Interpretation's Date: January 25, 1993
by superintendent Henry Marockie
Section: II. Curriculum

January 25, 1993

Mr. Harold C. Carl, II
Pleasants County Schools
202 Fairview Drive
St. Marys, West Virginia 26170-1216

Re: Payment of Tuition, Fees and Costs

Dear Mr. Carl:

You have asked whether either a county board of education or a school1 may pay a part of the tuition, fees and costs for high school students' advanced placement classes conducted by a college. The classes you have in mind are taught on school property during evening hours.

W. Va. Code 18-2E-3a authorizes a county board of education to arrange for advanced placement programs, that is:

"...classes which are advanced in terms of content and performance expectations of those normally available for the age/grade level of the student and providing credit toward graduation and possible college credit. Advanced placement classes also include those recognized or offered by the college board, postsecondary institutions and other recognized foundations, corporations or institutions."

"...Honors and advanced placement curriculum may include advanced placement curriculum may include advanced placement courses offered through the college board or other public or private foundations, corporations, institutions, or businesses whose courses are generally accepted as leading to advanced placement or standing in a postsecondary institution,


1. A school is not a legal entity; it is merely a department of a county board of education; therefore, it cannot pay for this service.

Mr. Harold C. Carl, II
January 25, 1993
Page Two

accelerated instructional courses offered via satellite and other courses and arrangements, approved by the state board, which provide students an opportunity to advance their learning above that offered through the regular curriculum. To the maximum extent possible, honors and advanced placement courses shall be taught by a regular classroom teacher. * * * * If a teacher, licensed by the state board, with adequate knowledge in the advance subject area is not available, an adjunct teacher or other qualified person may be employed, contracted for, or shared between schools to instruct such course...

* * * *

(c) The state board shall designate one employee who is an expert in the area of higher education financial aid, including, but not limited to, loans, grants and work studies, to work on a full-time continuous basis with high school counselors to ensure that all high school students are informed of the availability of financial assistance to attend college.

This statute appears to imply that a county board of education can pay for advanced placement programs but that it should try to find other funders. W. Va. Code 18-5-5 authorizes a county board of education to contract for services necessary for it to function in a thorough and efficient way.2 Therefore, a county board of education can, for example, make a contract with a college for the college to provide an advanced placement program, and the county board can pay a reasonable sum for the college's service.

I recommend against payment of a student's tuition and fees or other costs because these words are not mentioned in W. Va. Code 18-2E-3a. Just contract with the college for it to provide its part of the advanced placement program and pay for part or all of that service. This approach allows the county board to chose the program and the program provider, which is the law's intent. Cf. W. Va. Code 61-10-15 and 6B-2-5.3

2. Schooling must be thorough and efficient, according to Article XII, Section 1 of the Constitution of West Virginia. 3. These are ethics laws which may have some pertinence. The Ethics Commission can be reached at 558-0664 and at 1207 Quarrier Street, Charleston, West Virginia 25301.

Mr. Harold C. Carl, II
January 25, 1993
Page Three

Hoping that I have been of service, I am



Henry Marockie
State Superintendent of Schools


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