A recent article about the lawsuit challenging the EdChoice program skewed toward a defense of the existing educational bureaucracy rather than prioritizing Ohio’s children. Competition makes all competitors better, as opposed to a government-run monopoly which lacks incentive to improve. The winners in this competition are chosen by the parents, and the “skyrocketing” numbers using EdChoice vouchers (while still only 3% of total Ohio students) suggest those alternative schools are providing a better service. Parents are not foolhardy in making such difficult decisions for their children. And a very important silver lining is that studies in other states with more mature programs (Florida and Indiana, for example) prove that such competition makes the legacy public schools better. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) measurement of student performance for low-income students in 2019 ranks Florida and Indiana tied for number 1 of all 50 states, dramatic improvement from ranks 11 and 22 in 2003, which improvement is clearly attributable to expansive educational choice programs. Competition works.
Springfield Superintendent Bob Hill bemoans the EdChoice money that city schools “lost,” but students transferring to EdChoice-eligible schools means that city schools are educating fewer children, and “revenue per pupil,” which is total tax dollars devoted to public education per student, is approximately $17,500 in Springfield, $26,200 in Dayton, and $16,200 state-wide. The EdChoice voucher is a maximum of $5,550 per K-8 student and $7,500 per 9-12 student. The educational system, taxpayers, are clearly saving money with EdChoice, not losing money.