Congratulations, West Virginia families! The West Virginia Supreme Court just ruled that the new Hope Scholarship program—an education savings account program—is, indeed, constitutional. That means that the over 3,000 families that have already applied for the scholarship can now proceed with their applications and, hopefully, receive funding for next semester.
But the big news is that now any West Virginia family with children enrolled in a public school can take nearly $4,300 in state education funding to the school of their choice. The program isn’t just for low-income parents, or parents of students with disabilities, or parents in larger cities, or parents of students in low-performing schools—ANY parent of a public school student can use their state funding to attend a private school, purchase tutoring services, sign-up for courses leading to an industry-recognized credential in a trade, or enroll in educational therapies.
This win for West Virginia families comes close on the heels of an even bigger one for Arizona families. Arizona’s groundbreaking universal scholarship of $6,500 can also be used by students who are already attending a private school or homeschooled students.
West Virginia and Arizona lawmakers trusted families to decide what’s best for their children’s education. They trusted that putting families in charge is true school accountability. Nearly 70 percent of Missouri students are below grade level in math. Do we believe that if Missouri families were given the same choices they wouldn’t consider different educational options? Those in charge of public education in Missouri tell us not to worry that only 32 percent of our students are proficient in math—they’re working on it. Put parents at the helm and see how many would be okay with that.
Kudos, West Virginia. Missouri, we got next.