Eye on Education

Sponsor Will Dial Back Voucher Expansion Bill HB 136 in Face of School District Opposition

The sponsor of a bill — House Bill 136 — that would expand Ohio’s school voucher program from urban areas to the entire state is scaling his bill back in response to opposition from school districts, the Columbus Dispatch reports. The Dispatch’s Catherine Candisky writes that “GOP sources” say:

HB 136 sponsor [Rep. Matt Huffman] reportedly is proposing to: lower income requirements so fewer students would qualify for a voucher; cap the amount of tax revenues a school district would lose for students transfering to a private school with a voucher; limit the number of students a district could lose to the program to no more than 1 percent of enrollment; and eliminate a provision that would allow parents to deposit any unused voucher money into a college savings account for their child.

But lobbyists from the Ohio School Boards Association and the state organizations of school superintendents and business officials said in an email that changing parts of the bill is not enough:

It appears that the bill sponsor is circulating various amendments to HB 136 in an attempt to gain enough votes to get approval on the House floor. We want to make it clear to legislators that amendments to this bill will not lead to our support. The shift in public policy represented in HB 136 is detrimental to public education and must be stopped.

Nearly 300 school districts and educational service center from across Ohio passed resolutions opposing the bill. (See the full list here.) Their main concern is that the dramatic expansion of the voucher program, which allows students to use public dollars to pay tuition at private schools, would siphon both students and state dollars from their districts.

Although an expansion of Ohio’s existing school voucher program was approved earlier this year, HB 136 would expand vouchers even further:

  • HB 136 would allow any student in any district whose family makes less than $95,000 a year to get a voucher covering the cost of tuition at a private or parochial school. The current state voucher program gives preference to low-income families.
  • 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 to get vouchers no matter how their schools performed.

Under the version of HB 136 that was reported out of committee, the state would deduct about $5,800 from a school district’s state aid for each student who receives a voucher.

School Districts Opposing Voucher Expansion Bill HB 136

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District Name
Akron CitySummit
Allen County ESCAllen
Amanda-Clearcreek LocalFairfield
Amherst Ex VillLorain
Arcadia LocalHancock
Archbold Area LocalFulton
Ashland County-West Holmes JVSDAshland
Ashtabula Area CityAshtabula
Ashtabula County Technical & Career CenterAshtabula
Athens-Meigs ESCAthens
Aurora CityPortage
Austintown LocalMahoning
Ayersville LocalDefiance
Barnesville Ex VillBelmont
Bath LocalAllen
Bay Village CityCuyahoga
Bellbrook-Sugarcree LocalGreene
Bellefontaine CityLogan
Belpre CityWashington
Benjamin Logan LocalLogan
Benton-Carroll-Salem LocalOttawa
Bethel-Tate LocalMiami
Big Walnut LocalDelaware
Bloom-Carroll LocalFairfield
Boardman LocalMahoning
Botkins LocalShelby
Bowling Green CityWood
Bristol LocalMiami
Brookfield LocalTrumbull
Brooklyn CityCuyahoga
Brown County ESCBrown
Brown Local (Carroll0Carroll
Brunswick CityMedina
Buckeye Central LocalCrawford
Buckeye Local (Ashtabula)Ashtabula
Buckeye Valley LocalDelaware
Bucyrus CityCrawford
C-Tech JVSD of Licking CountyLicking
Canfield LocalMahoning
Carey Ex VillWyandot
Cedar Cliff LocalGreene
Centerburg LocalKnox
Chagrin Falls Ex VillCuyahoga
Champion LocalTrumbull
Chardon LocalGeauga
Chillicothe CityRoss
Chippawa LocalWayne
Clark County ESCClark
Clark-Shawnee LocalClark
Clay LocalScioto
Cleveland MunicipalCuyahoga
Clinton-Massie LocalClinton
Columbia LocalLorain
Columbiana Ex VillColumbiana
Columbus Grove LocalPutnam
Conneaut Area CityAshtabula
Conotton Valley Union LocalHarrison
Coshocton CityCoshocton
Crestview Localnot specified
Crestwood LocalPortage
Crooksville Ex VillPerry
Cuyahoga Heights LocalCuyahoga
Danville LocalKnox
Dayton CityMontgomery
Deer Park CityHamilton
Delaware CityDelaware
Dublin CityFranklin
East Guernsey LocalGuernsey
East Holmes LocalHolmes
East Knox LocalKnox
Eastern Local (Brown)Brown
Eastern Local (Meigs)Meigs
Elida LocalAllen
Elyria CityLorain
Euclid CityCuyahoga
Fairbanks LocalUnion
Fairborn CityGreene
Fairfield CityButler
Fairfield Union LocalFairfield
Fairland LocalLawrence
Fairless LocalStark
Fairview Park CityCuyahoga
Fayetteville-Perry LocalBrown
Federal Hocking LocalAthens
Felicity-Franklin LocalClermont
Field LocalPortage
Finneytown LocalHamilton
Firelands LocalLorain
Forest Hill LocalHamilton
Fort Frye LocalWashington
Franklin CityWarren
Franklin LocalMuskingum
Fredericktown LocalKnox
Fremont CitySandusky
Galion CityCrawford
Georgetown Ex Vill Brown
Gibsonburg Ex VillSandusky
Goshen LocalClermont
Graham LocalChampaign
Granville Ex VillLicking
Green Localnot specified
Greenon LocalClark
Groveport Madisod LocalFranklin
Hardin-Houston LocalShelby
Highland Localnot specified
Howland LocalTrumbull
Huntington LocalRoss
Independence LocalCuyahoga
Ironton CityLawrence
Jackson-Milton LocalMahoning
Jefferson Area LocalAshtabula
Jefferson County ESCJefferson
Jefferson County JVSJefferson
Jefferson Local (Madison)Madison
Jennings LocalPutnam
Kalida LocalPutnam
Kenston LocalGeauga
Kent CityPortage
Keystone LocalLorain
Kirtland LocalWarren
Knox County Career CenterKnox
LaBrae LocalTrumbull
Lakeview LocalTrumbull
Lakewood CityCuyahoga
Lawrence County JVSLawrence
Leetonia Ex VillColumbiana
Liberty LocalTrumbull
Licking County ESCLicking
Lima CityAllen
Lincolnview LocalVan Wert
Lisbon Ex VillColumbiana
Logan-Hocking LocalHocking
Lordstown LocalTrumbull
Loudonville-Perrysville Ex VillAshland
Lucas County ESCLucas
Lynchburg-Clay LocalHighland
Manchester LocalSummit
Mapleton LocalAshland
Maplewood Career CenterPortage
Mariemont CityHamilton
Marietta CityWashington
Marion CityMarion
Marysville Ex VillUnion
Maumee CityLucas
McDonald LocalTrumbull
Medina CityMedina
Medina County ESCMedina
Meigs LocalMeigs
Mentor Ex VillLake
Middletown CityButler
Millcreek-West Unity LocalWilliams
Mohawk LocalWyandot
Morgan LocalMorgan
Muskingum Valley ESCMuskingum
Napoleon Area CityHenry
National Trail LocalPreble
New Bremen LocalAuglaize
New Philadelphia CityTuscarawas
New Riegel LocalSeneca
Newark CityLicking
Newbury LocalGeauga
Newton Falls Ex VillTrumbull
Niles CityTrumbull
Noble LocalNoble
Nordonia Hills CitySummit
North College Hill CityHamilton
North Fork LocalLicking
North Olmsted CityCuyahoga
Northeastern Localnot specified
Northridge Localnot specified
Northwest Ohio ESCFulton
Northwestern Localnot specified
Norton CitySummit
Norwood LocalWood
Oak Hill LocalHamilton
Oakwood CityMontgomery
Oberlin CityLorain
Olmsted Falls CityCuyahoga
Orange CityCuyahoga
Orrville CityWayne
Ottawa-Glandorf LocalPutnam
Ottoville LocalPutnam
Painesville CityLake
Perry-Hocking ESCPerry
Perrysburg LocalWood
Pike-Delta-York LocalFulton
Port Clinton CityOttawa
Portsmouth CityScioto
Preble County ESCPreble
Reading Community CityHamilton
Revere LocalSummit
Rittman Ex VillWayne
Riverside Localnot specified
Ross-Pike ESDRoss
Shaker Heights LocalCuyahoga
Shawnee LocalAllen
Sidney CityShelby
Solon CityCuyahoga
South Central LocalHuron
South Central Ohio ESCScioto
South Range LocalMahoning
South-Western CityFranklin
Southeast Localnot specified
Southeastern Localnot specified
Southern Hills JVSDBrown
Southern Local (Meigs)Meigs
Southern Local (Perry)Perry
Southern Ohio ESCClinton
Southington LocalTrumbull
Southwest Licking LocalLicking
Spencerville LocalAllen
Springfield CityClark
Springfield Clark CTCClark
Springfield Local (Lucas)Lucas
Springfield Local (Mahoning)Mahoning
St. Henry Consolidated LocalMercer
St. Marys CityAuglaize
Steubenville CityJefferson
Stow-Munroe Falls CitySummit
Strasburg-Franklin LocalTuscarawas
Streetsboro CityPortage
Strongsville CityCuyahoga
Talawanda CityButler
Tecumseh LocalClark
Toledo PublicLucas
Tri-County ESCWayne
Tri-Village LocalDarke
Triad LocalChampaign
Trumbull County CTCTrumbull
Trumbull County ESCTrumbull
Tuscarawas Valley LocalTuscarawas
Tuslaw LocalStark
Twinsburg CitySummit
Union LocalBelmont
United LocalColumbiana
Upper Arlington CityFranklin
Upper Sandusky Ex VillWyandot
Urbana CityChampaign
Valley View LocalMontgomery
Van Wert CityVan Wert
Vanlue LocalHancock
Vermilion LocalErie
Vinton County LocalVinton
Wadsworth CityMedina
Wapakoneta CityAuglaize
Warren CityTrumbull
Washington LocalLucas
Waterloo LocalPortage
Wauseon Ex VillFulton
Waverly CityPike
Wayne County JVSWayne
Waynesfield-Goshen LocalAuglaize
Wellston CityJackson
Wellsville LocalColumbiana
West Branch LocalMahoning
West Carrollton CityMontgomery
Western Brown LocalBrown
Westlake CityCuyahoga
Wheelersburg LocalScioto
Williamsburg LocalClermont
Winton Woods CityHamilton
Woodridge LocalSummit
Wooster CityWayne
Worthington CityFranklin
Xenia CommunityGreene
Yellow Spring LocalGreene
Youngstown CityMahoning
Zanesville CityMuskingum

Source: Ohio School Boards Association | Download data | Download pdf


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