Interpretation's Date: May 31, 2007
by superintendent Dr. Steven L. Paine
Section: III. County Educational Administration
SubSection: A. County Boards of Education
May 31, 2007
Dwight D. Dials
Dear Mr. Dials:
You have requested an interpretation regarding the portion of West Virginia Code 18-5-13a which states that "[a]t least a quorum of the county board members and the county superintendent from the county wherein an affected school is located shall attend and be present at the public hearing . . ." as it relates to school closure hearings in Mingo County. Specifically, you are concerned as to the procedure to be followed if a quorum of the local board is not present at a noticed closure hearing.
Generally, a county board of education meeting cannot proceed in the absence of a quorum. However, pursuant to West Virginia Code 18-2E-5(n)(4)(C)(iii), the West Virginia Board of Education has delegated to the State Superintendent the authority to conduct hearings on school closure or consolidation matters and, subsequently, to render the resulting decisions in counties under state intervention. The State Superintendent has been given the further authority to appoint a designee for the limited purpose of conducting hearings while reserving to himself the authority to render the resulting decisions. Thus, even if a quorum of county board members is not present at a school closure hearing in a county which is under state intervention, the hearing can proceed as usual with the State Superintendent or his designee acting in the place of the county board.
Hoping that I have been of service, I am
Steven L. Paine