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West Virginia Supreme Court Upholds State’s School Choice Program

Last week, the West Virginia Supreme Court upheld the state’s Hope Scholarship Program as constitutional, effectively ending an injunction on the program put in place by a lower court in July.

The Hope Scholarship Program allows West Virginia parents access to an education savings account (ESA) to receive average per-pupil state funding set aside for their children’s education. Parents can use the funds on school tuition, school supplies, tutoring and other education-related expenses. 

In July, Kanawha Circuit Judge Joanna Tabi, who was appointed by a Democrat, ruled the scholarship program unconstitutional. At that time, more than 3,000 students had been approved for the program.

After last week’s ruling, Patrick Morrisey, the attorney general of West Virginia, said that kids in the state deserve the best education options and called described it as “big win for education freedom.”

Many thanks go out to the WV Supreme Court for reversing the Kanawha Circuit Court and determining that the Hope Scholarship is constitutional. WV kids deserve the best public schools and as many private sector options as possible. This is a big win for educational freedom. #Hope

— Patrick Morrisey (@MorriseyWV) October 6, 2022

In a statement, Morrisey added that the ruling is “a tremendous victory for the hard-working families across West Virginia who deserve increased options for their children’s individual educational needs.”

“It has always been my goal to help make our state first in the nation when it comes to educational opportunities for West Virginia’s kids,” he continued.

This month, Townhall covered how opponents of Arizona’s new school choice expansion program failed to garner enough signatures to pause the program and place it on the general election ballot in 2024. Before a teachers union-backed movement tried to take it down, so many parents had applied for the program that the Arizona Department of Education extended the application deadline.

“Arizona families have rejected special interests’ attempts to take away their ability to choose the education that best meets their child’s unique needs,” Victor Riches, president and CEO of the Goldwater Institute, said in a statement. “Families deserve the right to choose the best education option for their children, regardless of zip code, and now, they’ll once again be able to exercise that right by applying for ESAs.”

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