A bill that would expand Ohio’s school voucher program from urban areas to the entire state is unlikely to make it over to the Senate without any changes, Senate Education Committee Chair Peggy Lehner told the Dayton Daily News.
The bill in question (HB 136) has been reported out of the House Education Committee but has not yet been voted on by the full House.
Currently, only students assigned to schools rated “D” or “F” for two of the last three years can get vouchers. (Cleveland has a separate voucher program.) HB 136 would allow students from low-income families to get vouchers no matter how their schools performed.
Lehner told the Dayton Daily News that the voucher expansion proposal would drastically change “the way we perceive and fund public education:”
The Ohio Constitution requires that the state provide a thorough and efficient education for every child, she said. “When we fail to do that, in my personal belief, then we need to provide alternatives,” such as vouchers to private schools, she said.
“With this bill, it takes it beyond that because no longer are we talking about just those school districts where we are failing to provide that kind of education. It also allows a child to move from an excellent school into a private school and that’s a very different question. ”