Education

ARTICLE XII

12-1. Education.
The Legislature shall provide, by general law, for a thorough and efficient system of free schools.

12-2. Supervision of free schools.
The general supervision of the free schools of the State shall be vested in the West Virginia board of education which shall perform such duties as may be prescribed by law. The board shall consist of nine members to be appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, for overlapping terms of nine years, except that the original appointments shall be for terms of one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and nine years, respectively. No more than five members of the board shall belong to the same political party, and in addition to the general qualifications otherwise required by the Constitution, the legislature may require other specific qualifications for membership on the board. No member of the board may be removed from office by the governor except for official misconduct, incompetence, neglect of duty, or gross immorality, and then only in the manner prescribed by law for the removal by the governor of state elective officers. The West Virginia board of education shall in the manner prescribed by law, select the state superintendent of free schools who shall serve at its will and pleasure. He shall be the chief school officer of the State and shall have such powers and shall perform such duties as may be prescribed by law. The state superintendent of free schools shall be a member of the board of public works as provided by subsection B, section fifty-one, article six of this Constitution.

12-3. County superintendents.
The Legislature may provide for county superintendents and such other officers as may be necessary to carry out the objects of this article and define their duties, powers and compensation.

12-4. Existing permanent and invested school fund.
The existing permanent and invested school fund, and all money accruing to this state from forfeited, delinquent, waste and unappropriated lands; and from lands heretofore sold for taxes and purchased by the state of Virginia, if hereafter redeemed or sold to others than this state; all grants, devises or bequests that may be made to this state, for the purposes of education or where the purposes of such grants, devises or bequests are not specified; this state's just share of the literary fund of Virginia, whether paid over or otherwise liquidated; and any sums of money, stocks or property which this state shall have the right to claim from the state of Virginia for educational purposes; the proceeds of the estates of persons who may die without leaving a will or heir, and of all escheated lands; the proceeds of any taxes that may be levied on the revenues of any corporations; all moneys that may be paid as an equivalent for exemption from military duty; and such sums as may from time to time be appropriated by the Legislature for the purpose, shall be set apart as a separate fund to be called the "School Fund," and invested under such regulations as may be prescribed by law, in the interest-bearing securities of the United States, or of this state, or if such interest-bearing securities cannot be obtained, then said "School Fund" shall be invested in such other solvent, interest-bearing securities as shall be approved by the governor, superintendent of free schools, auditor and treasurer, who are hereby constituted the "Board of the School Fund," to manage the same under such regulations as may be prescribed by law; and the interest thereof shall be annually applied to the support of free schools throughout the state, and to no other purpose whatever. But any portion of said interest remaining unexpended at the close of a fiscal year shall be added to and remain a part of the capital of the "School Fund": Provided, That all taxes which shall be received by the state upon delinquent lands, except the taxes due to the state thereon, shall be refunded to the county or district by or for which the same were levied.

12-5. Support of free schools.
The Legislature shall provide for the support of free schools by appropriating thereto the interest of the invested "School Fund," the net proceeds of all forfeitures and fines accruing to this state under the laws thereof and by general taxation of persons and property or otherwise. It shall also provide for raising in each county or district, by the authority of the people thereof, such a proportion of the amount required for the support of free schools therein as shall be prescribed by general laws.

12-6. School districts.
The school districts into which the state is divided shall continue until changed pursuant to act of the Legislature: Provided, That the school board of any district shall be elected by the voters of the respective district without reference to political party affiliation. No more than two of the members of such board may be residents of the same magisterial district within any school district.

12-7. Levies for school purposes.
All levies that may be laid by any county or district for the purpose of free schools shall be reported to the clerk of the county court, and shall, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law, be collected by the sheriff, or other collector, who shall make annual settlement with the county court; which settlements shall be made a matter of record by the clerk thereof, in a book to be kept for that purpose.

12-8. Repealed. Acts, 1994 Reg. Sess., HJR 13; and ratified on November 8, 1994.

12-9. Certain acts prohibited.
No person connected with the free school system of the state, or with any educational institution of any name or grade under state control, shall be interested in the sale, proceeds or profits of any book or other thing used, or to be used therein, under such penalties as may be prescribed by law: Provided, That nothing herein shall be construed to apply to any work written, or thing invented, by such person.

12-10. Creation of independent free school districts.
No independent free school district, or organization shall hereafter be created, except with the consent of the school district or districts out of which the same is to be created, expressed by a majority of the voters voting on the question.

12-11. Appropriation for state normal schools.
No appropriation shall hereafter be made to any state normal school, or branch thereof, except to those already established and in operation, or now chartered.

12-12. Legislature to foster general school improvements.
The Legislature shall foster and encourage, moral, intellectual, scientific and agricultural improvement; it shall, whenever it may be practicable, make suitable provision for the blind, mute and insane, and for the organization of such institutions of learning as the best interests of general education in the state may demand.