WVSBA

January 19, 2018 - Volume 38 Issue 2

WVSBA News

 

The West Virginia School Board Association Executive Board met Wednesday in Charleston. These are among issues discussed in that meeting:

The proposed Just Cut Taxes & Win (JCTAW) Constitutional Amendment

Amendment components

Based on information provided to the Executive Committee by Ryan White (Kanawha) who serves as WVSBA Financial Officer and as association legislative chairperson, if adopted by voters, the proposed amendment would reduce and ultimately eliminate ad valorem taxation of current tangible industrial machinery, equipment and inventory personal property directly used in industrial business activities. (The amendment clarifies tangible industrial personal property of public service companies would continue to be taxed.)

White said the amendment would exempt new tangible industrial machinery, equipment and inventory personal property directly used in industrial business activity (except for that imposed on tangible industrial personal property of public service companies) purchased on and after July 1, 2019, from ad valorem taxation.

He also said the amendment would ultimately eliminate the ad valorem taxation of tangible industrial machinery and equipment personal property directly used in industrial business activity (except for the assessed value and tax on tangible industrial personal property of public service companies).

Accordingly, the amendment would replace revenue to the schools, municipalities, counties, the state, other levying bodies and levies reduced because of the assessed value stepdown and ultimate elimination of the ad valorem tax on tangible industrial machinery and equipment personal property directly used in industrial business activity, according to White.

He stated the governor would be prohibited from line item vetoing or reducing replacement revenue in the budget bill required by this amendment for the schools, municipalities, counties, the State, other levying bodies and levies.

Finally, the amendment would prohibit the reinstatement of the ad valorem tax on tangible industrial machinery, equipment and inventory personal property directly used in industrial business activity, and such components thereof, after ultimate elimination, according to White.

White and WVSBA Executive Director Howard M. O’Cull, Ed.D., were invited to a meeting in the governor’s office Monday, January 15, to receive a briefing regarding the proposal.

West Virginia Association of School Administrators Executive Director A. J. Rogers also attended that briefing. Rogers also serves as a member of the Nicholas County Board of Education.

The matter will be discussed at the association’s Winter Conference which will be held in mid-February.

Based on Executive Committee action White and O’Cull are responsible for monitoring the legislation. The Committee also agreed that, to enhance monitoring, White and O’Cull have been authorized to secure additional assistance from other parties who may represent the association.

Based on information presented by the governor’s staff once the Joint Resolution is introduced in both houses, the Executive Committee, as recommended by White and O’Cull, is poised to support the amendment, making that recommendation known to the association membership.

Formulation of position regarding WVBE restructuring

O’Cull presented the findings of a WVSBA membership survey regarding a number of items relating to the state Board of Education, including proposals for WVBE restructuring.

He led a discussion of each of the options, including election of state Board of Education members rather than appointment of WVBE members; a proposed “mixed board” which would include elected and appointed members; subjecting WVBE policies, rules and regulations to legislative review; and, ways in which to make the WVBE more accountable, based on survey results.

Following considerable discussion, the Executive Committee voted to take no action on these propositions but directed O’Cull to prepare a white paper which would detail various considerations about WVBE restructuring. The white paper is to be in an FAQ format and placed on the association’s website once vetted by the Executive Committee.

Momentum for restructuring

O’Cull noted he has studied the issue of state-level policy governance for the past few years and that, while an elected WVBE has been proposed during past sessions, a number of issues, especially the so-called “Common Core” roll-out, school closures and a probable public perception the WVBE is removed from local issues and the impact of its policies on school or has difficulty communicating such, has provided momentum for legislators to consider state Board of Education restructuring.

He pointed to a number of “difficulties” with the notion of elected state Board of Education members which the white paper will explore along with what he termed some “innovative approaches” to WVBE restructuring.

According to the Executive Committee the association likely will be placed in a position of providing support or opposition to WVBE restructuring.

WVSBA Winter Conference

The Executive Committee directed O’Cull to finalize plans for the Association’s Winter Conference. Executive Committee members recommending inviting the State Superintendent of Schools as a keynote speaker.

They also suggested hearing from members of the state Board of Education and the legislative education committee chairs.

The conference, upon recommendation of White and O’Cull, will feature a discussion of the proposed Just Cut Taxes & Win (JCTAW) Constitutional Amendment.

Final conference program segments will relate to how county boards can adapt to change.

A tentative conference agenda will be forwarded early next week.

WVSBA Orientation ‘18

O’Cull commented on the possibility of changing the Orientation program to a two-day meeting (from the previous three days) with some online training included for completion of the Orientation.

Strategic Committees

O’Cull reported former West Virginia Association of Counties (WVACO) Executive Director Patti Hamilton is working with the various WVSBA strategic planning committees having been appointed by the WVSBA Executive Board in June 2017. Ms. Hamilton is working with the “finance committee” and will have a report for the February Executive Board meeting. Once the “finance committee” work is completed Ms. Hamilton will work with other committees, he said.

Association Executive Committee

The WVSBA Executive Committee is comprised of Barbara L. Parsons, Ed.D., (Monongalia), President; Scotty W. Miley (Grant), President-Elect; Lori E. Kestner (Marshall), Vice President; White; Sam P. Sentelle, Ed.D. (Putnam), Immediate Past President; Jim J. Crawford Sr. (Kanawha), Past President (2014-2015), who serves as an adviser to the Committee, and O’Cull who is an ex officio non-voting member of the Committee.