The state treasurer’s office is set to bolster the new Hope scholarship program to pay tuition fees for students leaving the public school system.
The treasurer’s office, which will administer the new program, is rolling out a website to provide scholarship information and advice. The office is also announcing a vacant position of Director of Education Savings Accounts to help administer the program.
“Although the Hope Scholarship Program does not officially begin until the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year, our office has already received many requests from parents and professional educators wishing to learn more about the program,” said Treasurer Riley Moore in a statement. release on the new website.
People can visit www.hopescholarshipwv.com to register and receive email alerts when scholarship applications and information materials become available.
In addition to a form to sign up for email updates, the website includes a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page with basic information about the program, which will be updated regularly.
The legislature passed and the governor then signed a bill establishing the Hope Scholarships earlier this year.
The 2013 House Bill would establish the Hope Scholarship, allowing students leaving the public school system to use $ 4,600 – based on the most recent schools funding formula numbers – for various education costs .
The bill also allows students of age to enter the school system for the first time to be eligible immediately.
The program allows individual families to use money from the public education system for expenses such as services provided by public schools, such as individual lessons or extracurricular activities; tuition and fees at participating schools; tutoring (except by a member of the student’s family); fees for national standardized tests; fees for extracurricular or summer programs; educational services and therapies and more.
The bill established a supervisory board which includes the treasurer as chairman and chairman. The board is supposed to implement the program and determine if the expenses are eligible.
The board is also responsible for maintaining a list of participating schools, providing parents with a list of ways the scholarship money can be used, and describing the responsibilities of the parents of recipients. The board may also suggest additional legislative rules, including ways to establish a fraud reporting system.
Conservative publication The Federalist concluded that “West Virginia just passed the nation’s broadest school choice law.”
Programs in four other states are limited to students with special needs or individualized education programs. A fifth, Nevada, requires students to have attended public school for at least 100 days before applying.
“Recent legislation establishing the Hope Scholarship Program has attracted national attention for its potential to create the most inclusive school choice program in the country, and my office is committed to making that potential a reality. Moore said.
“Over the next few months, my office will develop the framework and internal procedures to administer the program. We want to make sure everything is in place and ready to go once the application period opens next spring. “
State estimates suggest the overall cost could be $ 23,667,486 when the program begins in 2022.
The program is supposed to be operational by July 1, 2022.
Applications are expected to be available by March 1, 2022.
Moore noted that those dates have not yet arrived.
“While we want to make the Hope scholarship available as soon as possible, the program does not begin until fall 2022, as per state law,” Moore said.
“In the meantime, the new website will allow my office to communicate the new program details to interested families and, in turn, families can be sure that they are receiving accurate information directly from the agency administering the program. . “