K-12 student funding rose, test results haven’t in West Virginia: Report

(The Center Square) – West Virginia inflation-adjusted education funding per student grew from $12,351 in 2002 to $14,163 per student in 2020, according to a new report from Reason Foundation.

Over that same period, employee benefits grew by 16.9% from $2,900 per student to $3,390 per student, the report showed. In 2020, West Virginia had $282.4 million in education debt, down $18 per student from 2002.

West Virginia enrollment went down by 6.9% from nearly 283,000 students to more than 263,000 students from 2002 to 2020 while staffing went down 1.1% with 6.4% less teachers and 5.0% more non-teachers over that time.

From 2003 to 2019, the state’s fourth-grade reading scores went down 6 points and eighth-grade reading scores went down 4 points in the NAEP Nation’s Report Card while the math scores went up 1 point in fourth grade and 2 points for eighth-graders.

Low-income students in the state saw their scores go down 8 points in fourth-grade reading and 4 points in eighth grade over the span while low-income students’ math scores went down 3 points in fourth-grade math and rose by 1 point in eighth grade.

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