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January 19, 2015 - Volume 35 Issue 3

Jan. 14-16, 2014 Session Bills Reviewed
 

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

Listed below are selected  West Virginia Senate and House of Delegates bills introduced Jan. 14-16, 2015, during week one of the First Regular Session – 82nd  West Virginia Legislature.

 Bill Review Format

Bills reviewed are listed topically with Senate bills listed first.

A total 76 bills are reviewed.

For a copy of any bill, please contact WVSBA: 304.346.0571. Or you may email me. My preferred email address is hocull@wvsba.org

Additionally, bills are posted on the West Virginia Legislature’s Web site: http://www.legis.state.wv.us

As noted the listing is not exhaustive.

 

County Boards

Editor’s Note: Senate Bill 19, Senate Bill 33, Senate Bill 132 and House Bill 2082 all are included in Chapter 5 of Article 18 of West Virginia Code which relates to county boards.


Senate Bill 19

 

The purpose of this bill is to set forth the minimum days per week, the number of instructional minutes per week and the minimum instructional days per year for early childhood education programs.

As stated in the bill, early childhood education programs that are at least four days per week are to  “include (1,500) minutes of instruction per week and include a minimum of (148) instructional days per year shall be available to all children meeting the age requirement (age 4)…” 

Accordingly, All children meeting the age requirement (as established in the statute) shall have the opportunity to enroll in a program that is full day and “at least four days per week, includes (1,500) minutes of instruction per week and includes a minimum of (148) instructional days per year…”

There are other provisions.

Sponsored by Sen. Robert H. Plymale, D-Wayne.

                To Senate Education then Senate Finance.

 

Senate Bill 33

 

Under terms of this legislation, the pupil/teacher ratio would be reduced from 25 to 20 for preschool, kindergarten, first and second grade classroom, or classrooms having two or more grades that include either the first or second grades.

(The current pupil/teacher ratio is 25 students per teacher for these grades.)

Accordingly, the bill sets the pupil/teacher ratio for grades 3-6 “all other classrooms having two or more grades that include one or more of the third, fourth, fifth and sixth grades (as having no more than 25 pupils for each teacher…).”

The state superintendent could authorize exceptions to the ratios.  

An additional section of the bill states that its provisions are not “…intended to limit the number of pupils per teacher in a classroom for the purpose of instruction in choral, band or orchestra music. This statute applies to physical education, health, art, general music and media classes.

Note: proposed language is in Italics.

Sponsored by Sen. Daniel J. Hall, R-Wyoming.

                To Senate Education then Senate Finance.

 

Senate Bill 132.

 

The purpose of this bill is to reduce the student-school nurse ratio from 1,500-1 in grades K-7 to 750-1 and to expand it to all levels of school in the 2015-16 school year to provide for ever-increasing medical needs of students, while ensuring that school nurses will do the work, not contract services.

Sponsored by Sens. Robert F. Miller, D-Greenbrier, and Robert D. Beach, D-Monongalia.

                To Senate Health and Human Resources then Senate Finance.  

 

House Bill 2082.

 

The purpose of this bill is to require county boards of education to employ a certified library media specialist in each county school. The bill also requires the board to develop professional standards and the salary for the certified library media specialist.
Sponsored by Dels. Mike Caputo, D-Marion, and Ruth Rowan, R-Hampshire.

                To House Education then House Finance.

 

House Bill 2056.

 

The purpose of this bill is to make clear that the Pledge of Allegiance said each instructional day in West Virginia public schools shall include the phrase "one nation under God."

Sponsored by Dels. Larry Faircloth, R-Berkeley, and Bill Hamilton, R-Upshur.

                To House Education then House Judiciary.