Third Report - 83rd Legislative Session

West Virginia Professional Educators
Third Legislative Report
2nd Session of the 83rd Legislature
February 11, 2018

            Issues concerning a teacher pay raise and changes to PEIA benefits have provided a very volatile atmosphere around the state including a constant change of proposals. At the date of this writing  SB 267, the pay raise bill, (which passed the Senate 2/2) was amended in the House Finance Committee to include a 2% raise on the front end and 1% for each of the following three years. It will be on 2nd Reading on special calendar in the House on, February 12, and is scheduled for a vote of the full House on February 13.  The House has expressed an interest in a long-term fix to PEIA.

            SB 486 attempts to stabilize PEIA benefits by dedicating a portion of the severance tax on natural gas to benefit public employee and retiree health care. It creates a special fund account entitled the PEIA Fund and requires that a portion of the severance tax on natural gas to be deposited into this fund. It is in Banking and Insurance then Finance.

            More than half the legislative session has been completed.  February 13 is the last day to introduce bills in the House (does not apply to originating or supplementary appropriation bills).

February 19 is the last day to introduce bills in the Senate (does not apply to originating or supple-mentary appropriation bills). February 25 bills are due out of committees in house of origin. February 28 is the last day to consider a bill on third reading in house of origin (does not include budget or supplementary appropriation bills).  March 10 is adjournment at Midnight.


Proposed Legislation Which Has Passed One House

SB 335 - protects an employee’s wages from being withheld or diverted for political activities

            without the express, written authorization of the employee; makes it an unfair labor practice for any labor organization to use agency shop fees paid for by nonmembers for        contributions or expenditures to influence an election without the authorization of the individual; passed Senate 2/9 to House.

HB 4006 – [more fully described in 1/29 Leg. Rep.] revises process through which professional development is delivered including improvement of the focus on school-level continuous   improvement processes led by the principal; repeals Center for Professional Development  and Principals Academy; requires State Board to assist in design and delivery of professional   development; eliminates requirement for 5% evaluation be based on state summative assessment and increases percent based on evidence of student learning by 5%; passed House 1/31 to Senate Education.

HB 2655 - defines and establishes the crime of cyberbullying; provides exceptions; and establishes a criminal penalty; passed House 2/5, to Senate Judiciary.

SB 284 - increases access to career education and workforce training; establishes Advanced Career Education (ACE) programs; provides that certain individuals who have completed a secondary education program in a public, private, or home school shall be considered adults enrolled in regular secondary programs for funding purposes; requires community and technical colleges establish partnerships with career technical education centers, county boards of education, or both that provide for ACE programs; provides that community and technical   colleges and career technical education centers shall participate in one or more ACE partnership in order to receive certain funding; establishes the WV Invests Grant Program to provide grants under certain conditions; passed Senate 1/31 to House Education then Finance.

HB 3089 - provides a transition to the county board of education level the process for review and adoption of instructional resources required to be used in schools; passed House 1/22, to Senate Education.

SB 364 - allows a parent or legal guardian of a homeschooled child to provide a signed statement in lieu of a driver eligibility certificate by the attendance director or chief administrator affirming    that the child is being educated in accordance with law and is making satisfactory academic progress and meets certain conditions to be eligible to obtain a permit or license for operation of a motor vehicle; passed Senate 2/5 to House Judiciary.

HB 4183 - relates generally to standardized testing requirements for nonpublic schools; removes restrictions on specific forms of nationally normed achievement tests that must be

            administered;   requires standardized tests to be administered to nonpublic students at same grade levels and subject areas required in public schools; allows additional testing at sole   discretion of school; limits accountability for composite scores to grade levels and subject areas required in public schools; removes requirement that every child be tested; passed House 1/29 to Senate Education.

SB 62 - allows counties to hire persons with professional administrative certificates and five years of experience as attendance directors; passed Senate 1/22, on second reading in House on special calendar 2/12. 

HB 2799 - prohibits the superintendent of schools from requiring a physical examination to be included with the application for a minor’s work permit unless required by the prospective employer; and removes the requirement that the superintendent of schools certify that the minor  personally appeared before him or her prior to the issuance, modification, or rejection of a work permit; passed House 1/30, to Senate Education.


Proposed Legislation Which is Moving

HB 4402 – goal is to prevent sexual abuse by requiring yearly education of students in K-12 and providing training to public school employees; passed House Education to House Judiciary.

HB 4407 - removes the requirement that the person have an academic major or occupational area the same as or similar to subject matter he or she is being hired to teach to qualify for an alternative program teacher certificate; on second reading special calendar in House 2/12.

HB 3061 - encourages a limited cohort of schools (not more than twenty schools) to implement   mastery-based education through the Innovation In Education program; Department of Education is given the duty to develop an incubator process to support schools awarded an          Innovation In Schools/Mastery-Based grant; the schools must meet the same requirements and accountability as other Innovation In Education schools; passed House Education 1/31, to  Finance.

SB 319 -  makes individuals who completed home school eligible for the PROMISE scholarship  without having to obtain a diploma equivalent such as a general equivalency degree (GED); passed Senate Education 2/9; to Finance.

HB 4042 - redefines “school zone” to facilitate placement of school zone signs; passed House Education 2/7, to Judiciary.

HB 2809 - provides an adjustment to the allocated state aid share to any county on account of, an in the amount of, payments or contributions in lieu of property tax distributed from the sheriff to the county board of education as a result of payment in lieu of tax agreements first entered into on or after July 1, 2016; passed House Education 1/31, to Finance.



Proposed Legislation Introduced Since Last Legislative Report

HB 4469 (similar to SB 349) - the goal of the Legislature to increase the state minimum salary for teachers with zero years of experience and an A. B. degree, including the equity supplement, to at least $43,000 by fiscal year 2019; to House Education then Finance. SB 349 raises the   minimum salary for teachers by three percent; to Senate Education then Finance. [Our legislative representative informs us that this bill has no chance of passing this session.]

SB 465 - clariies mandatory reporting requirements to report immediately suspected child abuse or neglect, including child sexual abuse, and clarifyies that notifying a person in charge, supervisor, or superior does not exempt one from their mandate to report; to Senate Education then Judiciary.

SB 507 -  creates the Katherine Johnson Academy, which will facilitate the creation of Academy magnet school programs through collaboration agreements by and among the Academy, the State Board of Education, the Higher Education Policy Commission and colleges and      universities in West Virginia; students attending a magnet school would receive both college credit and credit towards their high school diploma for courses they successfully complete; to Senate Education then Finance.

HB 4428 - allows training hours earned through public school education or apprenticeship to count towards an applicant’s occupational certification and/or licensure; to House Education.

HB 4435 - protects lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth from conversion therapy; prohibits referral services for conversion therapy; and provides discipline for providers who   violate these prohibitions; to House Health and Human Resources then Judiciary.

SB 494 - provides that members of the State Teachers Retirement System shall be considered absent from service as a teacher or nonteacher while serving as an officer with a statewide professional teaching association, or who has served in that capacity; provides that retirants, who served in that capacity while members, shall be considered to have been absent from service as a teacher by reason of that service; to Senate Pensions.

SB 513 - increases the amount a retiree may earn when temporarily employed by a cover agency encouraging valued employees to accept temporary employment, assist in training new employees, filling positions that have been temporarily vacated and working on specia projects; to Senate Pensions then Finance.


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                        Alma Page                                                                                           Elizabeth Mow

                        Executive Director                                                                            One Bell Tower Drive

                        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.