Monday, February 4, 2013 at 10:45 AM
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 put Ohio on par with Indiana and Louisiana, which make around half of their total student populations eligible for vouchers.
The state spends more than $100 million a year on vouchers for more than 20,000 students.
Kasich wants students throughout Ohio to be able to apply for vouchers--regardless of their district's performance or students' special needs.
Here's who else would be eligible for vouchers under Kasich's proposal:
These proposed changes are a big deal, says Bill Phillis, Executive Directory of the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding.
They would expand vouchers to a subset of Ohio students. But, if enacted, parents are likely to press legislators to extend vouchers even further, Phillis says.
In fact, that's exactly what the Friedman Family is already pushing for. Friedman Foundation President Robert Enlow said via email:
“Ohio’s plan to expand vouchers is a welcome move that will give more families access to the schools that work best for them...But just as public and charter schools are available to children from all income brackets, vouchers should be as well.
Of course, that's if Kasich's plan actually makes it through the legislature intact. A 2011 bill that would have expanded vouchers statewide failed in the face of school-district opposition.