Ohio has a very aggressive school voucher program called EdChoice that provides public tax dollars to pay tuition for students attending private schools. The voucher program started out as a way to provide an alternative educational choice for students whose local public school building was considered by the state to be a “failing” school.
Because of a number of changes to Ohio law over the past decade, more and more vouchers are being granted each year and more and more local tax dollars are being diverted to private institutions:
- The number of school buildings being deemed eligible for vouchers increased 300% in the last two years (from fewer than 300 to more than 1200). (More detailed information can be found through this link to the Wyoming City Schools Board of Education December EdChoice Letter.)
- EdChoice Vouchers provide $4650 for students in grades 5-8 and $6000 for students in grades 9-12. Wyoming only receives $2998 per student from the State, so the balance of the voucher would be paid from LOCAL tax dollars. The potential impact for Wyoming is estimated to be at least $450,000 over the next 4 years.
Legislators must decide to do the following to support public education and stop draining scarce resources from public schools:
- Use the state report card overall building grade for EdChoice determination and keep buildings earning an A, B or C off the voucher list.
- Reverse HB166 budget language and require that EdChoice applicants attend a public school in the year prior to applying.
- Keep voucher income eligibility at 200% of the federal poverty level.
Now is the time for state-wide action! (More detailed information can be found through this link to the Wyoming City Schools Board of Education January EdChoice Letter.) To take action in support of public education in the state of Ohio, please reach out to our state legislators now:
This link provides a letter/email template and a legislator contact list.
The Wyoming City Schools Board of Education is committed to providing a high-quality education to all students who come through our doors and is proud of the teachers, support staff, and administration who deliver on our Wyoming promise to students and families each and every day. Support of this mission and our schools by our community has been a hallmark for generations.
Please help us stand up for public education in Ohio!
February 1, 2020 Update:
Last night, the state legislature voted to postpone the start of the application window to April 1.