“Our family’s wish to allow my son to attend a private Christian school setting was granted when the Hope Scholarship was created!” – Patricia Woodson

“My name is Patricia, and I live in Raleigh County, West Virginia. The injunction against the Hope Scholarship has highly impacted our plans for our child’s education. My son who is going into the third grade would greatly benefit from what a private school setting would offer rather than the current public setting he has been in up until now. Due to the COVID pandemic, we chose to complete the virtual school program. As challenging as it was, we made it through. It definitely left certain deficits in his academic achievements. I asked his school to allow him to repeat the first grade. This request was denied because “there wasn’t enough room for him to be held back due to upcoming class size.” So, his school pushed him though even though he wasn’t ready. I was told that an intervention specialist would arrange meetings once or twice per week for the students who struggled with curriculum. I later learned this only happened a total of approximately 2 times. Aside from the academic component, the social environment is not what I wish for my child to be engaged in. As an 8 year old, he has heard of rather adult words and conversations between students that make me cringe to hear him repeat. Overcrowded classes and lunch rooms with minimal one-on-one connections between student and teacher are also a problem. Having more personalized attention would allow for maximum security and a feeling of importance. This is hard to attain in a public school setting. Our family’s wish to allow my son to attend a private Christian school setting was granted when the Hope Scholarship was created! But when it was halted it made me feel as though someone had pulled the rug out from under me. We’re working class people, so private school isn’t easy to afford. For now, we rely on our faith in God to provide what we need and to give us an answer for what to do next. At the end of the day it’s only money and nothing is worth more than your child. However with inflation making groceries more expensive and the rising costs of gas and utilities with no pay raises, it makes me anxious about the future and the security of our family’s finances. I hope the justice system of West Virginia would think of not only my child but all the children impacted by this decision because they are West Virginia’s future.”