Published Online: February 26, 2010

Lack of Charter Schools in W.Va. Examined

A lack of charter schools may hold back West Virginia's effort to win $80 million in federal money under a new program called Race to the Top.

West Virginia, along with 39 other states, applied for the money earlier this year. States are awarded a number of points up to 500 to reward successful and innovative approaches to education.

Charter schools count for 40 points. Along with 10 other states, West Virginia has no such schools.

Schools Superintendent Steve Paine thinks at least 15 of those points can be made up in other ways, but charter schools supporters say the lack of such institutions is holding the state back.

A bill moving in the Senate this week would create the state's first charter schools.

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