January 28, 1991
Mr. Bob Brown
West Virginia Federation of Teachers
501 Broad Street
Charleston, West Virginia 25301
Dear Mr. Brown:
You have asked whether a county board of education policy would be invalid if it stated:
"Teachers from buildings that will close will be placed on a RIF list . . ."
Yes. Please refer to W.Va. Code 18-5-13(3).* Transfer and reassignment are preferred over RIF by the Legislature. There may be no need to have a RIF pursuant to //18A-4-7a and 18A-4-8b.
Hoping that I have been of service, I am,
State Superintendent of Schools
* This statute authorizes county boards of education: "(3) To close any
school which is unnecessary and to assign the pupils thereof to other
schools: Provided, That such closing shall be officially acted upon and
teachers and service personnel involved notified on or before the first
Monday in April, in the same manner as provided in section four of this
article, except in an emergency, subject to the approval of the state
superintendent, or under subdivision (5) of this section . . ."
W.Va. Code 18-5-4 is a transfer and reassignment statute. Code 18-5-13(5)
authorizes closure of any elementary school whose average daily attendance
falls below 20 pupils for two consecutive months and concludes: "If the
teachers in the school so closed are not transferred or reassigned to other
schools, they receive one month's salary . . .","FILL"