West Virginia launches massive push for school of choice, helping parents pay for private or homeschool education

by Joel Abbott · Mar 31st, 2021 1:17 pm

Last Updated Apr 1st, 2021 at 8:18 am

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice signed a bill into law on Saturday that drastically expands the state's school of choice program, establishing a scholarship fund that will assist parents in paying for private and homeschool options if they so desire.

The Hope Scholarship Program will give families $4,600 per student in a private savings account if they want to opt out of public school. Parents can use the funds for approved expenses, including tutoring, books, and online resources.

The money can be used at either a secular or religious school, giving families greater access to educational programs that share their beliefs and values.

National school choice organization EdChoice called the bill "the most expansive education savings account policy" in the nation.

"This is 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," said EdChoice CEO Robert Enlow.

Students currently attending non-public schools are not immediately eligible for the program. However, it will become available to everyone in 2026 if the number of Hope Scholarship students remains below 5% of the total attendance at public schools.


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