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Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

Final Text

Action:
Repeal current regulation (8 VAC 280) and promulgate new ...
Stage: Final
8VAC20-280

CHAPTER 280
JOINTLY OWNED AND OPERATED SCHOOLS AND JOINTLY OPERATED PROGRAMS (REPEALED)

8VAC20-280-10

8VAC20-280-10. Arrangements for jointly owned and operated schools and jointly operated programs. (Repealed.)

There are numerous arrangements between and among school divisions in Virginia by which programs and services are offered under various cooperative efforts. These range from a simple arrangement for educating each other's pupils to a sophisticated, multi-divisional organization involving personnel working on a regional basis and possibly buildings owned under sole or multi-ownership arrangements.

Virginia accounting practices require that public school moneys be in the custody of a duly elected and bonded city or county treasurer, that it be disbursed only with the approval of lay board members, that it be audited annually by the state auditor or an approved certified public accounting firm, and that the operating expenses be accounted for on a pro-rata basis by the school divisions who are supporting and utilizing the services.

The following organizational plan meets these requirements and is recommended when several school divisions are engaging in a fairly extensive regional effort. The decision on the specific organizational structure, however, is made by local school boards. We recommend, but do not require, that school systems use the following plan for regional operations, especially when joint ownership of buildings is involved. In the event that local school boards wish to have some other joint ownership or operational arrangement, the written agreement must provide for the meeting of the requirements in the preceding paragraph as a minimum and it shall be submitted to the Department of Education for its concurrence.

The Board of Education for the Commonwealth encourages these cooperative efforts for the reasons that they should provide a better quality program offering for Virginia's young people; it should also do this at a lesser cost than when a local board is offering the course for only its own students.

8VAC20-280-20

8VAC20-280-20. Organization and operating procedures. (Repealed.)

Two or more school boards, by individual resolution, may establish a joint board to manage and control schools or programs jointly owned and operated in accordance with the following requirements:

1. Membership. The membership of the joint board shall be composed of lay members of participating school boards. When not more than two school boards agree to establish a joint board, its membership shall consist of three members of each of the participating school boards. When three school boards agree to establish a joint board, its membership shall consist of two members from each participating school board. When more than three school boards agree to establish a joint board, its membership shall consist of one member from each of the participating school boards.

Each school board shall fill vacancies in its membership on the joint board by election for the unexpired term. If a member of the joint board ceases to be a member of the school board which elected him, that person shall cease to be a member of the joint board.

If at any time the number of members of the joint board shall fall below a quorum and the appointing school board or boards shall fail within 30 days to elect enough members to constitute a quorum, the members already serving, even though they fail to constitute a quorum, may make any decision which the entire joint board may make.

Members of the joint board may receive compensation fixed by each of the participating school boards. This compensation shall be paid by the local boards and shall not exceed the amount paid for service on the local school boards.

The joint board shall adopt bylaws or rules of operation and shall establish the length and beginning dates or terms of its members and establish committees that might be needed to carry out its responsibilities.

2. Organization. The joint board shall elect from its membership a chairman who shall preside at its meetings and a vice-chairman who shall preside in the absence of the chairman.

The joint board shall also elect a clerk and, if desired, a deputy clerk, who shall not be a member of the joint board and who shall keep a record of its proceedings. The compensation of the clerk shall be fixed by the joint board. The clerk shall execute bond of at least $10,000, as provided by § 22.1-76 of the Code of Virginia.

The joint board also shall elect a finance officer, who shall have custody of its funds, fix the compensation and provide for bond. The finance officer shall be the treasurer of the county or city where the school is located (§ 22.1-118 of the Code of Virginia). Through its finance officer, the joint board shall arrange for the safe depository of the funds and, where necessary, see that sufficient collateral is posted to secure such funds.

3. Authority. The joint board shall be authorized to employ the staff required to operate the joint school and programs; purchase supplies; purchase, sell, or dispose of equipment or appliances; determine policies concerning instruction; approve the curriculum in keeping with the general laws, and with regulations, and requirements of the Virginia Board of Education; maintain jointly owned school buildings; and in general to manage, operate, and conduct joint schools and programs.

The school boards owning joint school buildings or facilities shall have no authority over the maintenance and repair of buildings and the management, operation, and conduct of the joint school, but shall retain and have sole authority in all matters affecting the real estate, the construction and alteration of the school building, and the improvement of the school grounds. No action shall be taken in matters over which the school boards jointly owning such school buildings or facilities retain authority without the concurrence of all school boards involved.

Personnel, including teachers required to operate programs, shall be employed by the joint board upon the recommendation of the division superintendents appointed for the counties or cities of the respective school boards which establish the joint board.

Except as otherwise provided, all meetings and procedures of the committees for control shall be in accordance with provisions of §§ 22.1-72 through 22.1-75 of the Code of Virginia.

Any action by the joint committee shall be action by the school boards jointly owning such school, within the provisions of § 22.1-87 of the Code of Virginia.

4. Authority of the division superintendent. The division superintendents representing the counties or cities of the school boards which form the joint board shall constitute a Committee of Superintendents and shall jointly exercise the same authority that they have in the counties or cities for which they are appointed. With the approval of their respective school boards, such division superintendents may elect one of their members as executive officer in whom may be vested such authority as the superintendents may from time to time find advisable.

In case of disagreement, the matter shall be referred to the joint board which shall have final disposition of the matter, subject to appeal as provided in § 22.1-87 of the Code of Virginia.

5. Annual budget and financing plan. The Committee of Superintendents shall prepare, with the advice and approval of the joint board, an annual program plan, budget, and plan for financing the operation of the joint school. The financing plan shall include an estimate of the amount of money which will be needed from each participating school system during the next scholastic year to maintain and repair the joint school building, and for administration, instruction, and operation of schools and other programs, following as far as appropriate the forms furnished by the Virginia Board of Education as provided in § 22.1-91 of the Code of Virginia. The estimate so made shall clearly show all necessary details and be provided in a timely manner so that the participating school boards may be well informed about every item included in the estimate.

6. Annual appropriations. Each school board participating in the joint board shall review the annual budget presented by the joint board and, if in agreement, provide funds to cover its share of the cost of maintaining and repairing the joint school building, as well as the cost of administration, instruction, and operation of the school and its programs.

7. Expenditures. The amount provided by each such school board shall be made available for expenditures by the joint board as follows:

a. Funds to be provided by participating school boards shall be made available to the joint board upon its request.

b. Funds to be provided on a fee for service basis shall be paid to the joint board upon receipt of an appropriate invoice.

Such money shall be paid to the finance officer, as authorized by this chapter.

The joint board, or its delegate, shall receive all claims arising from commitments made by it pursuant to authority conferred by this chapter and, when such claims are approved, authorized the payment of them. A record of such approval and order or authorization shall be made in the minutes of the joint board. Payment of each claim shall be authorized by a warrant drawn on the treasurer or other officer charged by law with the responsibility for the receipt, custody and disbursement of the joint board's funds. The warrant shall be signed by the chairman or vice chairman of the joint board or its delegate, countersigned by the clerk or deputy clerk, made payable to the person or persons, or the firm or corporation entitled to receive such payment and recorded as prescribed by the Board of Education. A statement shall be recorded on the face of the warrant indicating the reason for the payment and the date of the order entered or authority granted by the joint board.

The joint board, by resolution, may provide for special warrants for compensation, for all employees under written contract, upon receipt of certified time sheets or other evidence of services performed, and for all other employees whose rates of pay have been established by the joint board. All special warrants shall be signed by the clerk of the joint board and countersigned by the chairman or vice chairman of the joint board. Payrolls shall be reviewed and approved by the joint board at its next regular meeting.

On or before the 10th day of each month, the clerk of the joint board shall transmit to the superintendents of the participating school boards an itemized statement of receipts and disbursements during the preceding month, with a cumulative statement of all receipts and disbursements since the beginning of the current fiscal year.

8VAC20-281

CHAPTER 281
REGULATIONS GOVERNING JOINTLY OWNED AND OPERATED SCHOOLS AND JOINTLY OPERATED PROGRAMS

8VAC20-281-10

8VAC20-281-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms apply only to these regulations and do not supersede those definitions used for federal reporting purposes or for the calculation of costs related to the Standards of Quality (§ 22.1-253.13:1 et seq. of the Code of Virginia). When used in these regulations, these words shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Alternative education program" means any program designed to offer instruction to students for whom the regular program of instruction may be inappropriate, as defined in § 22.1-276.01 of the Code of Virginia, and as prescribed in the Rules Governing Alternative Education (8VAC20-330).

"Classification of expenditures" means a system of accounting for all school funds, as prescribed in § 22.1-115 of the Code of Virginia.

"Finance officer" means fiscal agent for the joint school. ]

"Fiscal agent" means the treasurer of a county or city in which a joint school is physically located or the treasurer from one of the participating localities as selected by agreement of the participating local school boards with approval of the participating local governing bodies. (Seealso "finance officer" or ] "treasurer.")

"Joint board" means the governing board of the joint school. The joint board is composed of at least one member from each participating local school board.

"Joint school" means aprogram or school established by two or more local school boards, including a regional public charter school, as defined in § 22.1-212.5 of the Code of Virginia, or a comprehensive school offering part- or full-day programs joint or regional school or program established by two or more local school boards, pursuant to § 22.1-26 of the Code of Virginia, which may include but is not limited to a regional public charter school, a regional residential charter school, a regional academic year Governor's school, a regional career and technical center, a regional special education program, or a regional alternative education program as defined in § 22.1-209.1:2 of the Code of Virginia ].

"Operation and maintenance" means budget preparation, contracts for services, personnel matters, use of or construction of a school building and grounds and the operation and maintenance thereof, and the provision of any services, activity, or undertaking that the joint school is required to perform in order to carry out its educational program.

"Regional public charter school" means a public charter school operated by two or more school boards and chartered directly by the participating school boards, as defined in § 22.1-212.5 of the Code of Virginia.

"Treasurer" means the fiscal agent of the joint school, in accordance with § 58.1-3123 of the Code of Virginia.

8VAC20-281-20

8VAC20-281-20. Organization and operating procedures.

Two or more school boards, by individual resolution, may establish a joint board to manage and control schools or programs jointly owned and operated in accordance with the following requirements:

1. Membership. The membership of the joint board shall be composed of at least one member of each of the local school boards participating in the joint program. Each school board shall fill any vacancies in its membership on the joint board. If a member of the joint board ceases to be a member of the school board that elected him, the local school board shall appoint his successor to the joint board. If at any time the number of members of the joint board shall fall below a quorum, the local board shall appoint a member to fill the vacancy or vacancies within 30 calendar days.

Members of the joint board may receive compensation fixed by each of the participating school boards. This compensation shall be paid by the local boards and shall not exceed the amount paid for service on the local school boards.

The joint board shall adopt bylaws or rules of operation and shall establish the length and beginning dates or terms of its members and establish committees that might be needed to carry out its responsibilities. Such bylaws shall address the receipt, custody, and disbursement of funds and the payment of all claims related to the operation and maintenance of the joint facility, consistent with the state statutes and regulations of the Board of Education.

2. Organization. The joint board shall elect from its membership a chairman who shall preside at its meetings and a vice-chairman who shall preside in the absence of the chairman.

The joint board shall elect a clerk and, if desired, a deputy clerk. Neither the clerk nor the deputy clerk shall be a member of the joint board but shall keep record of the proceedings. The compensation of the clerk and the deputy clerk shall be fixed by the joint board. The clerk and the deputy clerk shall execute bond of at least $10,000, as provided by § 22.1-76 of the Code of Virginia.

The joint board also shall elect a finance officer, who shall have custody of its funds, fix the compensation, and provide for bond. All disbursements shall be by warrant signed by the clerk of the joint board and countersigned by the finance officer. Through its finance officer, the joint board shall arrange for the safe depository of the funds and, where necessary, see that sufficient collateral is posted to secure such funds. ]

3. Authority. The joint board shall be authorized to employ the staff required to operate the joint school and programs; purchase supplies; purchase, sell, or dispose of equipment or appliances; determine policies concerning instruction; approve the curriculum in keeping with the general laws, and with the regulations and requirements of the Virginia Board of Education; maintain jointly owned school buildings; and, in general, manage, operate, and conduct joint schools and programs.

The title to all property acquired for joint schools shall vest jointly in the participating school boards in such respective proportions as the participating school boards may determine, and the schools or programs shall be managed and controlled by the participating school boards jointly. With the approval of the participating school boards and the respective local governing bodies, title to property acquired for a joint school shall be vested in the governing body of such school.

Except as otherwise provided, all meetings and procedures of the joint board shall be in accordance with provisions of §§ 22.1-72 through 22.1-75 of the Code of Virginia. Any action by the joint board shall be deemed an action by the school boards jointly owning such school.

4. Authority of the division superintendent. The division superintendents representing the counties or cities of the school boards that form the joint board shall constitute a Committee of Superintendents and shall jointly exercise the same authority they have in the counties or cities for which they are appointed. With the approval of their respective school boards, the division superintendents may elect one of their members as executive officer in whom may be vested such authority as the superintendents may from time to time find advisable.

The Committee of Superintendents shall prepare, with the advice and approval of the joint board, an annual program plan, budget, and plan for financing the operation of the joint school that would include appropriate state and local funding from each participating school division. The financing plan shall include an estimate of the amount of money that will be needed from each participating school system during the next scholastic year for operation and maintenance of the joint school facility. The estimate shall clearly show all necessary details and be provided in a timely manner so that the participating school boards may be well-informed about every item included in the estimate.

In case of disagreement, all matters shall be referred to the joint board for resolution.

5. Budget and expenditures. Each participating school board shall review and approve the annual budget presented by the joint board and provide funds to cover its share of the cost of operating and maintaining the joint school facility. The amount provided by each participating school board shall be made available for expenditures by the joint board as follows:

a. Funds to be provided by participating school boards shall be made available to the joint board upon its requests.

b. Funds to be provided on a fee for service basis shall be paid to the joint board upon receipt of an appropriate invoice.

On a regular monthly basis, the clerk of the joint board shall transmit to the Committee of Superintendents of the participating school boards an itemized statement of receipts and disbursements during the preceding months, with a cumulative statement of all receipts and disbursements since the beginning of the current fiscal year.

8VAC20-281-30

8VAC20-281-30. Waiver of regulations' requirements.

Effective July 1, 2008, a joint school or program in operation prior to October 19, 2009, may request a waiver of the new requirements of the regulations. This waiver request shall be submitted to the Board of Education in a manner prescribed by the board. If the Board of Education grants the waiver request, the approved school shall continue to operate under the previous version of the regulations. ]