Adding to the increased financial burden on public schools is the state mandate to place the burden of school transportation squarely on the shoulders of public districts. In Dayton and across Ohio, public school districts by law must provide or pay for transportation for students in the district, regardless of their school enrollment. Nonpublic schools get to pass their transportation bill onto public districts, who pay millions of dollars to maintain staff, drivers, buses and transportation facilities for public and nonpublic students alike.
EdChoice vouchers also dismantle the very promise of the public good of K-12 education. Every child in Ohio has the right to be educated, and public schools welcome every student, but nonpublic schools can and do turn away students every day.
Nonpublic schools are not legally obligated to disclose their financial information to taxpayers. Nonpublic schools can and do discriminate against students based on test scores. Nonpublic schools can and do discriminate against students based on disability. Nonpublic schools can and do discriminate against students who identify as LGBTQIA+.
We deserve a strong public education system that is constitutionally funded and fiscally responsible. Continuing to send millions of taxpayer dollars to nonpublic schools is bad for students, bad for taxpayers, and bad for education in Ohio.
Jocelyn Rhynard is the Vice President of the Dayton Public Schools Board of Education.