Interpretation's Date: October 28, 2003
by superintendent David Stewart
Section: VI. School Construction, Buildings, and Sites
October 28, 2003
Jane M. Reynolds, Superintendent
Dear Superintendent Reynolds:
I am in receipt of your request for a Superintendent's Interpretation, dated October
13, 2003, regarding the application of West Virginia Code 18-5-13a as it relates to the
passage of a construction bond.
You explain that the Taylor County Board of Education held a bond election in April 2003, which specifically provided for the building of a new elementary school to replace Pruntytown Elementary School and Hepzibah Elementary School. The bond was approved by the voters of the county.
"Is the Taylor County Board of Education required to take any action expressed in this provision [West Virginia Code 18-5-13a]?"
West Virginia Code 18-5-13a states, in pertinent part:
" . . . prior to any final decision of a county board on any proposal to close or consolidate any school, except in cases in which a construction bond issue was passed by the voters and which bond issue included the schools to be closed or consolidated, the county board shall . . ."
The statute goes on to set forth very detailed actions that a county board must take in order to accomplish a school closing or consolidation. However, the clear language of the statute carves out an exception for those instances in which a construction bond that specifically included the schools the county proposed to close or consolidate was passed by the voters of the county.
Thus, because the citizens of Taylor County already have passed a construction bond which explicitly provided for the building of a new elementary school to replace Pruntytown Elementary School and Hepzibah Elementary School, the Taylor County Board of Education will not have to take the actions otherwise required by West Virginia Code 18-5-13a.
Hoping that I have been of service, I am