Students who receive school-performance-based vouchers in a given year remain eligible in future years, even if their home public school is no longer labeled underperforming. Catholic schools are by far the largest recipient of voucher students locally.
Many supporters of public district schools say taxpayer money shouldn’t go to private schools. They argue that Ohio’s existing voucher funding system disproportionately hurts low-income public schools, making them less able to effectively serve the students who remain.
Many voucher advocates say the state should be championing school choice and supporting the ability of individual families to find the school that works best for them.
The Ohio School Boards Association and the Ohio Education Association teachers union ripped the new voucher bill both on substance, and on the sudden vote that occurred without committee hearings.
“This harmful plan will continue to siphon locally voted tax dollars away from students in public schools and send them to unaccountable private schools,” OSBA said in a statement.
A separate pending bill to revamp state funding for K-12 schools would change voucher funding so public schools were not damaged, but that bill has not come to the floor for a vote in either the house or the senate.
Chad Aldis, Ohio vice president at the Fordham Institute, said the bill is a positive solution that reduces reliance on the state report card and gives families options in a year that has shown education isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition.
“The legislature deserves credit for compromising and finding a long-term solution,” Aldis said.
In the Dayton area, 23 of 26 Dayton Public Schools are on the eligibility list (all but Rosa Parks, Horace Mann and Stivers). The list also includes the high schools and middle schools in West Carrollton, Trotwood and Northridge, plus Stebbins and Jefferson high schools.
In Butler County, the eligibility list includes six Hamilton schools (Bridgeport, Fairwood, Riverview, Miami, Crawford Woods and Garfield), six Middletown schools (Amanda, Creekview, Rosa Parks, Highview plus the middle school and high school), and New Miami High School.
In the Springfield area, the only schools on the eligibility list are 10 from the Springfield City Schools district — Fulton, Kenwood, Lincoln, Perrin Woods, Snyder Park, Warder Park, Hayward, Schaefer, Springfield High School and the School of Innovation.