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West Virginia Senate passes House Hope Scholarship ESA bill, sends it to the governor

By David Beard, The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Hope Scholarship education savings account bill is on its way to the governor after Senate passage on Wednesday.

The vote was about as expected, 20-13, with two Republicans siding with the minority.

The Hope Scholarship program is a state-funded education savings account (ESA). It will begin as a way to allow public school students to transfer to a private school or be homeschooled. The estimated initial enrollment is 5,118. The estimated per-pupil scholarship of $4,600 (a flexible figure based on average state aid per pupil) could be used for a variety of specified educational expenses.

Beginning in 2026, all students in private and home schools would be eligible for the scholarship if total program participation is less than 5% of statewide student enrollment based on 2023-2024 numbers. That expands the total estimated enrollment to 27,368 students, according to a Department of Education fiscal note.

The initial cost could reach $23.7 million and grow to $126.6 million under the 2026 expansion…

To read more: https://www.dominionpost.com/2021/03/17/senate-passes-house-hope-scholarship-esa-bill-sends-it-to-the-governor/

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