Fourth Report - 83rd Legislative Session

West Virginia Professional Educators
Fourth Legislative Report
2nd Session of the 83rd Legislature
February 22, 2018

            The Governor signed the pay raise bill (SB  267) on February 22. Teachers will receive a 2% raise on year one, 1% on year two, and 1% on year three.  The PEIA Board eliminated the mandate to participate in Go365 and the use of combined household incomes to determine rates. It also is freezing benefits for sixteen months while a long-term solution is sought to fund PEIA adequately.

          The end of the current session of the legislature is fast approaching, and there is more action on proposed legislation. On February 25 bills are due out of committees in the house of origin to ensure three full days for reading. February 28 is the last day to consider bill on third reading in the house of origin (excluding budget or supplementary appropriation bills).  On March 10 the Legislature adjourns although work on the budget usually continues for a few days after adjournment.

            This means that bills introduced this late in the session have very little chance of passing unless the leadership of both houses strongly supports the legislation.

Proposed Legislation Passed Both Houses

SB 62 – allows counties to hire attendance directors who have full attendance certification or who have a professional administrative certificate; passed both houses 2/14; to Governor 2/19.

Proposed Legislation Passed One House

HB 4402 - purpose of this bill is to prevent sexual abuse by educating students in K-12 and providing  training to public school employees by requiring yearly education to students and requires   training of public school employees every two years; passed House 2/16 to Senate Judiciary 2/19.

HB 4407 - removes eligibility requirement to have academic major or occupational area the same as or similar to subject matter being hired to teach; adds English Sign Language option to eligibility provisions for alternative program in American Sign Language; passed House 2/13 to Senate Education 2/14.

HB 3061 - encourages mastery-based education through the Innovation In Schools program; specifies duties of Department of Education with respect to program; requires participation in incubator process;  prohibits penalties for student who transfers from mastery-based to nonmastery-based schools; and requires institutions of higher education to recognize and accept high school diplomas on equal footing; passed House 2/22 to Senate.

HB 4428 – provides procedures for recognizing career technical training acquired in public schools, apprenticeships and training programs toward occupational testing, certification and/or  licensure;  provides for creation of lists of existing apprenticeships, certifications and other  credentials that reflect existing workforce needs and for dissemination to high school students; passed House 2/20 to Senate Education 2/21.

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 have served in that capacity; also 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; only applies to any member serving as an   officer with a statewide professional teaching association who was an officer on or before January 1, 2018; passed Senate 2/20 to House Pensions and Retirement 2/21 then Finance.


SB 319 - allows in certain instances, individuals completing a secondary education program in a public, private, or home school and individuals obtaining a GED or equivalent to be eligible for the PROMISE scholarship; eliminates the requirement of a 3.0 grade point average for eligibility; passed Senate 2/20 to House Education then Finance 2/21.

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 Education1/30.

HB 4042 - redefines “school zone” to facilitate placement of school zone signs; passed House 2/20 to Senate Judiciary 2/21.

Proposed Legislation Which is Moving

HJR 103 – [proposed amendment to WV Constitution] provides for the election of six members of the West Virginia Board of Education, every four years, in a manner provided by law; from House Education to Judiciary 1/19.

SB 465 - relates generally to mandated reporting of child abuse and neglect; clarifies that sexual abuse and sexual assault constitute abuse of a child for reporting purposes; reduces the time period in which a mandated reporter is required to report suspected abuse or neglect; provides that notifying a person in charge, supervisor, or superior does not exempt a person from his or her mandate to report suspected abuse or neglect; eliminates particularized reporting requirements for education employees; passed Senate Education 2/14 to Judiciary.

HB 4220 -  provides that a teaching certificate or license shall be automatically revoked if a teacher is convicted of a criminal offense that requires him or her to register as a sex offender; passed  House Education 1/31 to Judiciary.

HB 4619 - supports implementation of comprehensive systems for teacher and leader induction and professional growth; requires amount of increase in local share to be added to preceding year appropriation for such purpose; provides factors to be taken into account in making allocations to counties; provides county may not receive less than the 2016-2017 allocation from certain line items; first reading in House on special calendar 2/21.

HB 4219 - permits employees of educational services cooperatives to participate in the State   Teachers Retirement System; permits persons employed for instructional services by educational services cooperatives to participate in the State Teachers’ Defined Contribution          Retirement System; on second reading special calendar in House 2/22.

SB 277 - permits public employees [including teachers] to cash out of their retirement plans instead of receiving periodic pension payments over their lifetimes; reported out of Senate Pensions to Finance 2/16.

Additional Proposed Legislation Which WVPE is Tracking

SJR 7 – [propsed amendment to the WV Constitution] provides that the governance structure for the supervision of the thorough and efficient system of free schools may be modified in an way pursuant to an act of the Legislature [provides the legislature the authority to modify   policies of the WV Board of Education]; to Senate Judiciary then Finance 1/15.

SB 538 - provides a credit against personal income tax for classroom teachers for nonreimbursed costs of supplies; sets a maximum credit of $500; to Senate Education then Finance 2/14.

SB 571 - fixes the Public Employees Insurance Agency [PEIA]aggregate premium cost sharing at 85 percent for the employer and 15 percent for the employee; and establish a tax on sales, purchases, and uses of food and food ingredients intended for human consumption as a means of paying for the increased employer share; to Senate Banking and Insurance then Finance 2/16

HB 4587 - freezes the contribution of public employees for their health insurance costs through the  Public Employees Insurance Agency [PEIA]; caps employee’s contributions; and removes Finance Board authority to increase costs; to House Banking and Insurance then Finance 2/13.

SB 573 - provides that the instructional term for students begins on the Tuesday after Labor Day and ends the Friday before Memorial Day; permits additional instruction minutes per day;    eliminates reimagined days; also provides that the instructional term may only be extended  beyond the Friday before Memorial Day if the total minutes required in a calendar school year  have not by that date been met; nothing in this subdivision applies to any school operating on a balanced calendar; to Senate Education then Finance 2/16.

HB 4549 - requires school counselors in public schools to spend 100 percent of their time on  comprehensive school counseling programs; also requires county boards to ensure that school counselors are not assigned administrative or clerical duties as part of their regular work   assignment or while students are present; to House Education then Finance 2/13.

SB 534 - increases the penalty for using tobacco and tobacco-derived products on school property from a maximum of a five dollar fine to a maximum of a twenty-five dollar fine (excludes faculty lounges); to Senate Judiciary 2/14.

HB 4577 - permits classroom teachers or school service personnel who at the time of a school merger who are the sole occupants of the same positions that will exist at the new school will maintain that position at the new school; requires the posting of service, professional or administrative positions only when duplicate positions exist; to House Education 2/13.

SB 587 - provides that counties with less than 1,400 in net enrollment shall be considered to have 1,400 in net enrollment for the purposes of determining the county’s basic foundation program only; to Senate Education then Government Organization 2/19.

SB 569 - establishes a Local Choice Program for alternative high school assessments within the high quality educational programs and the process for improving education; to Senate Education 2/16.

HB 4564 - eliminates the requirement that a student placed in transitional education programs as a high school senior must re-take a college-and career-readiness examination or similar  assessment of readiness if the student has already taken the examination or assessment as a  junior; to House Education 2/13.

HB 4582 - clarifies that students are not prohibited to possess a firearm or other deadly weapon on  a school bus as defined in section one, article one, chapter seventeen-a of this code or in or on a public primary or secondary education building, structure, facility or grounds including a vocational education building, structure, facility or grounds where secondary vocational education programs are conducted or at a school-sponsored function, or in or on a private primary or secondary education building, structure or facility; to House Judiciary 2/13.


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                        Alma Page                                                                                                           Elizabeth Mow

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                        10587 Charleston Road                                                                                    Watervliet, NY 12189

                        Red House, WV 25168                                                                                      (518) 713-4992

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