Long Overdue: An Adequacy Cost Study in West Virginia

20 Pages Posted: 17 May 2022

Date Written: March 27, 2019

Abstract

West Virginia is among a small minority of states using a resource-based school funding formula that determines the costs of operating schools in each district based primarily on student enrollment. This "foundation allowance" insufficiently accounts for the educational needs of all children--low-income, at-risk, gifted, special needs--and lacks any basis in educational research. Indeed, there has never been been a comprehensive, nonpartisan, empirical study of the actual costs of providing a constitutionally adequate education to all West Virginia children. Such adequacy costs studies have been conducted since the early 1990s, and over 100 have been commissioned in 41 states and DC, including all of West Virginia's neighboring states.

This white paper makes the case for a West Virginia adequacy cost study in keeping with state constitutional law and in the interests of sound education policy.

Keywords: education, school funding, school finance, adequacy, equity, adequacy cost study, cost study, state constitution, West Virginia

JEL Classification: I22, I24, I28, K19, K39

Suggested Citation

Weishart, Joshua E., Long Overdue: An Adequacy Cost Study in West Virginia (March 27, 2019). WVU College of Law Research Paper No. 2019-009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3361212 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3361212

Joshua E. Weishart (Contact Author)

Suffolk University Law School ( email )

120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108-4977
United States

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