In the past two decades, school funding in Ohio has experienced dramatic policy changes; many contrary to League of Women Voters of Ohio policy positions and which, we feel, are harming educational quality in Ohio. Education is a League priority for which we hope to build a strong advocacy program. This page provides news articles, other information, and direction for taking action.
EdChoice Update - ACT NOW
by Susie Kaeser, education specialist for the League of Women Voters of Ohio.
Starting with the 2020 school year, every member of the state legislature will represent at least one school district that must use local funds to pay for students to attend a private school under Ohio’s EdChoice voucher program. Because test scores drive eligibility and scores reflect income, the first victims of the voucher laws were high poverty, urban districts, but new laws – inserted in the new state budget without public review – made the issue ubiquitous. In just three years, EdChoice districts grew from 39 to more than 400 – two-thirds of the state’s 612 school districts.
The legislature needs to staunch the bleeding of public school budgets by ending the requirement that local districts pay for students they don’t educate at the expense of those they do. Public school districts cannot afford to pay for the education of children who do not attend their schools.
By February 1, before vouchers are awarded for next year, the legislature can:
- Give financial relief to districts already hard-hit by loss of funds to EdChoice
- Curb the growth of vouchers by changing the rules defining EdChoice schools and granting vouchers only to students leaving a public school
- Use the income-based voucher program funded directly by the general fund as the primary source of new vouchers.
This easy-to-use link will automatically connect you with your legislators. Please contact them before February 1.
TAKE ACTION Public Funds for Public Schools
The first news article listed below is a January 11, 2020 op-ed by Susie Kaeser regarding EdChoice. The remaining articles are listed chronologically starting with the most recent.
"Diversion of Ohio school dollars to non-public schools has become a raging river. It must stop." Susie Kaeser, Education specialist LWVO. Op-ed published in cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer.
"Ohio private school voucher law to change, but devil’s in the details." Jeremy P. Kelley, Dayton Daily News.
"Change To Exploding Voucher Program Likely Coming, But Time Is Running Out." Karen Kasler, Ideastream
"‘It’s a mess’: Butler County school leader continues to blast state EdChoice program." Michael D. Clark, Journal-News, Butler County
"Public school leaders worry EdChoice expansion will force taxpayers to fund private education." Todd Dykes, WLWT Cincinnati
"How to fix EdChoice vouchers." Piet van Lier, Policy Matters Ohio
"With Feb. 1 deadline looming, Ohio House seeks to change school voucher program." Laura Hancock, cleveland.com
"Expansion of Ohio’s EdChoice voucher program puts state’s complicated school funding formula in spotlight." Todd Dykes, WLWT Cincinnati
"Lawmaker Questions Republican Willingness to Correct Massive School Voucher Expansion." Karen Kasler, WKSU
"Editorial: Revisit rules to make school voucher program more rational." Columbus Dispatch Editorial Board
"Dublin, Upper Arlington, Worthington schools ‘under-performing’? New system to expand Ohio vouchers flags even top-tier suburban public schools." Anna Staver, Columbus Dispatch
"Heights Schools Ask For Help Fighting Voucher Program Losses. The Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District lost $4.2 million to voucher deductions in 2019, one school official said." Chris Mosby, Patch
"Larry Householder should aim for nothing less than a truly comprehensive Ohio school-funding fix." Editorial Board, cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer
"Increase in private school tuition vouchers is costing districts – and soon you." Patrick O’Donnell, The Plain Dealer