Funded: State Policy Analysis

A Detailed Look at Each State's Funding Policies

Below, see summaries of the state’s education funding policy in each issue area. Click the Expand icon next to any summary to see more detail, if available, about that state’s policy regarding that issue area. Click the Citation icon
next to any summary to see the sources of the information regarding that issue area.
West Virginia
Funding Basics
Formula Type

West Virginia has a primarily resource-based formula. It determines the cost of delivering education in a district based on the cost of the resources, such as staff salaries and course materials, required to do so.  

Literacy instruction in grades K-3 and services for English language learners, highly disabled students, and students enrolled in career and technical education programs are funded through program-specific allocations. Sparsely populated districts are considered in the allocation of funding for staff costs.

source(s):

W. Va. Code Ann. §18-2E-10
W. Va. Code Ann. §18-9A-22
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Base Amount

The state of West Virginia uses a resource-based funding formula and therefore does not use a base per-student amount as the basis for its funding.

Expected Local Share

West Virginia expects school districts to contribute revenue to the funding of public schools. The amount each district is expected to raise for its education costs is based on its property values: each district is expected to contribute $1.94 per $1,000 of tangible agricultural property, $3.88 per $1,000 of owner-occupied property and farms, and $7.76 per $1,000 of other real and personal property property. These rates are established annually by the legislature.

Once the state calculates the total amount of funding necessary to educate students within a district, it subtracts 90% of the expected local contribution, deducts 4% as an allowance for discounts and nonpayment, and provides the difference in the form of state education aid. However, school districts in West Virginia that obtain voter approval may raise more, though not less, money locally than the expected amount, subject to maximum rates that differ by the class of property.

With voter approval, districts may also impose additional property taxes for specific purposes, including to pay the cost of maturing bonds and bond interest and to pay for capital improvements.

source(s):

West Virginia Department of Education, Executive Summary, Ad Valorem Property Taxes for School Purposes for 2015-16 Year, shared with the researcher on 4/27/16
Personal communication from Sam Pauley, Coordinator, Office of School Finance, West Virginia Department of Education, on 5/27/16

Student Characteristics
Grade Level

West Virginia does not differentiate funding based on students’ grade levels.

English-Language Learner

West Virginia provides increased funding for English language learners (ELLs). It does so in the form of an allocation for each ELL, in the amount of the state’s total appropriation for this purpose divided by the prior-year ELL count.

In FY2016, the state appropriated $100,000 for this purpose.

source(s):

Personal communication from Sam Pauley, Coordinator, Office of School Finance, West Virginia Department of Education, on 5/27/16

Student Poverty

West Virginia does not provide increased funding for students from low-income households.

Special Education

West Virginia funds special education using a hybrid system incorporating a single student weight and a block grant.

The state provides each district with a flat, base amount for special education. This amount was $30,402 in FY2016. Additional funding is allocated on a per-pupil basis, with the same amount of state funding provided for each student with disabilities, regardless of the severity of those disabilities. This per-pupil amount was $67.44 for all disabled K-12 students in FY2016.

There is also a high-cost reimbursement available when a student with disabilities has eligible costs greater than a threshold amount that is set annually ($33,400 in FY2016). When students are placed in out-of-state instruction programs because a free and appropriate public education cannot be provided to them in-state, districts may request reimbursement for the cost of the placement. When a student with disabilities is placed into a facility or foster home outside his or her home county by the Department of Health and Human Resources or the Department of Juvenile Services, districts may apply for reimbursement for the cost of that placement as well.

source(s):

Personal communication from Sam Pauley, Coordinator, Office of School Finance, West Virginia Department of Education, on 5/27/16
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Gifted

West Virginia does not provide additional resources for gifted and talented students.

However, the Aid for Exceptional Students funding can be utilized for gifted and talented students at the discretion of each district. (See "Special Education" for a description of this allocation.)

source(s):

Personal communication from Sam Pauley, Coordinator, Office of School Finance, West Virginia Department of Education, on 5/27/16

Career and Technical Education

West Virginia provides specific funding for career and technical education (CTE) programs. It does so in accordance with a formula that takes into account several participation and performance factors.

The formula considers the number of students within foundation courses, the number of students within first CTE courses, the number of students who have completed three CTE courses, the number of students completing CTE programs, and the score on the CTE Balanced Scorecard, an evaluation framework. The funding is intended for both program costs and equipment replacement.

source(s):

Personal communication from Sam Pauley, Coordinator, Office of School Finance, West Virginia Department of Education, on 5/27/16

Community Characteristics
District Poverty

West Virginia does not provide increased funding based on the concentration of students from low-income households in a particular district.

However, many of the state's program-based allocations consider poverty levels in the allocation of funding.

source(s):

Personal communication from Sam Pauley, Coordinator, Office of School Finance, West Virginia Department of Education, on 5/27/16

Sparsity and/or Small Size

West Virginia provides increased funding for small school districts by inflating the student count to generate extra funding. The state also considers district sparsity in the specified student-to-staff ratios that generate funding for staff positions.

For small districts, defined as those with fewer than 1,400 students, the state inflates the student count using a formula in which the state subtracts the district’s enrollment from 1,400 and multiplies the difference by a factor related to the district’s student population density.

source(s):

Source 1