EdChoice Update: Senate Bill 89

As you may be aware, over the past several weeks, both the Ohio House and Senate have struggled to process the Educational Choice Scholarship Program (EdChoice). To date, neither chamber has been able to agree on a solution to the prospect that 70 percent of Ohio’s public school districts become voucher-eligible on April 1.

Last week, the House unveiled its plan in Senate Bill (SB) 89, which passed the House by a vote of 88-7. The bill includes the following:

  • ​Phase out district-paid EdChoice vouchers
  • Increase income-based voucher eligibility from 200 percent to 250 percent of the federal poverty level ($65,000 income for a family of four)
  • Require that the state pay the voucher if a student is both income-eligible and buiding-eligible beginning in the 2021-2022 school year

While the bill does not address all of our concerns, and has room for significant improvement, it is the best solution thus far. Further improvements might include:

  • ​Set eligibility at 200 percent of the federal poverty level ($52,400 income for a family of four)
  • Establish meaningful accountability measures for private schools that accept vouchers.
  • Since public/private schools receive public dollars, they should be required to comply with public school transparency requirements (annual public audit, elected Boards of Education, Sunshine Laws/Public Records, administer state grade-level assessments, receive a local report card, elimination of selective enrollment, etc.)

 

We greatly appreciate your support of the Wooster City School District and I hope that you can support SB 89 and lobby:
 

Senator Kristina Roegner

roegner@ohiosenate.gov

      614.466.4823

for the suggested changes found above.

 

Respectfully,
 

Michael Tefs, Ed.D
Superintendent
Wooster City School District