Interpretation's Date: February 11, 2002
by superintendent David Stewart
Section: V. Personnel
SubSection: C. Service Personnel



February 11, 2002

Glen Karlen, Superintendent
Randolph County Schools
40 Eleventh Street
Elkins, West Virginia 26241

Dear Mr. Karlen:

This is to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated January 30, 2002 relative to the responsibility of a county board of education to pay the cost of a commercial driver's license (CDL) of potential employees. In particular, you asked if "the Board is required to pay for a CDL for an applicant for a substitute position who does not hold a CDL, and, thus, is not certified by the State to operate a school bus."

West Virginia Code 18A-2-4 states, in part, that:

If a commercial driver's license is required as a condition of employment for any school employee or qualified applicant who becomes an employee by a county board of education, the cost shall be paid in full by the employer. It is unlawful for any county board of education to require any employee or applicant who becomes an employee of the board to pay the cost of acquiring a commercial driver's license as a condition of employment. (Emphasis Added)

West Virginia Board of Education Policy 4336, § IX. outlines the qualifications for employment of school bus operators and states that "No person shall be employed by any county board of education to operate any motor vehicle transporting school pupils, who has not been certified by the West Virginia State Police and the State Department of Education." The certification criteria is outlined at § IX.A.2., WVBE Policy 4336 which indicates that "a valid commercial driver's license is required for any person to operate any school bus to and from school or school related events." Therefore, a qualified applicant must hold a valid CDL to be certified and accept employment with the county board of education.

However, once the qualified applicant is employed by the county board of education, that board is required to pay the fee for the CDL, or, in essence, reimburse the cost of the CDL to the new employee and continue to pay the cost for the renewal of the same for all such employees, pursuant to West Virginia Code 18A-2-4.

Hoping that I have been of service, I am,



David Stewart
Superintendent of Schools


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