West Virginia

Does state law require public schools to be "open to all"?


Does state law mandate "equality of educational opportunity"?


Do the courts recognize education as a fundamental right?

Yes—Pauley v. Kelly (1979)

State Constitution

Art. 10 § 2.The Legislature shall provide, as soon as practicable, for the establishment of a thorough and efficient system of free schools.


In West Virginia, attendance zones could be vulnerable to an equal protection challenge and strict scrutiny review, because the WV Supreme Court has ruled education to be a fundamental right.

Open Enrollment

None found.

Voluntary for districts. Resident district can veto the transfer.W.Va. Code § 18-5-16(b)

State Law Establishing Attendance Zones

W.Va. Code § 18-5-16: “The county board may divide the county into such districts as are necessary to determine the schools the students of its county shall attend. Upon the written request of any parent or guard- ian, or person legally responsible for any student, or for reasons affecting the best interests of the schools, the superintendent may transfer students from one school to another within the county.”

State Law Criminalizing Use Of Incorrect Address

None found.

Charter School Admissions

WestVirginia passed its first charter school law—House Bill 206—in the summer of 2019.The law allows charter schools to establish a “primary recruitment area” and to discriminate against children who live outside that area when making enrollment decisions.