West Virginia Governor Signs Bill Establishing Nation’s “Most Expansive” School Choice Program

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As post-pandemic schooling is changing the face of American education, West Virginia is launching a program establishing scholarship funds for parents who remove their children from the public school system.

The Christian Post reports that school choice advocates hailed what they called the “most expansive education savings account policy” in the nation, which was signed into law Saturday by Gov. Jim Justice.

H.B. 2013 establishes the Hope Scholarship Program to provide funding “equal to 100 percent of the prior year’s statewide average net share aid allotted per pupil based on net enrollment adjusted for state purposes” for eligible recipients and will go into effect on July 1, 2022.

National school choice advocacy organization EdChoice’s CEO and President Robert Enlow declared the trailblazing legislation was “an incredible accomplishment for the families of West Virginia, who will now have access to educational options they might never have been able to access before.”

“As we reflect on how drastically K-12 education has changed during the pandemic, we look forward to education savings accounts as a way to empower families with the kinds of choices they need moving forward,” he said.

Garrett Ballengee, president of the conservative think tank Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy, stated that the newly signed legislation establishes his state as “a national leader in its approach to K-12 education by placing front-and-center what’s most important: children.”

“The Hope Scholarship will open up great opportunities to generations of West Virginians who, prior to the Hope Scholarship becoming law, would not have been able to access an education best suited to his or her learning needs,” he added.

Pandemic schooling has certainly brought homeschooling and school choice to the center of American public life as of late as, over a year later, many schools remain closed.

Parents who have facilitated their children’s online learning or opted to take up homeschool have found that home education might be a better option for their children.

As we reported Saturday, many home education companies report strong and steady growth, which they predict will continue post-pandemic.

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