West Virginia’s School Choice Program to Become Universal in 2026

Jillian Schneider | July 9, 2024

(The Lion) — The K-12 educational scholarship program in West Virginia will officially be available to all students in fall 2026.

“I’m thrilled to announce that Hope Scholarship Program enrollment numbers have met the threshold established by the Legislature to expand this program to all West Virginia school children,” said State Treasurer Riley Moore in a press release.

“This will be a monumental leap forward for school choice, allowing tens of thousands of additional West Virginia families to access this program.”  

Hope Scholarships – which launched in 2022 – are currently only available to students who attended a public school the previous year or who are entering kindergarten.  

The expansion will allow students who’ve already left their public school – or who never attended one in the first place – to receive the equivalent of their state per-pupil funding. 

Education reformers also celebrated the announcement the program will expand. 

“This expansion cements West Virginia’s position as a leader in the education freedom movement, as every kid will have the opportunity to pursue an education that fits their individual needs,” said Tiffany Barfield, government affairs director at yes. every kid.   

“The goal of the Hope Scholarship was to place families in the driver’s seat of their children’s education, and now every single family will officially be empowered with that authority.”  

West Virginia joins a number of other states in implementing and expanding school choice.  

Most recently, Georgia, Alabama and Louisiana enacted universal programs. Others states, such as Utah and Oklahoma – are overflowing with applications.  

In fact, EdChoice estimates over one million students are already participating in a school choice program nationwide. 

This article was made available to EdNews Virginia via The Lion, a publication of the Herzog Foundation.