Public education in West Virginia
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- 1 State agencies
- 2 Regional comparison
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Academic performance
- 5 Educational choice options
- 6 Education funding and expenditures
- 7 Organizations
- 8 Taxpayer-funded lobbying
- 9 Studies and reports
- 10 School districts
- 11 Education ballot measures
- 12 Recent news
- 13 See also
- 14 External links
- 15 References
List of school districts in West Virginia
Public education in West Virginia
School board elections portal
The West Virginia Board of Education was established by the West Virginia Constitution. The Board of Education supervises the state's public elementary and secondary schools. It is composed of 12 members. Nine are voting members who are appointed by the governor, and three are nonvoting members, including the West Virginia Superintendent of Schools, the chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and the chancellor of Community and Technical College Education Commission.
The mission statement of the West Virginia Board of Education reads:
|“||The West Virginia Board of Education establishes policies and rules to assure implementation of West Virginia's Education goals and to ensure the general supervision, oversight and monitoring of a thorough and efficient educational system.||”|
Common Core, or the Common Core State Standards Initiative, is an American education initiative that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and mathematics at each grade level from kindergarten through high school. The West Virginia State Board of Education adopted these standards on June 2, 2010. The standards will be fully implemented during the 2014-2015 school year.
- See also: General comparison table for education statistics in the 50 states and Education spending per pupil in all 50 states
The following chart shows how West Virginia compares to three neighboring states with respect to number of students, schools, the number of teachers per pupil, and the number of administrators per pupil. Further comparisons between these states with respect to performance and financial information are given in other sections of this page.
|State||Schools||Districts||Students||Teachers||Teacher/pupil ratio||Administrator/pupil ratio||Per pupil spending|
| Sources: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey", 2011-12 v.1a.|
National Center for Education Statistics, Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12
The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in West Virginia as reported in the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.
|Demographic Information for West Virginia's K-12 Public School System|
|Ethnicity||Students||State Percentage||United States Percentage**|
|Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. Students||100||0.04%||0.42%|
|Two or More||3,374||1.19%||2.54%|
|**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.|
Enrollments by region type
A plurality of students in West Virginia attend rural schools. The same is true in Kentucky, but in Ohio and Virginia, students are more likely to attend suburban schools than rural schools.
|Student distribution by region type, 2011 - 2012 (as percents)|
|State||City schools||Suburban schools||Town schools||Rural Schools|
|Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD) (timed out)|
- See also: NAEP scores by state
The National Center for Education Statistics provides state-by-state data on student achievement levels in mathematics and reading in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Compared to three neighboring states (Kentucky, Ohio, and Virginia), West Virginia had the lowest percentage of students score at or above proficient in math and reading in fourth grade and eighth grade.
|Percent of students scoring at or above proficient, 2012-2013|
|Math - Grade 4||Math - Grade 8||Reading - Grade 4||Reading - Grade 8|
|NAEP assessment data for all students 2012-2013|
Graduation, ACT and SAT scores
|Comparison table for graduation rates and test scores*|
|State||Graduation rate, 2012||Average ACT Composite, 2012||Average SAT Composite, 2013|
|Percent||Quintile ranking**||Score||Participation rate||Score||Participation rate|
| *Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Rate (except for Idaho, Kentucky, Oklahoma, which did not report “Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate,” but instead used their own method of calculation).|
**Graduation rates for states in the first quintile ranked in the top 20 percent nationally. Similarly, graduation rates for states in the fifth quintile ranked in the bottom 20 percent nationally.
Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express
The high school event dropout rate indicates the proportion of students who were enrolled at some time during the school year and were expected to be enrolled in grades 9–12 in the following school year but were not enrolled by October 1 of the following school year. Students who have graduated, transferred to another school, died, moved to another country, or who are out of school due to illness are not considered dropouts. The average public high school event dropout rate for the United States remained constant at 3.3 percent for both SY 2010–11 and SY 2011–12. The event dropout rate for West Virginia was higher than the national average at 3.4 percent in the 2010-2011 school year, and lower than the national average at 2.7 percent in the 2011-2012 school year.
Educational choice options
- See also: School choice in West Virginia
Education funding and expenditures
- See also: West Virginia state budget and finances
According to the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), the state spent approximately 10.8 percent of its fiscal year 2012 budget on elementary and secondary education. This is down 12.3 percentage points, a 53.2 percent decrease in the share of the budget from fiscal year 2008, when the state spent 23.1 percent of its budget on elementary and secondary education. Over half of West Virginia's education revenue comes from state funding. Local funding accounts for nearly 30 percent, and federal funding accounts for about 15 percent.
|Comparison of financial figures for school systems|
|State||Percent of budget (2012)||Per pupil spending (2011)||Revenue sources (2011)|
|Percent federal funds||Percent state funds||Percent local funds|
| Sources:NASBO, "State Expenditure Report," Table 8: Elementary and Secondary Education Expenditures As a Percent of Total Expenditures |
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system revenues in West Virginia totaled approximately $3.5 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including revenue sources, for West Virginia and surrounding states.
|Revenues by source, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)|
|Federal revenue||State revenue||Local revenue||Total revenue|
|Public school revenues by source, FY 2011 (as percents)|
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system expenditures in West Virginia totaled approximately $3.7 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including expenditure types, for West Virginia and surrounding states.
|Expenditures by type, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)|
|Current expenditures**||Capital outlay||Other***||Total expenditures|
| **Funds spent operating local public schools and local education agencies, including such expenses as salaries for school personnel, student transportation, school books and materials, and energy costs, but excluding capital outlay, interest on school debt, payments to private schools, and payments to public charter schools.|
***Includes payments to state and local governments, payments to private schools, interest on school system indebtedness, and nonelementary-secondary expenditures, such as adult education and community services expenditures.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
|Public school expenditures, FY 2011 (as percents)|
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average national salary for classroom teachers in public elementary and secondary schools has declined by 1.3 percent from the 1999-2000 school year to the 2012-2013 school year. During the same period in West Virginia, the average salary decreased by three percent.
|Estimated average salaries for teachers (in constant dollars**)|
|**"Constant dollars based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, adjusted to a school-year basis. The CPI does not account for differences in inflation rates from state to state."|
In 2012, the Fordham Institute and Education Reform Now assessed the power and influence of state teacher unions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Their rankings were based on 37 different variables in five broad areas, including: resources and membership, involvement in politics, scope of bargaining, state policies and perceived influence. West Virginia ranked 13th overall, or strong, which was in the second tier of five.
The main unions related to the West Virginia school system are the West Virginia Education Association, an affiliate of the National Education Association, and the West Virginia Federation of Teachers, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers.
List of local West Virginia school unions:
- West Virginia Education Association
- West Virginia Federation of Teachers
- West Virginia Professional Educators
- See also: West Virginia government sector lobbying
The main education government sector lobbying organization is the West Virginia School Boards Association.
Studies and reports
Quality Counts 2014
- See also: Quality Counts 2014 Report
Education Week, a publication that reports on many education issues throughout the country, began using an evaluation system in 1997 to grade each state on various elements of education performance. This system, called Quality Counts, uses official data on performance from each state to generate a report card for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The report card in 2014 uses six different categories:
- Chance for success
- K-12 achievement
- Standards, assessments and accountability
- The teaching profession
- School finance
- Transitions and Alignment
Each of these six categories had a number of other elements that received individual scores. Those scores were then averaged and used to determine the final score in each category. Every state received two types of scores for each of the six major categories: A numerical score out of 100 and a letter grade based on that score. Education Week used the score for the first category, "chance for success," as the value for ranking each state and the District of Columbia. The average grade received in the entire country was 77.3, or a C+ average. The country's highest average score was in the category of "standards, assessments and accountability" at 85.3, or a B average. The lowest average score was in "K-12 achievement", at 70.2, or a C- average.
West Virginia received a score of 71.6, or a C- average in the "chance for success" category. This was below the national average. The state's highest score was in "standards, assessments and accountability" at 96.7, or an A average. The lowest score was in "K-12 achievement" at 60.8, or a D- average. West Virginia had the third highest score for the "standards, assessments and accountability" category in the country. The chart below displays the scores of West Virginia and its surrounding states.
Note: Click on a column heading to sort the data.
|Public education report cards, 2014|
|State||Chance for success||K-12 achievement||Standards, assessments and accountability||The teaching profession||School finance||Transitions and Alignment|
|West Virginia||71.6 (C-)||60.8 (D-)||96.7 (A)||80.3 (B-)||89.0 (B+)||89.3 (B+)|
|Kentucky||74.4 (C)||70.3 (C-)||90.2 (A-)||82.1 (B-)||71.7 (C-)||92.9 (A)|
|Ohio||78.6 (C+)||71.3 (C-)||96.1 (A)||76.4 (C)||77.2 (C+)||78.6 (C+)|
|Virginia||84.8 (B)||74.2 (C)||93.3 (A)||81.9 (B-)||76.1 (C)||85.7 (B)|
|United States Average||77.3 (C+)||70.2 (C-)||85.3 (B)||72.5 (C)||75.5 (C)||81.1 (B-)|
| Source: Education Week, "Quality Counts 2014 report cards," accessed February 18, 2015|
A full discussion of how these numbers were generated can be found here.
State Budget Solutions education study
State Budget Solutions examined national trends in education from 2009 to 2011, including state-by-state analysis of education spending, graduation rates and average ACT scores. The study showed that the states that spent the most did not have the highest average ACT test scores, nor did they have the highest average graduation rates. A summary of the study is available here. The full report can be accessed here.
- See also: School board elections portal
The following table displays the state's top 10 school districts by total student enrollment:
|1.) Kanawha County Schools|
|2.) Berkeley County Schools|
|3.) Wood County Schools|
|4.) Cabell County Schools|
|5.) Raleigh County Schools|
|6.) Harrison County Schools|
|7.) Monongalia County Schools|
|8.) Putnam County Schools|
|9.) Mercer County Schools|
|10.) Jefferson County Schools|
School board composition
West Virginia school board members are generally elected by residents of the school district, although some school board members are appointed to fill vacancies until the next election for the seat is held. West Virginia school board elections typically select board members on an at-large basis, allowing all residents living in the school district to vote for any board candidates on the ballot. State law requires that no more than two members elected from any magisterial district may serve on the board during a given term.
School boards typically consist of five members. Board members serve four-year terms, which are often staggered every two years.
West Virginia does not impose statewide term limits on school board members. However, terms limits on school board members can still be imposed on the local level.
No top enrollment districts in West Virginia are scheduled to hold elections in 2015.
Path to the ballot
To qualify for the ballot as a school board candidate in West Virginia, a person must be:
- 18 years of age or older
- A high school graduate or holder of a G.E.D.
- A resident of the school district
Each candidate submits an affidavit of candidacy and a filing fee of $25 with the county elections office.
State law requires candidates to file reports before and after each election if they have received or spent more than $500. A reporting waiver is available for any candidate who does not have financial activity exceeding $500 for a reporting period.
Education ballot measures
As of June 2014, there were no education ballot measures in West Virginia.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "West + Virginia + Education "
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- West Virginia state budget and finances
- West Virginia Department of Education
- List of school districts in West Virginia
- West Virginia
- Education Policy in the U.S.
- West Virginia Department of Education
- West Virginia State Board of Education
- West Virginia Superintendent of Schools
- West Virginia Virtual School
- West Virginia School Directory
- West Virginia School Data and Reports
- West Virginia Finance Information
- West Virginia Public School Ratings by PSK12
- West Virginia Public School Ratings by Great Schools
- National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
- ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
- United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD); Table 2.—Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011-12," accessed May 12, 2014
- United States Department of Education, "ED Data Express," accessed May 12, 2014
- West Virginia Department of Education, "State Superintendent of Schools," accessed August 1, 2014
- West Virginia Department of Education, "West Virginia Board of Education," accessed June 4, 2014
- West Virginia Department of Education, "West Virginia Board of Education MISSION and GOALS," accessed June 4, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Common Core State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State," accessed July 12, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
- United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014
- ACT, "2012 ACT National and State Scores," accessed May 13, 2014
- Commonwealth Foundation, "SAT Scores by State 2013," October 10, 2013
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Dropout and Graduation Rate Data File, School Year 2010-11, Provision Version 1a and School Year 2011-12, Preliminary Version 1a," accessed May 13, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2011-2013," accessed February 21, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009-2011," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditures Report, 2010-2012," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2008," accessed February 24, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts: School Year 2010–11," accessed May 13, 2014 (timed out)
- Maciver Institute, "REPORT: How much are teachers really paid?," accessed October 29, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 211.60. Estimated average annual salary of teachers in public elementary and secondary schools, by state: Selected years, 1969-70 through 2012-13," accessed May 13, 2014
- Thomas E Fordham Institute, "How Strong Are U.S. Teacher Unions? A State-By-State Comparison," October 29, 2012
- Center for Union Facts, "West Virginia teachers unions," accessed May 20, 2010
- Education Week "Quality Counts 2014 report cards," accessed February 19, 2015
- West Virginia Secretary of State, "Running for Office in West Virginia," accessed July 9, 2014
- National Center for Education Statistics, "ELSI Table Generator," accessed July 11, 2014
State of West Virginia
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | State Auditor | Superintendent of Schools | Commissioner of Insurance | Commissioner of Agriculture | Director of Natural Resources | Commissioner of Labor | Chairman of Public Service Commission |