West Virginia state Supreme Court upholds voucher program

The United States Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that a Maine law that barred parents from using state education vouchers at religious schools was unconstitutional.

West Virginia’s highest judicial body took notice, and last week the state Supreme Court upheld a public scholarship fund that allows students to leave the public system.  

Lower court decision reversed

According to the Washington Examiner, the West Virginia state Supreme Court ruled that a lower court was in error when it blocked the Hope Scholarship program.

The Hope Scholarship’s website states that it “is an education savings account (ESA) program that will allow parents and families to utilize the state portion of their education funding to tailor an individualized learning experience that works best for them.”

Under the program, funds are provided to students from low-income families which they can then use to pursue their education at charter schools, private schools, religious institutions, or via home-schooling.

The Examiner noted that West Virginia’s Republican state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey issued a statement welcoming the Supreme Court’s decision.

Attorney general “proud”

“Today’s order is a tremendous victory for the hard-working families across West Virginia who deserve increased options for their children’s individual educational needs,” Morrisey was quoted as saying.

“It has always been my goal to help make our State first in the nation when it comes to educational opportunities for West Virginia’s kids,” he continued.

“Today’s win will make an incredible difference for thousands of families across the State — the Hope Scholarship Act opens more doors for West Virginia students while leaving public schools with the funding and other resources they need to remain strong,” Morrisey added.

The state official declared that he is “proud of our office’s work to defend this important program and the rule of law.”

Morrisey’s had earlier condemned a decision by the Kanawha County Circuit Court to block the Hope Scholarship program.

“My Office will appeal today’s legally incorrect decision enjoining WV’s Hope Scholarship law,” he tweeted. “Our kids & hard working families of our state deserve the best educational options. We’re very hopeful that this decision— like others which failed in Circuit Court— will be reversed.”