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Former House Democratic leader says EdChoice did not have bipartisan roots

Chris Redfern, former Ohio Democratic Party chair and House Minority Leader
Statehouse News Bureau
Chris Redfern, former Ohio Democratic Party chair and House Minority Leader, says the EdChoice voucher program was never a entirely supported by both political parties.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted (R-Ohio) says the EdChoice program that gives students taxpayer-funded vouchers to attend private schools began as a bipartisan effort to help kids leave struggling school districts.

But Chris Redfern, the former House Minority Caucus leader, says the voucher program was never a bipartisan effort.

He says, in 2005, only one Democratic member of the House originally supported the idea. The program was eventually included in the budget bill that year and received votes from two Democrats.

"This has so little to do with classroom performance, so little to do with performance on tests or graduation rates, colleges, acceptance rates. This has to do with money, big money, and how organizations and individuals who support the privatization of public schools have rewarded Republican legislators with money," Redfern said.

Public school leaders are challenging the voucher program, which is being used by more than 50,000 students.
Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.