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Legislative Update

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Legislative Update: Wrap-Up

The 2022 legislative session ended at midnight on March 12. Thank you to those who reached out to your legislators. It may not seem like it, but you have helped more than you know.

Many education-related bills worked their way through the Legislature, but as of yet, not all bills have been signed by the governor. So, there is still a chance that some of these bills could be vetoed. As bills are signed by the governor, we will continue to update them on this page. In this Legislative Update, you will find the bills that completed legislation and the bills that did not pass legislation.

Completed legislation:

  • HJR 102 was adopted and will now be placed on the November General Election Ballot. If this resolution passes, it would require the West Virginia Department of Education to submit all rules and policies to the Legislature for its review and approval. This Legislative Board would consist of nine members appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate only. These terms would be overlapping terms of nine years.
  • SB 8 passed early in the session and relates generally to the state’s savings and investment programs. The bill continues the Savings and Investment Program Fulfillment Fund, updates the West Virginia College Prepaid Tuition and Savings Program Act to reflect the termination of the Prepaid Higher Ed Program, Plan and Trust Fund, and also eliminates the West Virginia Jumpstart Savings Board. The Board of the College Prepaid Tuition and Savings Program will now be the Board of Trustees of the West Virginia College and Jumpstart Savings Programs. The bill was signed by the governor on February 2 and is effective from date of passage.
  • SB 246 requires water bottle filling stations for newly constructed public schools and schools with major renovations. For sanitary reasons, these stations shall be touchless. The Senate concurred on the House amendment, which requires County Boards to adopt a policy concerning students carrying water bottles. The bill was approved by the governor on March 28 and goes into effect on June 10, 2022.
  • SB 250 (budget bill) contains the pay raise as a line item. This bill will provide a $2,240 per year raise for professional staff, which includes teachers, counselors, nurses, and school social workers. Service personnel will receive a $122 per month raise. The bill was approved by the governor on March 18 and is effective from date of passage.
  • SB 261 requires video cameras to be placed in certain special education classrooms. It also expands the timelines for viewing video footage and allows the principal to assign a designee so they can view the video. It allows 15 minutes of viewing every 90 days in each classroom. Also, it requires the video be released to law enforcement when requested. This bill completed legislation on March 12 and awaits the governor’s signature.
  • SB 268 creates learning pods and microschools, and excuses these students from compulsory attendance. The bill also clarifies that learning pods and microschools are not the same as home schooling, and providing that no learning pod or microschool is subject to any other provision of law relating to education other than the law pertaining to placement of video cameras in certain special education classrooms. There is no cap on the number of students in a learning pod or microschool, and if the Hope Scholarship survives the legal battle, these funds could be presented to participants of learning pods and microschools. SB 268 was approved by the governor on March 30 and is effective on June 10, 2022.
  • SB 529 expresses the need to provide coursework on computational thinking, block-based programming, text-based programming, network communication, computer architecture, coding, application development, digital literacy, and cyber security. The bill also requires the Board of Education to update and build upon prior computer science education plans and policy to include additional subject matter. This bill was signed by the governor on March 30 and goes into effect on June 10, 2022.
  • SB 531 provides pay raises for certain state employees. This bill will provide a $2,240 per year raise for professional staff, which includes teachers, counselors, nurses, and school social workers. Service personnel will receive a $122 per month raise. The per month calculation was determined to be best for service personnel due to the variances in employment contracts. The bill was approved by the governor on March 28 and is effective on July 1, 2022.
  • SB 535 authorizes the state superintendent to automatically suspend a teacher’s license within 10 days of allegations of certain circumstances, such as sexual abuse and child abuse. If the allegations are proven to be false, the license can be reinstated. If any charges are made and the employee is found to be guilty, the license can be revoked. SB 535 was signed by the governor on March 23 and will go into effect 90 days from Legislature passage.
  • SB 704 allows parents, custodians, and guardians to inspect instructional materials in the classroom. It also requires any books read by students in the classroom must be listed on a class syllabus, and have the syllabus available for the parent, custodian, or guardian upon request. Further, the bill allows for the parent, custodian, or guardian to file a complaint with the county superintendent if the classroom teacher fails to comply with this new section and then with the state superintendent if the complaint is not resolved by the county superintendent within seven days. Additionally, a report must include the number of complaints filed statewide and by county. The bill was approved by the governor on March 30 and is effective June 10, 2022.
  • HB 3073 (WV Emergency Food Act) requires counties to look for innovative ways to help with students in need to access nutritious foods during the summer or when schools are not in session. This bill was signed by the governor on March 28 and goes into effect on June 10, 2022.
  • HB 4019 extends the deadline for charter school contracts and student enrollment and lottery for this year only. The extended date for a school and its authorizer to enter a contract this year is May 15, 2022. The primary round of enrollment applications, lottery, and any other enrollment is also extended to May 15, 2022, again, for this year only. HB 4019 was approved by the governor on March 30 and is effective from date of passage.
  • HB 4065 requires the State Board of Education to implement a Hunter Safety Course program. This program may be offered during school hours or after school. This program also, must be offered at least once each Spring Semester, but may also be offered in the Fall Semester if the county decides they have enough interest. The bill was approved by the governor on March 28 and is effective on June 7, 2022.
  • HB 4074 is referred to as “Megan’s Law” establishes training requirements for certain county employees and volunteers regarding students’ self-harm behaviors and eating disorders. This law will also require middle school and high school students to receive information regarding self-harm and eating disorders at least once per academic school year. This bill has already been signed by the governor and is effective 90 days from passage.
  • HB 4380 relates to the transportation of students and passengers for extracurricular activities; increasing the number of ten-passenger vehicles which may be used for any school-sponsored activity; and clarifying that buses shall be used to transport nineteen or more passengers. It removes the limit on the number of students that can be transported in a privately owned vehicle by a parent, guardian, or other adult approved in writing by the parent or guardian. The bill was approved by governor on March 28 and is effective from date of passage. 
  • HB 4420 allows a candidate for bus operator who has diabetes to be allowed to follow the same guidelines as a current bus driver that has developed diabetes. HB 4420 was signed by the governor on March 28 and goes into effect on June 6, 2022.
  • HB 4489 requires the State Board of Education to establish a statewide job bank and further requires county Boards of Education to post extracurricular and personnel positions on this job bank. This bill was approved by governor on March 30 and is effective June 6, 2022.
  • HB 4535 repeals the section of code relating to school attendance and satisfactory academic progress as conditions for a student to obtain their driver’s license. This bill will now restrict the license of any driver under 18 that drops out or violates the school attendance and satisfactory academic progress requirements. If these requirements are not met, students will be restricted to only being able to drive for work, religious purposes, and medical purposes. The bill was signed by the governor on March 30 and goes into effect on June 9, 2022.
  • HB 4562 includes all school personnel and allows the superintendent and county Board of Education to decide if an employee suspension should be with or without pay. It requires employees to be suspended, placed on administrative leave, or reassigned to duties that no longer involves interaction with students upon any fact-finding investigation that will cause any harm to the health, safety, or welfare of students or the learning environment of other students. HB 4562 was signed by the governor on March 30 and is effective on June 7, 2022.
  • HB 4571 modifies the foundation allowance in the school funding formula to account for transportation by electric powered buses. This bill was approved by the governor on March 28 and goes into effect on July 1, 2022.
  • HB 4642 allows county commissioners, county officials, county school system leaders, principals and teachers to have financial interests in goods or supplies contracts for which they may influence or control. The current law bans the following public officials and employees from having direct or indirect financial interests in contracts: county commissioners, county officers, county Board of Education members, members of any other county or district boards, schools superintendents, district school officers; principals and teachers. 
    The bill was signed by the governor on March 28 and is effective June 10, 2022.
  • HB 4829 modifies the definitions of certain school cafeteria personnel and changes the code for Cook III positions. It also allows a Cook III to assume the head cook’s duties in the absence of the head cook. HB 4829 was approved by the governor on March 28 and goes into effect on June 9, 2022.

Failed to pass:

  • SB 146 related to interpretations of school laws. The county Boards of Education, county superintendents, employees of the county Boards of Education, and the West Virginia Public Employees’ Grievance Board would have given substantial deference to the state superintendent’s interpretation of that part of the school law or rules of the State Board of Education.
  • SB 227 required county Boards of Education and superintendents to comply with State Board of Education.
  • SB 230 related to the public employees’ grievance procedure. Senators Rucker and Karnes are the lead sponsors of this bill. The bill states that only up to $1,000 could be rewarded by the administrative law judge to the prevailing party.
  • SB 498 established the Anti-Racism Act of 2022. The bill was designed to scare educators about having an open discussion on history and taking away critical thinking skills from students.
  • SB 509 related to the county Board of Education employees’ personal leave by changing how days were acquired. Personal leave would have to be accrued by pay period, but it did not prevent staff from carrying over the personal time from year to year. The county superintendent could also advance up to one year of accrued days to a first-year employee if they do not have days and need them for specific reasons.
  • SB 541 required homeschooled child’s assessments to be submitted.
  • SB 644 created Charter Schools Stimulus Fund that would assist students and potential charter schools.
  • HB 4071 created the mask and quarantine option for parents and faculty. It stated that a public school, an elected public official, or an appointed public official may not require any student or educator to wear a mask or require COVID testing or quarantining.
  • HB 4844 allowed educators to receive four personal leave without cause days and the ability to use 5 of these days consecutively. The bill also allowed a teacher to assume a duty during their 30 minute lunch but be compensated at a rate equal to 6.25 percent of their daily wage. Finally, the bill defines who shall write  IEPs.
  • HB 4845 established the Katherine Johnson Academy creating magnet school programs at colleges and universities in West Virginia in math, science and the performing arts for high school seniors. Participating students would have also receive the Promise Scholarship.