|By Bob Weaver 2022|
West Virginia is not known for its high-quality education system. In fact, a recent study ranked West Virginia last in educational outcomes
in the USA.
So is West Virginia just neglecting to invest in education, its teachers among the lowest paid in the nation?
According to a ranking by Leaner, West Virginia spends an average of $25,407 per student on education. In the U.S., 43 other states spend more than West Virginia on each student.
Most of West Virginia’s funding for education, over 89%, comes from state funding, with federal funding covering almost 11%. According to Leaner, approximately .9% of West Virginia taxpayers’ salaries go to education in the state.
For those who are wondering how West Virginia spends almost $25K on students who go to public primary school, it doesn’t.
The majority of West Virginia’s education spending is on post-secondary education or college. Only $11,757 goes toward each student up through high school. On the other hand, $13,650 is spent on the average West Virginia college kid.
In poor, rural West Virginia counties, most studies indicate that fewer and fewer students go to college and indeed graduate.
Programs like the West Virginia Promise Scholarship may account for a good amount of this spending as qualifying students can get almost $5,000 per year from the state.
West Virginia isn’t alone in spending more on college than K-12 education. Only seven states and Washington D.C. spend more money on education up through high school than they do on college/university: Connecticut, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Washington, D.C.