Eye on Education

Most Voucher Schools Are Christian, Because Most Private Schools Are Too

One of the things that has scared some people away from using Ohio’s EdChoice programs that most of the schools that accept the vouchers are Christian.

A few Jewish schools also participate in the program, and at least one Muslim school, as well as several nondenominational schools and nonreligious schools.

But since the majority of the schools are Christian, parents who follow another faith or none at all — or who just don’t want to send their kids to a religious school — may, in some districts, be limited in their options.

You can download a list of the private schools participating in EdChoice here.

Cincinnati mom Ebony Sawyer’s three children aren’t baptized, a question that was on the application for the private school where she wanted to enroll her children with the help of a state voucher.

“We believe in God,” she said. But she said baptism is something she wants her children to comprehend. “I’m not going to say, ‘O.K., you’re 3, it’s time to be baptized.’ I want them to come to me and say,  ’O.K. mom, I’m ready.’”

Sawyer went to a Catholic school, but she doesn’t want to pressure her children when it comes to religion. Fortunately, that Catholic private school that asked if her kids are baptized is happy to work with her and her kids.

The reason so many of the schools that accept Ohio’s vouchers are religious – mostly Christian, specifically Catholic – is that most of the state’s chartered non-public schools (a.k.a. private schools) are religious, and most of those are Christian.

The Ohio Department of Education doesn’t really analyze data on the religious affiliations of the state’s private schools. So, we took a look at some data extracted from the department’s website. Keep in mind that these are just estimates. Still, the predominance of Christian schools is obvious.



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