Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 22.1. Education
Chapter 9. School Property
2/7/2023

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 22.1-125. Title to property vested in school board; exception; extent of school board's authority.

A. The title to all school property, both real and personal, within a school division shall be vested in the school board, except that by mutual consent of the school board of a school division composed solely of part or all of a city and the governing body of the city, the title to property may vest in the city.

B. The official care and authority of a school board shall cover all territory included in the geographical boundaries of the school division and all school property located without and contiguous to the boundaries of such school division when the title to such property is vested either in the school board or a city; provided, however, that school property lying without the corporate limits of a city but not adjacent thereto on January 1, 1968, shall be subject to the official care and authority of the school board of such city or the city.

Code 1950, §§ 22-94, 22-95; 1968, c. 702; 1972, c. 662; 1980, c. 559.

§ 22.1-126. Property given, devised or bequeathed to school board.

When any real or personal property is given, devised or bequeathed to any school board or for public school purposes, it shall be vested in the school board unless inconsistent with the terms of the gift, devise or bequest and shall be managed and applied by the school board according to the wishes of the donor or testator. The school board shall, in addition to the regular settlement which it is required to make of all school funds, settle annually before the commissioner of accounts so far as the management of the property so bequeathed or devised is concerned, and the court having jurisdiction shall have the right to compel such a settlement, as is provided for in § 64.2-1216.

In the case of any change in the boundaries of any school division, the school board shall make provision for continuing the fulfillment of the purposes of such donor or testator as far as practicable and settlement shall be made as provided for above.

Code 1950, § 22-148; 1980, c. 559.

§ 22.1-126.1. Acquisition of property for educational purposes by counties, cities and towns.

Any county, city or town or any combination thereof acting jointly may acquire for educational purposes by gift, purchase, condemnation or otherwise, real property and any improvements thereon within the county, city, town or combination thereof acquiring the property or within any county or city adjacent to any such county, city or town and may construct buildings thereon to be used for educational purposes. The powers of condemnation granted by this section shall be subject to the provisions of § 25.1-102 to the same extent as though such county, city or town were a corporation possessing the power of eminent domain. Whenever the property is not within a county, city or town acquiring the property, not more than 50 acres may be acquired. Property acquired pursuant to this section shall be under the control of the school board of the county, city or town acquiring it, or, in the case of joint action by two or more counties, cities or towns or combinations thereof, control of such property shall be under a board chosen in the manner and for the term provided in § 22.1-53. Such property may be leased on such terms as may be agreed upon to any public institution of higher education to provide for education beyond high school of residents in the general region of such political subdivisions, or the property may, with the approval of the governing body of each such participating political subdivision, be conveyed to any such institution of higher education upon such terms and conditions as shall be agreed upon by such governing bodies and the governing body of the institution and approved by the Governor.

1995, c. 250; 2003, c. 940.

§ 22.1-127. Condemnation of land for school purposes; right of entry; location of school outside boundaries of school division.

A school board shall have the power to exercise the right of eminent domain and may condemn land or other property or any interest or estate therein, including dwellings, yards, gardens or orchards, necessary for public school purposes pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 2 (§ 25.1-200 et seq.) of Title 25.1 and in the manner provided by Chapter 3 (§ 25.1-300 et seq.) of Title 25.1. To determine the suitability of the land for school purposes, a school board shall have the same right of entry under the same conditions as a county, city, or town pursuant to § 25.1-203. A school board shall have no authority to locate any school which was not begun prior to January 1, 1978, on property outside the boundaries of the school division unless the school board first obtains the approval of the governing body of the county, city or town in which a proposed school will be located.

Code 1950, §§ 22-97, 22-149; 1952, c. 87; 1954, c. 291; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 79, § 1; 1966, c. 273; 1968, c. 501; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 161; 1972, c. 549; 1973, c. 186; 1975, cc. 308, 328; 1978, c. 430; 1980, c. 559; 1994, c. 786; 2003, c. 940.

§ 22.1-128. Title to school board real estate.

Whenever any school board purchases real estate or acquires title thereto, the title to such real estate shall be certified in writing by a competent and discreet attorney-at-law selected by the school board, or title insurance, approved by a competent and discreet attorney-at-law selected by the school board, shall be purchased for such real estate. Such certification or policy of insurance shall be filed with the clerk of the school board along with the recorded deed or other papers by which the title is conveyed. No contract for any such purchase shall bind the school board until the title to such real estate is thus certified or insured.

The school board shall pay to the attorney reasonable compensation for these services.

Code 1950, § 22-150; 1978, c. 26; 1980, c. 559; 1983, c. 32; 1987, c. 188.

§ 22.1-129. Surplus property; sale, exchange or lease of real and personal property.

A. Whenever a school board determines that it has no use for some of its real property, the school board may sell such property and may retain all or a portion of the proceeds of such sale upon approval of the local governing body and after the school board has held a public hearing on such sale and retention of proceeds, or may convey the title to such real property to the county or city or town comprising the school division or, if the school division is composed of more than one county or city, to the county or city in which the property is located. To convey the title, the school board shall adopt a resolution that such real property is surplus and shall record such resolution along with the deed to the property with the clerk of the circuit court for the county or city where such property is located. Upon the recording of the resolution and the deed, the title shall vest in the appropriate county, city or town.

B. A school board shall have the power to exchange real and personal property, to lease real and personal property either as lessor or lessee, to grant easements on real property, to convey real property in trust to secure loans, to convey real property to adjust the boundaries of the property and to sell personal property in such manner and upon such terms as it deems proper. As lessee of real property, a school board shall have the power to expend funds for capital repairs and improvements on such property, if the lease is for a term equal to or longer than the useful life of such repairs or improvements.

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections A and B, a school board shall have the power to sell career and technical education projects and associated land pursuant to § 22.1-234.

Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections A and B, a school board of the City of Virginia Beach shall have the power to sell property to the Virginia Department of Transportation or the Commissioner of Highways when the Commissioner has determined that (i) such conveyance is necessary and (ii) when eminent domain has been authorized for the construction, reconstruction, alteration, maintenance, and repair of the public highways of the Commonwealth, and for all other purposes incidental thereto, including the relocation of public utilities as may be required.

D. School boards may donate obsolete educational technology hardware and software that is being replaced pursuant to subsection B of § 22.1-199.1. Any such donations shall be offered to other school divisions, to students, as provided in Board guidelines, and to preschool programs in the Commonwealth. In addition, elected school boards may donate such obsolete educational technology hardware and software and other obsolete personal property to a Virginia nonprofit organization which is exempt from taxation under § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Code 1950, § 22-161; 1968, c. 261; 1973, c. 220; 1980, c. 559; 1989, c. 102; 1991, c. 298; 1995, c. 513; 1997, c. 686; 2000, c. 93; 2001, c. 483; 2005, c. 446; 2007, c. 813; 2010, c. 763; 2012, cc. 805, 836; 2022, c. 355.

§ 22.1-129.1. Transfer of assistive technology devices.

A. For the purposes of this section:

"Assistive technology device" means any device, including equipment or a product system, which is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of a child with a disability. Assistive technology device shall not include surgically implanted medical devices, such as cochlear implants.

"Child with a disability" means the same as that term is defined in § 22.1-213.

"Transfer" means the process by which a school division that has purchased an assistive technology device may sell, lease, donate, or loan the device pursuant to subsection B.

B. An assistive technology device may be transferred to (i) the school division to which a child with a disability transfers from the school division that purchased the device; (ii) a state agency, including the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, that provides services to a child with a disability following the child's graduation or when a school division ceases to provide special education services for the student; or (iii) the parents of a child with a disability, or the child with a disability if the child with a disability is age 18 or older and has capacity to enter into a contract.

2012, c. 214; 2016, cc. 720, 750.

§ 22.1-130. Authority to acquire property from United States or any agency thereof.

A. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law or of any charter or any ordinance, any school board may, by resolution, authorize the acquisition and purchase from the United States or any agency thereof of any equipment, supplies, materials, or other property, real or personal, in such manner as such school board may determine.

B. It is the purpose of this section to enable school boards to secure from time to time promptly the benefits of acquisitions and purchases as authorized by this section, to aid them in securing advantageous purchases, to prevent unemployment and thereby to assist in promotion of public welfare and to these ends school boards shall have power to do all things necessary or convenient to carry out such purpose, in addition to the expressed power conferred by this section. This section is remedial in nature and the powers hereby granted shall be liberally construed.

Code 1950, § 22-151; 1980, c. 559.

§ 22.1-130.1. Access to high schools and high school students for military recruiters.

Pursuant to Standard 1 of the Standards of Quality (Chapter 13.2 (§ 22.1-253.13:1 et seq.) of Title 22.1), all school boards are required to implement career and technical education programs promoting knowledge of careers and various employment opportunities, including, but not limited to, military careers. Therefore, any school board that provides access to one or more of its high schools and contact with such high school's student body or other contact with its high school students during a school or school division-sponsored activity whether conducted on school board property or other property to persons or groups for occupational, professional or educational recruitment shall provide equal access on the same basis to official recruiting representatives of the military forces of the Commonwealth and the United States.

2001, c. 262.

§ 22.1-131. Boards may permit use of various school property; general conditions; electric vehicle charging stations.

A. A school board may permit the use, upon such terms and conditions as it deems proper, of such school property as will not impair the efficiency of the schools. The school board may authorize the division superintendent to permit use of the school property, including buildings, grounds, vehicles, and other property, under such conditions as it deems will not impair the efficiency of the schools and are, therefore, proper. The division superintendent shall report to the school board at the end of each month his actions under this section. Permitted uses of buildings may include, but are not limited to, use as voting places in any primary, regular or special election and operation of a local or regional library pursuant to an agreement between the school board and a library board created as provided in § 42.1-35.

B. Any school board may locate and operate retail fee-based electric vehicle charging stations on school property, provided that the use of each such station during the school day is restricted to school board employees, students, and authorized visitors and each such station is accompanied by appropriate signage that provides reasonable notice of such restriction.

Code 1950, §§ 22-164, 22-164.1; 1973, c. 245; 1980, c. 559; 2000, c. 754; 2017, c. 239.

§ 22.1-131.1. Certain school board property; establishment of gun-free zone permitted.

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 15.2-915, in addition to ensuring compliance with the federal Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990, 18 U.S.C. § 922(q), any school board may deem any building or property that it owns or leases where employees of such school board are regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties, outside of school zones, as that term is defined in 18 U.S.C. § 921, as a gun-free zone and may prohibit any individual from knowingly purchasing, possessing, transferring, carrying, storing, or transporting firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof while such individual is upon such property. Such prohibition shall not apply to (i) any law-enforcement officer; (ii) any retired law-enforcement officer qualified to carry firearms pursuant to subsection C of § 18.2-308.016; (iii) any individual who possesses an unloaded firearm that is in a closed container in or upon a motor vehicle or an unloaded shotgun or rifle in a firearms rack in or upon a motor vehicle; or (iv) any individual who has a valid concealed handgun permit and possesses a concealed handgun while in a motor vehicle in a parking lot, traffic circle, or other means of vehicular ingress to or egress from the school board property.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 439.

§ 22.1-132. Boards may impose certain conditions on use of property.

Permits for the use of school property may contain, among other matters, (i) provisions limiting the use of the property while classes are in session and (ii) an undertaking by the lessee to return the property so used in as good condition as when leased, normal wear and tear excepted.

Code 1950, § 22-164.2; 1980, c. 559.

§ 22.1-132.01. Youth-oriented, community organizations on school property.

Local school boards shall, subject to the provisions of § 22.1-131, provide reasonable and appropriate access to school property to youth-oriented, community organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of the USA, and their volunteers and staff, to distribute and provide instructional materials in order to encourage participation in such organizations and their activities. Any such access provided during the school day shall not conflict with instructional time. Such access may also include after-school sponsored activities such as "Back to School" events, where it can be reasonably accommodated.

2016, c. 647.

§ 22.1-132.1. Daycare programs in certain localities.

A. Upon agreement of the relevant governing body, a school board may establish day-care programs outside the regular school hours for students who attend elementary and middle schools. In order to be eligible to attend such programs, a student shall be enrolled in a public or private school or reside in the relevant school division. Such programs may be conducted before or after school hours or both.

B. The school board of the City of Petersburg may establish day-care programs during school hours for children of students who reside in the relevant school division and who are enrolled in a public school in the said city.

C. No state or local funds appropriated for educational purposes shall be used to support any programs established pursuant to subsections A and B of this section.

The school boards shall contract only with those agencies which are licensed or certified by the Commissioner of Social Services.

This provision shall not be construed to apply to programs implemented pursuant to § 22.1-131.

1988, c. 670; 1989, c. 507; 1990, cc. 411, 415, 612, 939; 1991, c. 569; 1992, cc. 204, 336; 1993, cc. 176, 207, 777, 889.

§ 22.1-132.2. Integrated pest management on school property.

The Department of Education shall make information available to school boards on integrated pest management programs that appropriately address the application of chemical pesticides and other pest control measures on school property. For purposes of this section, "integrated pest management" shall mean a managed pest control and suppression program that uses various integrated methods to keep pests from causing economic, health-related, or aesthetic injury and minimizes the use of pesticides and the risk to human health and the environment associated with pesticide applications. Methods may include the utilization of site or pest inspections, pest population monitoring, evaluation of control requirements, and the use of one or more pest control methods including sanitation, structural repair, nonchemical methods, and pesticides when nontoxic options produce unsatisfactory results or are impractical. Each local school division shall maintain documentation of any pesticide application that includes the target pest, the formulation applied, and the specific location of the application. The guidelines and programs adopted pursuant to this section shall permit the immediate application of pesticides or other effective control measures to eradicate pest infestations that pose an acute danger to students and staff.

2009, c. 440; 2010, c. 40.

§ 22.1-133. Flags.

The flags of the United States of America and of the Commonwealth shall be flown in accordance with protocol and in an appropriate place at every public school. A flag of the Commonwealth shall be furnished by the Commonwealth for each new public school upon request of the school board directed to the Governor.

Code 1950, §§ 7.1-36, 22-133; 1956, Ex. Sess., c. 30; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 79, § 1; 1960, c. 222; 1966, c. 102; 1980, c. 559.

§ 22.1-134. Maintenance, etc., of school buildings and buses by county department of public works.

Insofar as permitted by Article VIII, Section 5 and Article VIII, Section 7 of the Constitution of Virginia, in any county operating under an optional form of organization and government provided for in Chapter 6 (§ 15.2-600 et seq.) of Title 15.2, the board of supervisors of such county, at the request of the county school board, may transfer the maintenance of school buildings and grounds and operation and maintenance of school buses from the department of education to the department of public works; and such board of supervisors, at the request of the county school board, may authorize the construction of new school buildings and additions to existing school buildings under direction of its department of public works.

Code 1950, § 22-151.1; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 1; 1980, c. 559.