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Ohio Lawmaker Says COVID and Culture Wars Are Leading to More Interest in School Choice

 School choice advocates rally at Ohio Statehouse in 2017
Jo Ingles
Statehouse News Bureau
School choice advocates rally at Ohio Statehouse in 2017. Sen. Andy Brenner (R-Delaware) says parents in school districts that typically haven't been as interested in the topic of school choice are letting him know they are now.

School choice has been an option in many urban school districts throughout Ohio. But it hasn’t been as popular in rural and wealthy suburban districts. One school choice supporter says that might be changing because of the pandemic.

Republican Sen. Andy Brenner (R-Delaware) says a lot of parents in his wealthy suburban Central Ohio district are telling him they are so upset with their public schools that they have begun working to start their own charter schools. And Brenner says his fellow lawmakers are hearing the same thing.

“They were hearing from their parents, out of nowhere, concerns that they saw in their local schools, and some of these are the best suburban schools in the state of Ohio. So this is something I think is going to possibly expand substantially in the coming years,” Brenner said.

Brenner says parents’ complaints include COVID policies like masking, but also curriculums that are perceived to be heavily centered on social justice issues.
Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.