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High Court Dissolves Hope Scholarship Injunction

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The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has lifted the injunction against the Hope Scholarship.

This is a developing story and may be updated.

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has lifted the injunction against the Hope Scholarship.

In July, Kanawha Circuit Judge Joanna Tabit halted the legislative program, ruling that the $4,300 offered to about 3,000 students for non-public school educational expenses was unconstitutional, diverting millions of dollars from an already underfunded public school system.

The state legislature passed and the governor signed the Hope Scholarship Act into law in 2021. It provides money for a variety of educational expenses, including tuition and fees at participating private schools and other educational activities.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey praised the court’s opinion.

“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,” he said. “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.”

Acting just two days after the court heard oral arguments, the Supreme Court issued an expedited order “given the nature of the constitutional matters at issue and the need to resolve the appeal in an expedited manner.”

The order dissolved an injunction and reversed the order that the Circuit Court of Kanawha County issued on July 22, 2022, which had put a temporary stop to the Hope Scholarship program. The Court’s detailed opinion will follow.

Senate President Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, issued the following statement on the ruling.

“On behalf of the entire majority caucus, we thank the court for their careful consideration of a matter that affects so many West Virginia families. We believe that all children in West Virginia deserve the best education that meets their individual needs, and that parents should have the right to all educational options.”

Treasurer Riley Moore, who serves as Chairman of the Hope Scholarship Board, said the Board will soon meet at the earliest possible date to resolve various implementation issues in order to begin administration of the program.

Families are encouraged to visit www.hopescholarshipwv.com over the coming days for more information as it becomes available.

Government Reporter, ryohe@wvpublic.org, 304-634-8123

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