WEST virginia legislature
2019 regular session
House Bill 2662
By Delegates Westfall, Rohrbach, Zukoff, Toney, R. Thompson, J. Kelly, Evans, Dean, Campbell and Cooper
[Originating in the Committee on the Judiciary; February 22, 2019]
A BILL to amend and reenact §18A-2-5 and §18A-4-8e of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to certificates or employment of school personnel; providing that a service personnel contract of employment is automatically terminated if the employee is convicted of certain crimes; and providing that a bus operator certificate is automatically revoked if the bus driver is convicted of certain crimes.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
ARTICLE 2. SCHOOL PERSONNEL.
§18A-2-5. Employment of service personnel; limitation.
The board is authorized to employ such service personnel, including substitutes, as is deemed necessary for meeting the needs of the county school system: Provided, That the board may not employ a number of such personnel whose minimum monthly salary under section eight-a, article four, of this chapter is specified as pay grade "H", which number exceeds the number employed by the board on March 1, 1988.
Effective July 1, 1988, a county board shall not employ for the first time any person who has not obtained a high school diploma or general educational development certificate (GED) or who is not enrolled in an approved adult education course by the date of employment in preparation for obtaining a GED: Provided, That such employment is contingent upon continued enrollment or successful completion of the GED program.
Before entering upon their duties service personnel shall execute with the board a written contract which shall be in the following form:
"COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION
SERVICE PERSONNEL CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT
THIS (Probationary or Continuing) CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT, made and entered into this _________ day of _____________, 19____, by and between THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE COUNTY OF _______________, a corporation, hereinafter called the 'Board,' and (Name and Social Security Number of Employee), of (Mailing Address), hereinafter called the 'Employee.'
WITNESSETH, that whereas, at a lawful meeting of the Board of Education of the County of ___________ held at the offices of said Board, in the City of _____________________, ________________ County, West Virginia, on the ______ day of ___________________, 19____, the Employee was duly hired and appointed for employment as a (Job Classification) at (Place of Assignment) for the school year commencing __________ for the employment term and at the salary and upon the terms hereinafter set out.
NOW, THEREFORE, pursuant to said employment, Board and Employee mutually agree as follows:
(1) The Employee is employed by the board as a (Job Classification) at (Place of Assignment) for the school year or remaining part thereof commencing _____________, 19_____. The period of employment is _______ days at an annual salary of $_______ at the rate of $________ per month.
(2) The Board hereby certifies that the Employee's employment has been duly approved by the board and will be a matter of the board's minute records.
(3) The services to be performed by the Employee shall be such services as are prescribed for the job classification set out above in paragraph (1) and as defined in Section 8, Article 4, Chapter 18A of the Code of West Virginia, as amended.
(4) The Employee may be dismissed at any time for immorality, incompetency, cruelty, insubordination, intemperance or willful neglect of duty pursuant to the provisions of Section 8, Article 2, Chapter 18A of the Code of West Virginia, as amended.
(5) The Superintendent of the ____________ County Board of Education, subject to the approval of the board, may transfer and assign the Employee in the manner provided by Section 7, Article 2, Chapter 18A of the Code of West Virginia, as amended.
(6) This contract shall at all times be subject to any and all existing laws, or such laws as may hereafter be lawfully enacted, and such laws shall be a part of this contract.
(7) This contract may be terminated or modified at any time by the mutual consent of the board and the Employee.
(8) This contract shall be automatically terminated if the Employee is convicted under §61-8D-3 or §61-8D-5 of this code or comparable statute in any other state, of any criminal offense that requires the Employee to register as a sex offender, or of any criminal offense which has as an element delivery or distribution of a controlled substance: Provided, That should the conviction resulting in automatic revocation pursuant to this section be overturned by any Court of this state or the United States, the Employee’s contract shall be reinstated unless otherwise prohibited by law.
(8)(9) This contract must be signed and returned to the board at
its address of __________________________________ within thirty days after
being received by the Employee. (9)(10) By signing this contract the Employee accepts employment
upon the terms herein set out.
WITNESS the following signatures as of the day, month and year first above written:
_____________, (President, ______ County Board of Education) _____________, (Secretary, ______ County Board of Education) _____________, (Employee)"
The use of this form shall not be interpreted to authorize boards to discontinue any employee's contract status with the board or rescind any rights, privileges or benefits held under contract or otherwise by any employee prior to the effective date of this section.
Each contract of employment shall be designated as a probationary or continuing contract. The employment of service personnel shall be made a matter of minute record. The employee shall return the contract of employment to the county board of education within thirty days after receipt or otherwise he or she shall forfeit his or her right to employment.
Under such regulation and policy as may be established by the county board, service personnel selected and trained for teacher-aide classifications, such as monitor aide, clerical aide, classroom aide and general aide, shall work under the direction of the principal and teachers to whom assigned.
ARTICLE 4. SALARIES, WAGES AND OTHER BENEFITS.
§18A-4-8e. Competency testing for service personnel; and recertification testing for bus operators.
(a) The state board shall develop and make available competency tests for all of the classification titles defined in section eight of this article and listed in section eight-a of this article for service personnel. The board shall review and, if needed, update the competency tests at least every five years. Each classification title defined and listed is considered a separate classification category of employment for service personnel and has a separate competency test, except for those class titles having Roman numeral designations, which are considered a single classification of employment and have a single competency test.
(1) The cafeteria manager class title is included in the same classification category as cooks and has the same competency test.
(2) The executive secretary class title is included in the same classification category as secretaries and has the same competency test.
(3) The classification titles of chief mechanic, mechanic and assistant mechanic are included in one classification title and have the same competency test.
(b) The purpose of these tests is to provide county boards a uniform means of determining whether school service personnel who do not hold a classification title in a particular category of employment meet the definition of the classification title in another category of employment as defined in section eight of this article. Competency tests may not be used to evaluate employees who hold the classification title in the category of their employment.
(c) The competency test consists of an objective written or performance test, or both. Applicants may take the written test orally if requested. Oral tests are recorded mechanically and kept on file. The oral test is administered by persons who do not know the applicant personally.
(1) The performance test for all classifications and categories other than bus operator is administered by an employee of the county board or an employee of a multicounty vocational school that serves the county at a location designated by the superintendent and approved by the board. The location may be a vocational school that serves the county.
(2) A standard passing score is established by the state Department of Education for each test and is used by county boards.
(3) The subject matter of each competency test is commensurate with the requirements of the definitions of the classification titles as provided in section eight of this article. The subject matter of each competency test is designed in such a manner that achieving a passing grade does not require knowledge and skill in excess of the requirements of the definitions of the classification titles. Achieving a passing score conclusively demonstrates the qualification of an applicant for a classification title.
(4) Once an employee passes the competency test of a classification title, the applicant is fully qualified to fill vacancies in that classification category of employment as provided in section eight-b of this article and may not be required to take the competency test again.
(d) An applicant who fails to achieve a passing score is given other opportunities to pass the competency test when applying for another vacancy within the classification category.
(e) Competency tests are administered to applicants in a uniform manner under uniform testing conditions. County boards are responsible for scheduling competency tests, notifying applicants of the date and time of the test. County boards may not use a competency test other than the test authorized by this section.
(f) When scheduling of the competency test conflicts with the work schedule of a school employee who has applied for a vacancy, the employee is excused from work to take the competency test without loss of pay.
(g) Competency tests are used to determine the qualification of new applicants seeking initial employment in a particular classification title as either a regular or substitute employee.
(h) Notwithstanding any provisions in this code to the contrary, once an employee holds or has held a classification title in a category of employment, that employee is considered qualified for the classification title even though that employee no longer holds that classification.
(i) The requirements of this section do not alter the definitions of class titles as provided in section eight of this article or the procedure and requirements of section eight-b of this article.
(j) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary and notwithstanding any rules of the school board concerning school bus operator certification, the certification test for school bus operators shall be required as follows, and school bus operators may not be required to take the certification test more frequently:
(1) For substitute school bus operators and for school bus operators with regular employee status but on a probationary contract, the certification test shall be administered annually;
(2) For school bus operators with regular employee status and continuing contract status, the certification test shall be administered triennially; and
(3) For substitute school bus operators who are retired from a county board and who at the time of retirement had ten years of experience as a regular full-time bus operator, the certification test shall be administered triennially.
(4) School bus operator certificate.
(A) A school bus operator certificate may be issued to a person who has attained the age of twenty-one, completed the required training set forth in state board rule, and met the physical requirements and other criteria to operate a school bus set forth in state board rule.
(B) The state superintendent may, after ten days' notice and upon proper evidence, revoke the certificate of any bus operator for any of the following causes:
(i) Intemperance, untruthfulness, cruelty or immorality;
(ii) Conviction of or guilty plea or plea of no contest to a felony charge;
(iii) Conviction of or guilty plea or plea of no contest to any charge involving sexual misconduct with a minor or a student;
(iv) Just and sufficient cause for revocation as specified by state board rule; and
(v) Using fraudulent, unapproved or insufficient credit to obtain the certificates.
(vi) Of the causes for certificate revocation listed in this paragraph (B), the following causes constitute grounds for revocation only if there is a rational nexus between the conduct of the bus operator and the performance of the job:
(I) Intemperance, untruthfulness, cruelty or immorality;
(II) Just and sufficient cause for revocation as specified by state board rule; and
(III) Using fraudulent, unapproved or insufficient credit to obtain the certificate.
(C) The certificate shall be automatically revoked if the bus operator is convicted under §61-8D-3 or §61-8D-5 §61-8D-5 of this code or comparable statute in any other state, of any criminal offense that requires the bus operator to register as a sex offender, or of any criminal offense which has as an element the distribution of a controlled substance: Provided, That should the conviction resulting in automatic revocation pursuant to this section be overturned by any Court of this state or the United States, the bus operator’s certificate shall be reinstated unless otherwise prohibited by law.
(C) The certificate of a bus operator may not be
revoked for either of the following unless it can be proven by clear and
convincing evidence that the bus operator has committed one of the offenses
listed in this subsection and his or her actions render him or her unfit to
operate a school bus: (i) Any matter for which the bus operator was
disciplined, less than dismissal, by the employing county board; or (ii) Any matter for which the bus operator is meeting
or has met an improvement plan determined by the county board.
(D) The state superintendent shall designate a review panel to conduct hearings on certificate revocations or denials and make recommendations for action by the state superintendent. The state board, after consultation with employee organizations representing school service personnel, shall promulgate a rule to establish the review panel membership and composition, method of appointment, governing principles and meeting schedule.
(E) It is the duty of any county superintendent who knows of any acts on the part of a bus operator for which a certificate may be revoked in accordance with this section to report the same, together with all the facts and evidence, to the state superintendent for such action as in the state superintendent's judgment may be proper.
(F) If a certificate has been granted through an error, oversight or misinformation, the state superintendent may recall the certificate and make such corrections as will conform to the requirements of law and state board rules.
(5) The state board shall promulgate, in accordance with article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, revised rules in compliance with this subsection.