Ohio

Eye on Education

Topics

ticket

How Ohio’s Voucher Program Works

Background

Ohio has several different school voucher programs. Voucher programs are publicly funded tuition subsidies for students attending private schools.

EdChoice

Ohio’s EdChoice program is intended to give students who attend the state’s worst performing public schools chances to attend private schools.

If a student is assigned to a public school that has been designated in “Academic Watch” or “ Academic Emergency” for two of the last three years, then that student is eligible for an EdChoice scholarship. Students who attend a charter school but would otherwise be going to one of those failing schools can also apply for the scholarship.

Students in grades K-8 are eligible for up to $4,250, and high school students can get up to $5,000, or the cost of tuition if that is lower.

The 2011 Ohio state budget expanded the voucher program from 14,000 vouchers to 30,000 for the 2011-12 school year. That number will double the following year to 60,000. In the past, the Ohio Department of Education didn’t have enough vouchers to meet demand for them.

The 2013 state budget expanded the voucher program to make students from low-income families eligible for vouchers — even if their local schools are high-performing. The low-income voucher program starts with kindergarteners this fall and adds an additional grade each year. The change makes Ohio one of the three states that make students eligible for vouchers based on their families’ income, according to the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice.

The 2013 state budget also expanded the voucher program by eventually making students in schools that do poor jobs of teaching students in grades K-3 reading eligible for vouchers.

Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program

Cleveland is the only Ohio city not participating in the EdChoice program. That’s because Cleveland has its own voucher program – one of the oldest voucher programs in the nation.

The Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program is open to students grades K-12. Students from low-income families get preference in receiving vouchers.

Special Needs Scholarships

There are two other voucher programs for children with special needs: the Autism Scholarship program and the Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship program. Unlike the EdChoice voucher program, these vouchers are available to students who currently attend private schools or are homeschooled.

The Autism Scholarship program awards parents of students with autism or some autism-spectrum disorders up to $20,000 a year to receive special education services outside of their local school district.

The Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship program awards the parents of students receiving special education services, i.e., who have an Individualized Education Program, up to $20,000 to send their children to special education programs other than the one operated by their local school district.

Latest Posts

ODE Extends Private School Voucher Deadline

empty classroom

Jenlight / Flickr The state has extended its deadline for parents to apply for taxpayer-funded vouchers to go to private schools instead of the low-performing schools their kids are assigned to attend. A student must be in one of the 220 schools in the state’s lowest two categories. And a student must be accepted to [...]

The Other Way Ohio Legislators Want to Expand Private School Scholarships

State Rep. Bill Patmon (D-Cleveland) cosponsored this year's tax credit scholarship bill along with state Rep. Andrew Brenner (R-Powell).

Ohio legislators are pushing a double-barrelled attempt to expand publicly subsidized scholarships that allow students to attend private schools. In this year’s state budget, Gov. John Kasich proposed an expansion of Ohio’s existing voucher program that would make half of Ohio children eligible for private school vouchers. Now state legislators have reintroduced a bill that would [...]

Kasich Education Plan Would Make Half of Ohio Children Eligible for Private-School Vouchers

School class photo

Philip Howard / Flickr Nearly half of Ohio students would be eligible for vouchers to attend private schools under a dramatic expansion of the state’s existing voucher programs proposed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich in this year’s budget. Vouchers are publicly funded tuition subsidies for students attending private-school. The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice writes: Gov. Kasich’s proposal will [...]

Kasich’s New School Funding Plan Would Increase Funding, Expand Vouchers

Ohio Gov. John Kasich wants to increase state education spending by $1.2 billion over the next two years, but the proposed increase falls short of replacing education funding cut in the last state budget. Kasich is also calling for expanding vouchers to lower-income families throughout the state. Like other governors, Kasich cut education spending in [...]

The Top 10 Ohio Education Stories of 2012

Blue number ten 10

Whether you call it reform, revolution, transformation or transmutation, the pace of change in the world of Ohio education continues to speed up. As we move into what’s likely to be another year of change in Ohio schools, we’ve whittled things down to this list of the 10 biggest Ohio education stories of 2012. 1. [...]

Is Too Much School Choice a Bad Thing?

In Ohio’s largest urban school districts, about 30 percent of students enrolled on Oct. 1 come and go during the course of the school year, according to a report released last week by the Fordham Institute and 11 other funders. The study was based on state data from 2009-2011. And students who move around a [...]

Why Ohio Calls School Vouchers “Scholarships”

Technically, Ohio doesn’t have voucher programs. It has scholarship programs: The Cleveland Scholarship Progarm, the Education Choice Scholarship, the Autism Scholarship Program and, starting next year, the Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship. That’s in part because of Akron businessman and longtime “school choice” advocate David Brennan. From Cleveland State University Professor Jim Carl’s history of [...]

Catholic High Schools Launch New, “Orthodox” Religion Curriculum

Patrick Baz / AFP/Getty Images Catholic high schools in Northeast Ohio are preparing to use a new religion curriculum featuring “more traditional” teachings on subjects including sin, heresy, mystery and divine revelation, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports: “It’s very Gospel-centered, returning to Scripture, returning to the roots of the church,” said [Superintendent of Schools Margaret Lyons]. [...]

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »

Economy
Education