Education in West Virginia

Formal public school Education in West Virginia falls under the auspices of the West Virginia Department of Education. Each county in West Virginia constitutes a school district.

Education Administration
West Virginia Board of Education
The West Virginia Board of Education is established in the West Virginia Constitution. The Board is vested with general supervision of West Virginia's 834 elementary and secondary schools. Its twelve members include nine citizens appointed by the governor and three non-voting ex-officio members: the State Superintendent of Schools, the Chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, and the Chancellor of Community and Technical Education. The State Superintendent is a constitutional officer who serves at the will of the board. Board members serve overlapping terms of nine years, and no more than five citizen members may belong to the same political party.

The West Virginia Board of Education meets monthly to determine the educational policies of the elementary and secondary schools and to establish the rules that carry into effect state law regarding education. The State Board of Education also has general control, supervision, and management of the business and educational affairs of the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind in Romney.

County Boards of Education
For each K-12 school district there is a board of education with at least five members whom are chosen by election in non-partisan races. Though no more than two members may reside in the same magisterial district, members are elected by residents of the entire county. Active teachers and service personnel are not eligible for election to the county Board of Education. Members are elected to four-year terms in which the election occurs during the regular primary election in even years.

In addition to the Boards of Education, each district also has an appointed Superintendent. He/she typically serves as the Executive Officer of the county school district and is responsible for enforcing policies of the West Virginia Board of Education. Assignments, transfers, suspensions, and promotions made by the County Superintendent are subject to approval by the county Board of Education. The Superintendent must be a resident of the county in which he/she serves or in a contiguous West Virginia county.

Each county school district falls within one of eight Regional Education Service Agencies (RESAs).

Golden Horseshoe
All eighth grade students in the state West Virginia take a history, or social studies class all based on the history of the state. They learn all about the state of West Virginia. Students may elect to take the test at county level.

Two hundred twenty-one West Virginia eighth graders receive the award each year. The two top-scoring students from each county are given the award (total of 110), as are another 110 students selected throughout the state based on population. In addition, the top-scoring student from the West Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind is presented the award. There is a knighting ceremony for the winners.