The full West Virginia Board of Education recently approved Policy 5000, the new teacher hiring policy.
The new procedures for designated hiring and the transfer of school personnel were approved during the WVBE's monthly meeting in Charleston.
The policy was open for public comment for 30 days and received nearly 400 responses in that time. According to the WVBE, the responses were taken under consideration and the policy was tweaked as a result.
The new policy gives schools options related to establishing a Faculty Senate recommendation process. Teachers who are on the Faculty Senate Committee will review applicants for positions within their facilities and will submit a joint recommendation to the principals and superintendents.
AFT-WV President Christine Campbell spoke to board members about the union's concerns about compensation for teachers who take part in the hiring process.
Campbell spoke to the board about the word "may" that was in the policy where she thought it should be "shall," because she said the state board, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and the Legislature intended for teachers to be paid for their involvement in the hiring process.
Campbell asked the board to change that language to require counties to compensate teachers. WVBE member Lloyd Jackson made the motion for the change, and the board unanimously passed the policy.
Every teacher will have the opportunity to take online training to be eligible to participate in the Faculty Senate Committee, and their work completed outside the regular work day will be compensated.
"We value the involvement of teachers and principals in the hiring process," WVBE President Gayle Manchin said in a news release. "We trust they know what their schools need and what their students require to thrive in the classroom environment.
"This policy not only gives teachers a voice, it is also a stellar example of how the state board is successfully transferring more responsibility to the local level."