Eye on Education

Ohio Voucher Expansion a “Foot in the Door” for Dramatic Change on School Choice Policy

The state budget now pending in the Ohio Senate would dramatically expand publicly funded scholarships for students to attend private schools.

Senate Education Committee Chair Peggy Lehner said yesterday she supported the program, but was concerned that its costs could expand exponentially beyond the initial costs of $773 million, Gongwer News Service reports.

Sen. Lehner said her concern with the program is the state “needs to have our eyes wide open” as this is a “foot in the door” for a considerable change in the state policy on school choice. The proposal includes only 2,000 scholarships, which she said has to grow to cover incoming classes in the future.

Kindergarteners can take the voucher without having ever been in a public school to know that they are struggling. The cost to the state to serve those first 2,000 voucher recipients through grade 12 is $773 million. If the program is expanded the cost will multiply “exponentially.”

“This is a huge, huge amount of money we’re talking about here,” she said. “What does this mean in the long run and is this something we can afford?”

Read more at: www.gongwer-oh.com

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