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Students arrive as classes resume on March 7, 2018, in Charleston, W.Va., following a walkout that closed schools statewide. (AP/Robert Ray) Students arrive as classes resume on March 7, 2018, in Charleston, W.Va., following a walkout that closed schools statewide. (AP/Robert Ray)

Students arrive as classes resume on March 7, 2018, in Charleston, W.Va., following a walkout that closed schools statewide. (AP/Robert Ray)

By Shannon MacNeil December 6, 2018
By Lizzie Perry December 6, 2018

Does West Virginia spend half its budget on K-12 education?

Is almost half of West Virginia’s state budget devoted to K-12 education? That’s what West Virginia state Senate Minority Leader Roman Prezioso, a Democrat, said.

"Fifty percent of our (West Virginia) budget was for lower education," Prezioso said during a panel discussion at West Virginia University on Nov. 29, 2018.

We looked at the most recent budget report released by the state to determine whether Prezioso was accurate.

According to the most recent West Virginia executive budget document, the state spent $1.919 billion on "education" in fiscal year 2017, the most recent year for which actual expenditures are currently available. (This category does not include university spending. Expenditures for "higher education" totaled $392.9 million.)

Total expenditures for fiscal year 2017 were about $4.2 billion. That means K-12 education accounted for about 46 percent of the budget.

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As for the recommendations for fiscal year 2019, education spending would account for 44.26 percent of overall spending.

After the panel, PolitiFact West Virginia asked Prezioso to clarify what he had meant, and he said that the 50 percent figure was an approximation.

Our ruling  

At the panel, Prezioso said that "50 percent of our (West Virginia) budget was for lower education."

We found that it was 46 percent for 2017 and a recommended 44 percent for 2019. Prezioso was off by a few percentage points, but he was in the ballpark, so we rate his statement Mostly True.

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Mostly True
"Fifty percent of our (West Virginia) budget was for lower education."
a panel discussion at West Virginia University
Thursday, November 29, 2018

Our Sources

Roman Prezioso, remarks at a panel at West Virginia University, Nov. 29, 2018

State of West Virginia, Executive Budget 2019, accessed Nov. 30, 2018

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Does West Virginia spend half its budget on K-12 education?

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