November 16, 2001
Dr. James B. Phares
Pocahontas County Schools
926 Fifth Avenue
Marlinton, West Virginia 24954
Dear Dr. Phares:
I am in receipt of your request for a Superintendent?s Interpretation dated October 25, 2001, regarding West Virginia Code ?18A-4-7. Specifically, you asked for an interpretation of the phrase ?same position,? which is used in West Virginia Code ?18A-4-7. Your question was:
If a substitute teacher substitutes thirty consecutive days, not for the same teacher,
is he/she entitled on the thirty-first day to the highest rate of pay which would be
100% of degree and experience?
The term ?same position? has a specific, rather than general, meaning. It refers to a single position held by a specific teacher, not a broad category of employment. By way of example, if substitute teacher A works for thirty days as an elementary music teacher, but works in several different schools for several different teachers during that period, substitute teacher A has not worked for thirty days in the same position. However, if substitute teacher B works for thirty days as an elementary music teacher at a single elementary school replacing the same teacher each day, then substitute teacher B has worked for thirty days in the same position and is entitled to be paid the daily rate of the advanced salary within that county.
Though the term ?same position? is not specifically defined in the school laws, the reasoning set forth above is consistent with the use of the term ?position? in other code sections. For example, West Virginia Code ?18A-4-7a requires county boards of education to post openings in ?established, existing, or newly created positions.? ?Position,? in this instance, necessarily contemplates a specific assignment at a specific location. Likewise, the term ?position? as used in West Virginia Code ?18A-4-7 contemplates a specific assignment and a specific location.
Hoping that I have been of service, I am,
State Superintendent of Schools