WVPA Sharing

West Virginia House passes sweeping bill providing public money to home-schooled, private-school families

By Ryan Quinn, Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia House of Delegates passed Thursday legislation providing an estimated $4,600 per student, per year to every family for every child they remove from public schools to home- or private-school them.

That near-universal eligibility for these non-public school vouchers is likely unprecedented among these types of programs in other states.

Parents would be required to spend these vouchers on educational expenses, like tuition at religious or other private schools, online schooling, tutoring or textbooks, though the list of allowed expenses would be nearly unlimited.

Additionally, over time, the bill would subsidize more and more families who never had their children in public schools at all.

The vastly outnumbered Democrats raised concerns Thursday that the program would reduce funding for public schools and further school consolidation.

“Whether or not 10, 15, 20, 30 students from my school stay or they use this program, we’ve still gotta keep the lights on,” said public school teacher and Delegate Cody Thompson, D-Randolph. “We still gotta pay the water bills, we still gotta have staff.” …

To read more: https://www.wvgazettemail.com/news/legislative_session/wv-house-passes-sweeping-bill-providing-public-money-to-home–private-school-families/article_314bf68d-dba0-55d1-a036-b2c883eb83dd.html

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