Interpretation's Date: January 8, 2001
by superintendent David Stewart
Section: V. Personnel
SubSection: A. Professional Personnel



January 8, 2001

Mr. Dennis Edge
Assistant Superintendent
Marion County Board of Education
200 Gaston Avenue
Fairmont, West Virginia 26554

Dear Mr. Edge:

I am in receipt of your request for a Superintendent's Interpretation regarding the transfer of a professional employee during the school year. In that request, you set forth the following scenario:

"On September 12, 2000, Marion County Schools posted an Elementary, Grade 3, East Dale position with the disclaimer ‘if the successful applicant is employed by Marion County Schools, transfer into the position will not occur until January 2001, the beginning of the second semester.' On October 16, 2000, the Marion County Board of Education awarded this position to Employee A transferring from Grade 3 at School X on January 20, 2001 (beginning of the second semester)."

Your question was:

"Can the county, based upon the requests of Employee A, the principal, and parents of students in her current classroom, delay the transfer until September 2001 in order to insure educational continuity within her current classes at School X with a substitute teacher remaining in the Grade 3, East Dale position for the remainder of the 2000-01 school year."

The answer to your question is embedded within the text of West Virginia Code 18A-4-7a, which you cited in your letter. Section 18A-4-7a states, in pertinent part, that:

"After the fifth day prior to the beginning of the of the instructional term, or after the first day of the second half of the instructional term, no person employed and assigned to a professional position may transfer to another professional position in the county during that half of the instructional term:

Mr. Dennis Edge
January 8, 2001
Page 2

Provided, That such person may apply for any posted, vacant positions with the successful applicant assuming the position at the beginning of the next half of the instructional term . . ." (Emphasis added).
You will note that the highlighted language of the statute indicates that the person applying for the vacant position will assume the position at the beginning of the next half of the instructional term. To construe the statute otherwise and allow this teacher to delay her transfer could have a trickle down effect, disrupting the continuity and stability of the other positions affected by this transfer.

Hoping that I have been of service, I am



David Stewart
State Superintendent of Schools


c: Thomas E. Long, Superintendent Marion County Schools


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