West Virginia Watch
More than $300,000 in Hope Scholarship funds, which provide money for kids for private school or homeschooling, have been used at out-of-state schools that border West Virginia.
The Hope Scholarship, launched in 2021, gives West Virginia students roughly $4,400 per student in taxpayer money that would otherwise go to public schools to use for private schools, homeschooling and more.
Last year, more than 2,300 students were awarded the scholarship funds. Around $10.4 million was allocated for the Hope Scholarship in its first year; out-of-state spending for education accounted for about 3% of those funds, according to the State Treasurer’s Office.
The State Treasurer’s Office shared the financial data with West Virginia Watch.
West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy Executive Director Kelly Allen obtained her own records about the Hope Scholarship’s use through public records requests. She said the out-of-state spending data raised serious concerns about the lack of transparency around the program, which is the nation’s broadest education savings account program.
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