West Virginia Hope Scholarship funds to flow as soon as January

West Virginia State Treasurer Riley Moore said in a press conference prior to the Hope Scholarship board meeting that every family awarded a Hope Scholarship would receive funding to pursue the educational pathway of its choice, whether that be private school or an individualized learning plan such as homeschooling.

Editor’s note: This article first appeared on www.newsandsentinel.com.

The board governing West Virginia’s expansive educational savings account program approved provisions Wednesday to re-start the program after the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals lifted an injunction blocking it.

The Hope Scholarship Board met last week for the first time since this summer after a lower court ruling granted a permanent injunction halting the program. The board approved amendments to the emergency rule that set out how the educational savings account program operates.

The approved amendments will allow the State Treasurer’s Office to send out Hope Scholarship funds to families approved by the board by Jan. 15, 2023, for both the first semester and the second semester of the 2022-23 school year.

The amendments will also empower the board to develop a plan for sending out Hope Scholarship funds to parents who had to return their students to the public school system on a prorated rate for the time the student spent in either private/religious school or home school.

Families who were previously approved by the board for Hope Scholarship funds remain eligible for funds and will not need to apply again, including parents who placed their children back into public school. Those parents will need to decide by January if they wish to continue in the Hope Scholarship program or keep their children in public school and forfeit the funds.

“We’re going to approve within this rule the ability to essentially pay everybody who had been awarded the Hope Scholarship previously and who had gone on and chosen a path, whether it be private school, or some individualized learning plan, like home school,” said State Treasurer Riley Moore in a press conference prior to the Hope Scholarship Board meeting.

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BY Special to NextSteps