School choice in West Virginia

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School choice refers to the educational alternatives available to parents who do not wish to send their children to the local district public school to which they are assigned. Public school choice options include open enrollment policies, magnet schools and charter schools. Other options include traditional school vouchers, scholarship tax credits, personal tax credits and deductions and Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), which allow parents to receive public funds directly for educational expenses.[1][2]

School choice options in West Virginia include: homeschooling, online learning, private schools and two voluntary public school open enrollment policies.

Educational choice options

See also: Number of schools by school type in the U.S.

Charter schools

As of the 2012-2013 school year, West Virginia did not have a charter school law.[3]

Magnet schools

See also: Number of schools by school type in the U.S.

Magnet schools, sometimes called theme-based schools, are public schools of choice that use a specialized subject area or innovative learning approach to attract students from more diverse backgrounds. In fact, magnet schools began as a way to desegregate public schools through choice rather than force. Magnet schools can reach beyond the barriers of school districts, but they are still managed and funded publicly by local districts, even though they are centered around specialized themes and subjects. As of December 2014, West Virginia did not have any dedicated magnet schools as in many states. Instead, the state uses "magnet programs," which are out-of-school programs that give students opportunities to further certain skills. These programs are different from magnet schools in that students still attend their home school for their core classes, but travel to a different location at certain times to receive additional instruction. These types of programs are not considered by the federal government to be magnet schools, so there is little, if any, information on them available from federal or state sources.[4][5][6]


An estimated 6,720 students were home-schooled in West Virginia during the 2012-2013 school year, which represented approximately 2.39 percent of all students in the state.[7]

Parents or guardians must have a high school diploma or GED in order to homeschool their children. They must also submit a plan of instruction for the coming year to the county superintendent or county board. An academic assessment of each home-schooled child must also be submitted to the county superintendent or county board. The assessment must be submitted by June 30 each year and can be a nationally normed achievement test, the testing program currently used by the state in public schools or a portfolio of the child's academic progress for the year.[8][9]

Online learning

Most online learning opportunities in West Virginia come from the West Virginia Virtual School (WVVS). WVVS is a state virtual school that offers courses for students in sixth through 12th grades and approves of courses for younger grades as well. WVVS was created in 2000, and during the 2012-2013 school year, it served 6,039 enrollments, which was an increase of 35 percent from the previous school year.[10]

Private Schools

In the 2011-2012 school year 12,325 students, or 4.36 percent of school age children, were enrolled in 116 private schools. West Virginia ranks 48th in the U.S. in private school attendance.[11]

Public school open enrollment

West Virginia has voluntary intra-district and voluntary inter-district public school open enrollment policies. The voluntary intra-district policy allows superintendents to transfer students in between schools within the county at the request of a parent or guardian or for reasons that affect the best interests of the school. The voluntary inter-district policy allows county boards of education to transfer students to different school districts within the state, either part-time or full-time. This is used particularly when topography, such as passable roads or long bus rides, impedes a student's access to school.[12]

Education ballot measures

See also: School choice on the ballot and List of West Virginia ballot measures

Ballotpedia has tracked no statewide ballot measures relating to school choice in West Virginia.

Recent news

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All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

West Virginia Education News Feed

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See also

External links