Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 22.1. Education
Chapter 4. School Divisions, Joint Schools and Contracts Between School Divisions
7/2/2022

Chapter 4. School Divisions, Joint Schools and Contracts Between School Divisions.

§ 22.1-25. How school divisions made.

A. The Board of Education shall divide the Commonwealth into school divisions of such geographical area and school-age population as will promote the realization of the standards of quality required by of Article VIII, Section 2 of the Constitution of Virginia, subject to the following conditions:

1. The school divisions as they exist on July 1, 1978, shall be and remain the school divisions of the Commonwealth until further action of the Board of Education taken in accordance with the provisions of this section except that when a town becomes an independent city, the town shall also become a school division.

2. No school division shall be divided or consolidated without the consent of the school board thereof and the governing body of the county or city affected or, if a town comprises the school division, of the town council.

3. No change shall be made in the composition of any school division if such change conflicts with any joint resolution expressing the sense of the General Assembly with respect thereto adopted at the session next following January 1 of the year in which the composition of such school division is to be changed.

B. Notice of any change in the composition of a school division proposed by the Board of Education shall be given by the Superintendent of Public Instruction, on or before January 1 of the year in which the composition of such school division is to be changed, to the clerks of the school board and of the governing body involved and to each member of the General Assembly.

C. Subject to the conditions set forth in subsection A, the Board of Education shall consider the following criteria in determining appropriate school divisions:

1. The school-age population of the school division proposed to be divided or consolidated.

2. The potential of the proposed school division to facilitate the offering of a comprehensive program for kindergarten through grade 12 at the level of the established standards of quality.

3. The potential of the proposed school division to promote efficiency in the use of school facilities and school personnel and economy in operation.

4. Anticipated increase or decrease in the number of children of school age in the proposed school division.

5. Geographical area and topographical features as they relate to existing or available transportation facilities designed to render reasonable access by pupils to existing or contemplated school facilities.

6. The ability of each existing school division to meet the standards of quality with its own resources and facilities or in cooperation with another school division or divisions if arrangements for such cooperation have been made.

D. Consistent with the authority of the Board pursuant to Article VIII, Section 5 of the Constitution of Virginia to designate school divisions in the Commonwealth of such geographic size and school-age population as will best promote the realization of the standards of quality, local school boards may submit proposals for the consolidation of school divisions to the Board of Education. Prior to the submission of a consolidation proposal, the submitting school board shall give notice to the public and shall conduct one or more public hearings.

School divisions submitting proposals for consolidation shall include such information and data as may be necessary to support their proposal, including (i) the criteria set forth in subsection C; (ii) evidence of the cost savings to be realized by such consolidation; (iii) a plan for the transfer of title to school board property to the resulting combined school board governing the consolidated division; (iv) procedures and a schedule for the proposed consolidation, including completion of current division superintendent and school board member terms; (v) a plan for proportional school board representation of the localities comprising the new school division, including details regarding the appointment or election processes currently ensuring such representation and other information as may be necessary to evidence compliance with federal and state laws governing voting rights; and (vi) evidence of local support for the proposed consolidation.

For five years following completion of such consolidation, the computation of the state and local share for an educational program meeting the standards of quality for school divisions resulting from consolidations approved pursuant to this subsection shall be the lower composite index of local ability-to-pay of the applicant school divisions, as provided in the appropriation act.

Code 1950, § 22-30.1; 1978, c. 456; 1980, c. 559; 2004, c. 917; 2013, cc. 644, 805; 2015, c. 369.

§ 22.1-26. Joint and regional schools; regional public charter schools.

A. Two or more school boards may, with the consent of the State Board, establish joint or regional schools, including regional public charter schools as defined in § 22.1-212.5, comprehensive schools offering all-day academic programs and career and technical education, and regional residential charter schools for at-risk pupils, for the use of their respective school divisions and may jointly purchase, take, hold, lease, convey and condemn both real and personal property for such joint, regional, or regional public charter schools. The school boards, acting jointly, shall have the same power of condemnation as other school boards except that land so condemned shall not be in excess of 30 acres for the use of any one joint or regional school. The title to all property acquired for such purposes shall vest jointly in the school boards in such respective proportions as the school boards may determine, and the schools shall be managed and controlled by the school boards jointly, in accordance with such regulations as are promulgated by the State Board. 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. The school boards operating a regional public charter school shall determine the school division to which any regional public charter school is assigned for the purposes of any restrictions on the number of public charter schools imposed by § 22.1-212.11.

B. Effective July 1, 2008, joint, regional, or regional charter schools in operation prior to the promulgation of new regulations may request a waiver of the new regulation requirements. This waiver request shall be submitted to the Board of Education on a form and 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 regulations.

C. Consistent with the provisions of this section, two or more school boards may, with the consent of the State Board, establish joint or regional schools, including regional public charter schools, to serve as high schools offering (i) in addition to a comprehensive high school curriculum, specialized training to students desiring to pursue careers in law enforcement, fire fighting, emergency and rescue services, and other occupations addressing public safety and welfare; or (ii) a specialized curriculum leading to a high school diploma and a postsecondary credential, such as industry certification, career certificate, or degree; or (iii) both.

Such schools described in clause (i) may be designed to incorporate the instructional services of retired or disabled emergency, fire, rescue, and law-enforcement personnel and internships with local agencies and organizations providing such emergency, fire, rescue, and law-enforcement services.

The relevant school boards operating schools described in clause (ii) may, by agreement, establish alternative schedules for the delivery of instruction that may include alternatives to standard school day and year requirements, subject to the issuance of any necessary waivers by the Board of Education pursuant to § 22.1-79.1 and relevant Board regulations. Such school boards may contract with an accredited institution of higher education or other postsecondary school licensed or certified by the Board of Education or the State Council of Higher Education, as the case may be, pursuant to Chapter 16 (§ 22.1-319 et seq.) of this title or Article 3 (§ 23.1-213 et seq.) of Chapter 2 of Title 23.1, to deliver such instruction, which may include specialized instruction and training for students who are eligible to enroll in public high schools, consistent with §§ 22.1-3, 22.1-5, and 22.1-213.

D. Joint or regional schools, such as academic year Governor's Schools, may set the school calendar so that the first day students are required to attend school shall comport with the calendar of any of the participating school divisions, including those granted a waiver, as prescribed in § 22.1-79.1. Such calendar must be approved by the governing board of the joint or regional school.

Code 1950, § 22-7; 1954, c. 638; 1980, c. 559; 1999, c. 449; 2000, cc. 631, 712, 1028; 2002, c. 366; 2003, c. 165; 2004, c. 256; 2007, c. 45; 2008, c. 49.

§ 22.1-26.1. Agreements for satellite classrooms.

A. School boards may enter into agreements with private business and industry for the establishment, installation, renovation, remodeling, or construction of satellite classrooms for grades kindergarten through three on a site owned by the business or industry and leased to the school board at no cost.

The local school board may adopt procedures for the enrollment of children of employees of the private industry who reside outside the attendance zone for such classrooms. Such procedures shall be designed to ensure compliance with all federal and state laws and regulations and constitutional provisions prohibiting discrimination that are applicable to public schools and with any court-ordered desegregation plan in effect for the school division.

Agreements for such satellite classrooms shall include, among other things:

1. A detailed description of the satellite site, the site development necessary for new construction, remodeling, or renovation for the accomplishment of the project, and any facility to be constructed.

2. A plan for the reimbursement of the school division by the private industry or business upon premature termination of any such lease agreement.

3. An enrollment plan, including grade levels to be served.

4. A description of any waivers to be requested from the Board of Education for the operation of such satellite classrooms.

B. The relevant governing body may, by ordinance duly adopted, exempt in whole or in part from any and all taxes authorized pursuant to Chapter 37 (§ 58.1-3700 et seq.) of Title 58.1, private businesses and industries entering into agreements pursuant to this section.

2002, c. 717.

§ 22.1-27. Contracts to furnish facilities and services.

A. A school board may enter into a contract with the school board of an adjacent school division for furnishing public school facilities and for school services.

B. Any contract for services may stipulate that the school division which is receiving services may have a representative on the school board of the school division which is providing services with the approval of the governing bodies of each political subdivision involved. For the term of the contract, any such representative shall have all the rights, duties and responsibilities of the members of the school board of the division providing services, including compensation as set forth by law, but he shall not participate in or vote on any matter involving the continuation of such school services or the interpretation or construction of the provisions of or amendment to or continuation of the contract.

C. Any such representative shall be appointed in the same manner as the members of the school board of the school division which is receiving services and may be a member of such school board. The representative shall serve a term of four years beginning the first day of July following his appointment. However, if the contract goes into effect on a date other than July 1, the term of the initial representative shall commence on the effective date of the contract and shall expire on the fourth June 30 following his appointment.

1980, c. 559; 1989, c. 197.