Mapping Drive Times from Private Schools in West Virginia - EdChoice
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  • Feb 14 2019

Mapping Drive Times from Private Schools in West Virginia

One in eight West Virginia students has a far commute to the nearest private school

West Virginia families lack the diverse educational opportunities families in many other states enjoy.

But if the state were to create a private school choice program, such as education savings accounts (ESAs), our new study with the Cardinal Institute shows existing West Virginia private schools would be open to participating and have thousands of open seats to spare.

But where exactly are West Virginia private schools located? Which communities have private schools, and which don’t? And how quickly can families in the Mountaineer State transport their children to private school options?

The below private school drive-time map begins to answer some of these questions.

 

WV map

 

Here’s a quick breakdown of the data generated from an analysis of this West Virginia map:

 

All West Virginia students in grades K–12:

  • 20 percent live within a five-minute drive of at least one private school
  • 44 percent live within a 10-minute drive of at least one private school
  • 61 percent live within a 15-minute drive of at least one private school
  • 73 percent live within a 20-minute drive of at least one private school
  • 82 percent live within a 25-minute drive of at least one private school
  • More than 30,000 students (12%) live 30 minutes or more from at least one private school

 

Families that, based on their income, would qualify for free or reduced-price lunch (conservatively assumes income less than $35,000 for a family of three):

  • 18 percent live within a five-minute drive of at least one private school
  • 40 percent live within a 10-minute drive of at least one private school
  • 56 percent live within a 15-minute drive of at least one private school
  • 68 percent live within a 20-minute drive of at least one private school
  • 78 percent live within a 25-minute drive of at least one private school
  • 21,462 income-eligible families (15%) live 30 minutes or more from at least one private school

 

Median incomes of households based on how far they live from a private school:

  • $42,891 for those zero to five minutes from at least one private school
  • $48,107 for those five to 10 minutes from at least one private school
  • $48,581 for those 10 to 15 minutes from at least one private school
  • $44,632 for those 15 to 20 minutes from at least one private school
  • $41,036 for those 20 to 25 minutes from at least one private school
  • $40,060 for those 25 to 30 minutes from at least one private school

 

It’s important to note that West Virginia’s private school landscape is influenced by population and geography. Larger West Virginia cities have the bulk of the state’s private schools and school-aged population, which affects drive-time measurements for the state as a whole. The private school “deserts” in areas of the eastern part of the state may be devoid of high-speed roads and high populations. This especially seems to be true in the Monongahela National Forest area.

If you would like to pitch new mapping projects to the EdChoice research team, email research@edchoice.org.

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