of willful misconduct are not subject to limited liability; approved by Governor 4/11/17; effective 90 days from March 31st.

SB 630 - allows a county board or a multicounty consortium to create a virtual instruction program for one or more schools serving any composition of grades kindergarten through twelve; delays participation of eligible students in grades kindergarten through five until after the program has been in operation for one full school year; requires eligible students to be counted in the net enrollment of the school district for the purposes of calculating and receiving state aid; exempts certain students, parents and school districts from certain laws and state board policies that pertain to requiring the student to be in a school building receiving instruction for any set period of time; subject to the same state assessment requirements as other students and receive a diploma; allows the eligible student to participate in any cocurricular and extracurricular activities of the school; requires coursework offered through a program be aligned to certain academic standards; requires the assessment results of a student be included in the assessment results of the school; approved by Governor 4/26/17; effective from passage.

HB 2195 – requires drug awareness and prevention program in all public schools; requires implementation no later than 2018-2019 school year; requires county boards to coordinate delivery of instruction with educators, drug rehabilitation specialists and law-enforcement agencies; approved by Governor 4/26/17; effective 90 days from April 6

HB 2348 - eliminates any requirement that class hours of students be consecutive; approved by Governor 4/26/17; effective 90 days from April 6.

HB 2373 - authorizes school transportation personnel trained in administration of epinephrine auto-injectors to administer auto-injectors to a student or school personnel experiencing an anaphylactic reaction; effective 90 days from April 6th; approved by Governor 4/20/17.

HB 2494 - modifies information to be included in the school and school district report cards; removes requirement for school report cards to mailed directly to the parents; requires report cards be made easily accessible through a report card icon or link on the county board website and provided in paper form upon request of the parent, guardian or custodian; approved by Governor 4/25/17; effective 90 days from April 6.

HB 2561 – is a very lengthy bill relating to public school support (school aid formula); some of the provisions include; allows counties more flexibility in using school aid formula money; changes the calculation for the foundation allowances for professional educators and service personnel; changes the method for calculating the Allowance for Current Expenses; authorizes funds for the improvement of instructional technology; requires the School Building Authority to establish a reserve fund for emergency grants. approved by Governor 4/26/27; effective 90 days from April 8, 2017. (Additional clarification of this bill will be included in our next Newsletter)

HB 2637 - among its provisions is the extension of expiration in the employment of retired teacher as substitute teachers in areas of critical need and shortage beyond the post-retirement limit; includes speech pathologists and school nurses in definition of teacher or substitute teacher; allows financial incentives for purposes of recruiting professional personnel in critical need or shortage areas; effective 90 days from passage; approved by Governor 4/9/17.

HB 2702 - relates to documentation of unexcused absences for compulsory school attendance; limits the excused absences for personal illness or injury in the family to those of student’s parent, guardian or custodian; requires all documentation related to absences be provided to school no later than three days of occurrence; authorizes schools to have discretion whether to give notice in the case of three unexcused absences either by written or other means to a parent; gives discretion for attendance director or assistant to make a complaint against parent after ten total unexcused absences; effective July 1, 2017; Governor approved 4/27/17.

HB 2704 - relates to licensure or certification of teachers; provies for the automatic revocation of a certificate or license for a teacher convicted of a sexual offense against children with whom they hold a position of trust; permits the West Virginia Department of Education to require that a licensee be fingerprinted for analysis by the West Virginia State Police through the central abuse registry and by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a national criminal history, when the licensee has lived outside of the state for one year or more since licensure, or when the Department or school administrator reasonably believes the licensee has not disclosed a felony conviction or a conviction of any offense regarding sexual offenses against children; effective 90 days from passage; approved by Governor 4/24/17.

HB 2711 - is a very lengthy bill which requires, in part, the W.V. Board of Education to engage with the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability prior to the adoption of such programs as new statewide summative assessments, academic standards, or a new accountability system; abolishes RESAs by July 1, 2018; requires high quality digital literacy skill standard; modifies annual performance measures for accreditation; eliminates Office of

Performance Audits (OEPA); modifies school system approval and processes for State Board intervention in school operations; expands county board authority for entering into cooperative agreements; establishes the County Superintendents Advisory Council; removes the word “separate” as it relates to the number of instructional days in the school calendar; increases the number of two hour blocks for faculty senate meetings from four to six; permits certain accrued minutes to be used for lost instructional days; encourages the use of reimagining student instructional days to achieve 180 day requirement; requires educators to receive uninterrupted time for planning periods each day; prohibits administrators from requiring a teacher to use the planning period time to complete duties beyond instructional planning; approved by Governor 4/26/17; effective ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​90 days from April 8, 2017.

HB 3080 - establishes “Celebrate Freedom Week” in all public, private, parochial and denominational schools; requires a full week of classes during the week of September 11 including an in-depth study of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution emphasizing the Bill of Rights using the historical, political and social environment at the time of passage or ratification; requires public school students in any grades nine through twelve beginning 2018-2019 school year to take the civics portion of the test the same or similar to the naturalization test; approved by Governor 4/26/17; effective 90 days from April 8, 2017.


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, Apt. 2206

10587 Charleston Road Watervliet, 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.