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West Virginia school districts

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K-12 Education in West Virginia
Flag of West Virginia.png
Education facts
State Superintendent: Charles K. Heinlein
Number of students: 282,870[1]
Number of teachers: 20,247
Teacher/pupil ratio: 1:14
Number of school districts: 57
Number of schools: 759
Graduation rate: 79%[2]
Per-pupil spending: $11,846[3]
See also
West Virginia Department of EducationList of school districts in West VirginiaWest VirginiaSchool boards portal
Education policy logo.jpg
Education policy project
Public education in the United States
Public education in West Virginia
Glossary of education terms

West Virginia is home to 57 school districts, 759 schools and 282,870 K-12 students.[4]

Quick facts

State school administrators

  • State Board of Education[5]
    • Gayle C. Manchin, President
    • Michael I. Green, Vice President
    • Thomas Campbell
    • Tina H. Combs
    • Robert W. Dunlevy
    • Lloyd G. Jackson, II
    • L. Wade Linger, Jr.
    • William M. White


The following table displays the state's top 10 school districts by total student enrollment.[6]

Enrollment, 2011-2012
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


See also: Demographic information for all students in all 50 states

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.[7]

Demographic Information for West Virginia's K-12 Public School System
Ethnicity Students State Percentage United States Percentage**
American Indian 327 0.12% 1.10%
Asian 2,000 0.71% 4.68%
African American 14,266 5.04% 15.68%
Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. Students 100 0.04% 0.42%
Hispanic 3,368 1.19% 24.37%
White 259,435 91.72% 51.21%
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.

In the news

District's response to Freedom Industries chemical spill

In March 2014, Kanawha County Schools made the decision to use tap water for drinking and cooking for the first time since the Freedom Industries chemical spill. Schools covered drinking fountains and provided bottled water for students in the aftermath of the January 2014 spill. The decision to move back to tap water came after Governor Earl Ray Tomblin lifted a state of emergency for the county and requested additional tests for traces of crude MCHM at more than 100 schools across the state. All but one school came back at non-detect levels of two parts per billion. The screening level was stricter than Tomblin's initial 10 parts per billion level and 500 times more protective than the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's one part per million recommendation. Because crude MCHM wasn't detected at the strict screening levels, Kanawha County school officials lifted the ban on tap water. Kanawha County Superintendent Ron Duerring said parents who do not want their children using tap water will need to send a note to their principal or teacher.

Some parents in the district were unhappy that the district did not provide faster notification. Karan Ireland, a mother of two Kanawha County students, organized Citizens Actively Protecting the Environment and encouraged members to push the county to provide bottled water for the remainder of the school year. She believed the district deliberately did not give her group the opportunity to organize and that had parents been given that opportunity, they could have taken an inventory of the remaining bottled water and mobilized donation drives to bring in more supplies. She believed that many people do not drink tap water in their homes, and therefore students should not be drinking it in schools.[8]

State law

Common Core

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.[9]

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.[10]

School boards typically consist of five members. Board members serve four-year terms, which are often staggered every two years.[10]

District types

West Virginia features 55 school districts divided by county. Each school district offers public education within the boundaries of the county.[10]

Term limits

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.[10]

School board elections

Upcoming elections

See also: West Virginia school board elections, 2015

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:[10]

  • 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.[10]

Campaign finance

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.[10]

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. 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
  2. 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."
  3. United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
  4. United States Department of Education, "2012 EDFacts State Profile," accessed August 8, 2013
  5. West Virginia Department of Education, "Board of Education," accessed June 13, 2014
  6. National Center for Education Statistics, "ELSI Table Generator," accessed July 11, 2014
  7. 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
  8. Samuel Speciale, Charleston Daily Mail, "Schools in Kanawha County begin to use tap water," March 5, 2014
  9. Common Core State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State," accessed July 12, 2014
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 West Virginia Secretary of State, "Running for Office in West Virginia," accessed July 9, 2014