It's official universal home vouchers for West Virginia! No more diversity for them! Congrats!
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice on Saturday signed into law the bill that school-choice advocates say will implement the nation’s broadest nonpublic school vouchers program.
Programs in other states are limited to low-income, special-needs or other subsets of students, or have caps on the number of recipients in general. But West Virginia’s program will be open to all K-12 students, including by offering public money to families who already don’t use the public school system.
Effective beginning in the 2022-23 school year, families who withdraw their children from public schools can receive a currently estimated $4,600 per-student, per-year for private- and home-schooling expenses. Families also may receive the money for newly school-aged children whom they never want to go to public schools.
Republican supermajorities passed this legislation (House Bill 2013) without a single Democrat vote.
Democrats raised concern about its effect on public schools, which have been losing students annually since 2012, dropping from about 282,300 children that year to 261,600 in fall 2019 and, after the coronavirus pandemic hit, 252,400 in fall 2020.
State funding for public schools is largely based on enrollment, and children leaving them take that money with them to home- and private-schooling in the form of these vouchers.