More than 3,000 school voucher applications approved

May 31, 2022 GMT

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — More than 3,000 applications for nonpublic school vouchers have been approved in West Virginia and more are being reviewed, officials said.

The state Treasurer’s Office had approved 3,010 applications as of Friday and had another 469 applications that were still under review, agency spokesman Jared Hunt told the Charleston Gazette-Mail in an email.

A law enacted last year creates a publicly funded savings accounts program called the Hope Scholarship. It allows state money to be put into a special account that parents could then spend on private school tuition, homeschooling and other educational needs. It would allow private and homeschooled students to participate, pushing the potential cost to the state to more than $100 million annually.

May 15 was the last day for parents to apply to receive the full voucher amount, which will be $4,300 for the 2022-23 school year, Hunt said.

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The law is being challenged by three parents of children who attend public schools who contend that it violates the state Constitution and will siphon money away from public education. They filed a lawsuit this year and requested a preliminary injunction to stop the program’s implementation while the case is ongoing.