The Great Debate: Charter Schools in West Virginia

By Samantha Cart

Over the past two years, charter schools have been among a handful of hot-button topics in the heated discussion on how to reform education in West Virginia. While both sides of the aisle agree a quality education system is vital to a thriving economy, there is much debate on what changes need to be made to get there. In June, Governor Jim Justice signed House Bill 206, an omnibus education bill allowing charter schools to open in West Virginia for the first time in the state’s history.

In an effort to better understand the arguments for and against charter schools, West Virginia Executive magazine reached out to Dale Lee, president of the West Virginia Education Association and a strong opponent of charter schools, and Garrett Ballengee, executive director of the Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy and a fierce advocate, for their unique perspectives on some of the statements that have been made during the debate.