CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK)—West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed an appeal with West Virginia’s Intermediate Court of Appeals on Tuesday asking the court to overturn an injunction granted by Kanawha Couty Circuit Court Judge Joanna Tabit on July 6.
Tabit blocked the state from launching the Hope Scholarship voucher program saying it would ultimately take public funds and use them for private education expenses.
“We are continuing to fight for the Hope Scholarship Act, an important law that gives parents the right to choose the education they see fit for their children,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “We know this law is constitutional. So, we urge the court to act because thousands of families who were supposed to receive educational funding for their children remain in limbo—with the school year just around the corner.”
The Hope Scholarship voucher program was signed into law by West Virginia Governor Jim Justice in 2021 with plans for it to go into effect for the 2022-2023 school year. More than 3,000 students have already been awarded the scholarship which would be used for education purposes this fall. Each student receives $4,300 to go toward private or homeschooled education.
In the appeal, Morrisey wrote, “The injunction will irreparably injure the public, including more than 3,000 students already approved for scholarships. With just over a month until school starts, the blessing of the Hope Scholarship these students’ families planned around has been ‘pulled out from under’ them.”
A fiscal note produced in the legislature when the bill first passed estimated that the full cost for the program could be as much as $100 million aside from public education.