(5-14-21) Ohio’s private school voucher program will change in 2021-22.

Presently the program allows for Ohio students from kindergarten through high school can get taxpayer-funded vouchers (EdChoice scholarships) to pay for private school tuition if they are in one of two categories

  • students from low-income families
  • students whose home public schools are deemed under-performing

The program nowl allows children from middle-income families eligible. It raises the household income cap from 200% of the federal poverty level to 250%. That would mean an annual household income of $65,500 for a family of four, up from $52,400. A voucher provides a student up to $4,650 per year for K-8 private school, and $6,000 for grades 9-12.

According to the Celina Immaculate Conception School website:

The base tuition rate (K-6) for parishioners who participate in the liturgical life of the parish is $4,235 per child. The base tuition rate for non-parish members or parishioners who do not participate in the liturgical life of the parish is $4,835 per child.

In an email reply to the Outlook about the current voucher plan already in place from Mrs. Polly Muhlenkamp, IC Principal

The Educational Choice Expansion Program (based on family income) has been in existence for about 8 years, and has already blessed quite a few families who want to choose to send their children to Immaculate Conception School.  In turn, it has also helped  Immaculate Conception School be able to provide better financial aid to middle income families and keep tuition from rising for the past 8 years, making this a blessing for the entire school community.  Expanding to 250% makes this a blessing that can help more families who are in that next income range as well as help Immaculate Conception School by receiving full tuition for families who would need substantial financial assistance to attend Immaculate Conception.  

That could all change...Republican House lawmakers have introduced a measure making any Ohio school child eligible for the state voucher program. . The proposal comes as Ohio lawmakers are considering changing how the state funds education to address disparities between poor and rich districts.

The two-page legislation was introduced by Rep. Marilyn John, a Shelby Republican and Rep. Riordan McClain, a Republican from Upper Sandusky

The Ohio Education Association (OEA) recently responded to the new proposals –

OEA President Scott DiMauro said, expressing special concern for the “White Flight” problem EdChoice is fueling:

“The Ohio Education Association has long fought to shine the spotlight on how these vouchers are draining resources from the approximately 90 percent of Ohio students who attend public schools. The new Know Your Charter data clearly demonstrates what we’ve known all along, these same communities, which have already been failed by years of inequities under the state’s unconstitutional school funding system, are forced to go to the ballot more often for larger levy increases, even though only part of that money actually goes to their kids. It smacks of state-sanctioned segregation.”

“To add insult to injury, a large portion of the students who receive EdChoice vouchers have never set foot in the public school that’s losing money to send them to a poorly-performing private institution. In fact, that’s the case for so many recipients, the Ohio Department of Education can’t even provide an overall demographic breakdown for voucher kids, because they’ve never had them in their tracking system. “It’s frankly a disgrace and Ohio’s public school children deserve so much better than this broken scheme. OEA is grateful that the Know Your Charter site is able to demonstrate the harm so plainly now.”

School choice has also been a topic in Florida this week…

Florida Gov. DeSantis signs off on school choice bill

May 11, 2021
First Coast News You Tube Video
The bill will allow families earning 375 percent of the federal poverty level to be eligible for private school vouchers.