West Virginia Student Success Act of 2019

Summary of the Legislation

Ensuring that every child receives a world-class education is one of the most important responsibilities for a society. A strong system of public education opens multiple doors and is essential to attract investment and create jobs.

The West Virginia State Senate will meet on Saturday, June 1, to take up a bill that has been discussed with education union representatives, the business community, the Governor, West Virginia House of Delegates leaders, state education officials and others.

The bill incorporates proposals that were made in the West Virginia Department of Education's recent report, as well as those offered by members of the Senate Democratic Caucus.

This comprehensive legislation is worthy of broad, bipartisan support and should serve as an important first step to improving education outcomes for all West Virginia students.

 

 

 

School and Personnel Funding

  • 5% pay raise for teachers and school service personnel.
  • Increased compensation for math and special education teachers.
  • Counties permitted to provide additional pay for critical-need subjects.
  • $500 bonus for teachers who do not utilize more than 4 days of leave in a year.
  • Additional funding to Underwood-Smith Scholarship to help pay teacher student loans.
  • $250 Tax Credit for education expenses incurred personally by school personnel.
  • 10% additional state aid for counties with net enrollment below 1,400 students.
  • State aid in form of block grants to allow counties to have full discretion in spending.
  • Increase insurance coverage for teachers.

Education Innovation

  • Expands the Mountaineer Challenge Academy to 600 Cadets and creates a second facility in Fayette County.
  • Creates the Mountain State Digital Literacy Project.
  • Requires teacher’s recommendation to be primary consideration for a student’s advancement to the next grade.
  • Removes stringent requirements for developing innovation zones to make them more accessible for school districts.

Professional Development

  • Requires that professional development for teachers should be individualized at a school level and based on teacher feedback and relevant data.
  • By July 1, 2020 all teachers to receive professional development on addressing the social, emotional, and behavioral needs of students.
  • Establishes a Principals Academy to help facilitate best practices.
  • Increases from 75% to 80% the minimum portion of work that school counselors must spend assisting students.

Removing Regulatory Barriers

  • Permits open enrollment for students by removing the requirement that the county of residence permit a student to enroll in a different county. Only the county receiving the student must sign off.
  • Requires the WV Department of Education to survey areas of overcrowded class rooms and develop a tailored plan to reduce class sizes.
  • Removes the required number of instructional minutes per day and changes to an average daily requirement so that schools have more operational flexibility.
  • Allows counties to consider multiple qualifications during a RIF process, rather than just seniority.

Work Stoppages

  • Pay is withheld until work stoppage ends.
  • No extracurricular activities during a work stoppage.
  • County superintendents may not close school to help facilitate a work stoppage.

Public Charter Schools

  • Would make West Virginia the 45th state to authorize public charter schools
  • Authorized by county boards of education, with an appeal to the WV Board of Education.
  • May be authorized by the WV Board of Education if a county board elects to not be an authorizer.
  • Are public schools with public dollars that cannot pick and choose which students attend.
  • Requires a lottery if more applications than capacity.

Transparency

  • Requires county boards of education to provide required data to the transparency website, “wvcheckbook.gov” that is maintained by the WV State Auditor.

Support the West Virginia Student Success Act of 2019!