Moore: High Interest in New Hope Fellowship Program | News, Sports, Jobs

WHEELING – West Virginia Treasurer Riley Moore said his office had received many calls about the new Hope scholarship program, so much so that he wanted to make sure everyone had the information they needed. to see if the program works for them.

Moore was in Wheeling earlier this week to chat with administrators of the Wheeling Country Day program, an education savings account that gives parents the choice to use a portion of their per-student spending from the Assistance Plan. state school for educational expenses such as tuition in private schools, home. tutoring, learning aids or other acceptable expenses. This year it would be worth $ 4,600.

“It’s been really interesting to see how popular this has been so far,” Moore said. “We get a lot of questions from people across the state who are certainly very interested in this opportunity. We’ll see how big this program ends up being. It might just be a curiosity, but most seem to be serious parents intention to use it.

Moore’s office, which will administer the program, now has a website at www.wvtreasury.com/hopescholarship. It includes both answers to frequently asked questions and the ability for parents to register their names and email addresses for periodic reports on the progress of the program.

The scholarship is not yet available. The deadline for submitting applications is March 2022 and the program begins in July 2022.

“We will work to make these applications available as soon as possible”, Moore said, “So we’re not scrambling and we have enough time to see how big this program is going to be. We can guess it conceptually, see how other states, what size of their student populations have benefited. But there are a few nuances here in the West Virginia program.

Currently, eligible students are residents of West Virginia who are entering kindergarten for the first time, who have been enrolled full-time in a public elementary or secondary school program in the state in the previous year, or who have passed enrolled full-time and attending a public elementary or secondary school program in that state for at least 45 days during a teaching term at the time of the application. Currently, currently homeschooled or private students are not eligible. Yet, if, by 2024, the participation rate of the combined number of program students and eligible students who have applied to participate in the program is less than 5% of net public school enrollment adjusted for purposes of State aid for the previous school year, all students will be eligible in 2026. No state with an ESA program has exceeded that 5% threshold, Moore said.

Parents aren’t the only ones curious about the Hope Scholarship, Moore said. Administrators of private schools also want to know how the program will affect their institutions. Moore said those schools were excited, but wanted clarification on how the program will work.

These schools want to guard against negative impacts, but Moore doesn’t think they will deal with it.

“There is uncertainty there,” he said, “And that’s why we’re working to provide certainty through the rule-making process and talk to schools like Wheeling Country Day to make sure they understand how this program is going to work. It’s the largest ESA program in the country, so we’ll see how it works. “

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