The following offers highlights of the recent legislative sessions. Precollegiate enrollment figures are based on fall 2004 data reported by state officials for public elementary and secondary schools. The figures for precollegiate education spending do not include federal flow-through funds, unless noted.
Precollegiate education funding saw a slight increase over the current year’s level at the conclusion of West Virginia’s legislative session.
The budget included $1.7 billion for schools for fiscal 2006. That represents a 1.7 percent increase over the current fiscal year.
A bill signed by Gov. Joe Manchin III will prohibit the sale of soft drinks by elementary and middle schools during the school day in areas that are accessible to students. High schools that permit vending-machine sales of soft drinks must make half of those offerings more healthful by including products such as water, 100 percent fruit juice or vegetable juice, or low-fat milk.
Another measure the Democratic governor signed in law sets minimum levels of school-sponsored physical activity: at least 30 minutes of physical education three days a week in elementary schools; one full period of physical education each school day of one semester of the school year in middle school; and one full-course credit of physical education a year in high school.