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January 20, 2014 - Volume 34 Issue 4

Jan. 13-17, 2014 Session Bills Reviewed

By Howard M. O’Cull, Ed.D.,
West Virginia School Board Association Executive Director

Listed below are West Virginia Senate and House of Delegates bills introduced Jan. 13-17, 2014, during the first full week one of the Second Regular Session – 81st West Virginia Legislature.

Bill Review Format

Bills reviewed are listed topically with Senate bills listed first.

A total 36 bills are reviewed.

For a copy of any bill, please contact WVSBA: 304.346.0571, using

Bills are posted on the West Virginia Legislature’s Web site:

Note: Listing is not exhaustive.


County Boards

Prohibiting a local levying body from holding a special election for the purpose of submitting a levy question to the voters if the date of the special election is 180 days or less before a regular primary or general election.

There are 11 Senate sponsors, including lead sponsor Sen. Brooks McCabe, D-Kanawha.

                To Senate Government Organization then to Senate Judiciary. 


Creating the Governor’s Committee on School Board Unification.

The bill finding is that “…the (55) county school boards across West Virginia face challenges related to accessibility, funding, population and topography. In many cases, the challenges county school boards faces are shared by bordering county school boards.”

Accordingly, the Legislature “recognizes the need to study:”

  1. the feasibility of unifying and consolidating county school boards;
  2. The possible benefits and detriments that may come with unifying and consolidating county school boards;
  3. The challenges and political realities that would be encountered when unifying and consolidating school boards; and
  4. How the county school boards could be unified and consolidated into no more than twenty-seven districts.

Based on the above, “The Governor's Committee on School Board Unification will enable the study of the possibilities for and implications of school board unification.“

The committee consists of nine members representing educational interests across West Virginia. Members would be appointed by the governor and would include:

  1. One person representing the interests of the West Virginia School Board Association;
  2. One person representing the interests of the American Federation of Teachers–West Virginia;
  3. One person representing the interests of the West Virginia Education Association;
  4. A public school teacher currently teaching a kindergarten through fifth grade class;
  5. A public school teacher currently teaching a sixth through eighth grade class; and
  6. A public school teacher currently teaching a ninth through twelfth grade class.

The three other Commission members are ex officio and would include:

  1. The State Superintendent of Schools, who serves as chair;
  2. The chair of the House of Delegates Committee on Education; and
  3. The chair of the Senate Committee on Education.

The committee shall:

  1. Study issues pertaining to the unification and consolidation of county school board in West   Virginia;
  2. Develop legislation for consideration during the 2015 Regular Session of the Legislature, that is designed to encourage the unification and consolidation of existing county school districts into not more than twenty-seven districts;
  3. Consider any recommendations or proposals for possible school district unifications or consolidations that include:
    • A regionally facilitated process that allows a school district governing board to develop its own unification or consolidation plans; and
    • A process for a county superintendent to develop a school district unification or consolidation plan.

An additional  bill provisions states  that other than the State Superintendent of Schools, and the chairpersons of the House of Delegates Education Committee and Senate Education Committee, “none of the committee members may reside in the same county.”

The committee to meet  at least once per month between August 1, 2014 and January 1, 2015.

 A majority of the members constitutes a quorum for the purpose of conducting business.

The Committee’s report is to be presented to the governor no later than January 1, 2015.

The committee would be terminated upon the governor receiving its report.

Sponsored by Dels. Fragale and Richard J. Iaquinta, D-Harrison.

To House Education.