Kasich Signs New Bipartisan Educational Choice Program into Law

New income-based scholarship program will provide low-income families with access to a quality education

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 1, 2013) -The American Federation for Children (AFC), the nation’s voice for educational choice, today praised Ohio Gov. John Kasich and the Ohio Legislature for passing a new educational choice program that will greatly improve educational options for low-income families in the Buckeye State. The new program will provide educational options to families with kindergarten-aged students and a family income at or below 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines.

“We applaud the bold steps made by the Ohio Legislature and Gov. Kasich to provide struggling families with access to quality education,” said Kevin P. Chavous, executive counsel of the American Federation for Children. “For years Ohio families have been asking for an income-based scholarship and the bold bipartisan leadership listened and enacted legislation to help thousands of Ohio’s poorest students receive the education they deserve.”

The new scholarship program expansion allows up to 2,000 kindergartners to become eligible to apply for a scholarship worth $4,250 to attend the school of their parents’ choice. The law calls for the program to grow one grade level per year for the next 12 years until it is available to all students whose family incomes meet the program’s guidelines. By 2025, an estimated 60-70 percent of Ohio families will be eligible for the program. The program will go into effect immediately. The application window opens July 1, and the deadline to apply is July 31.

Including Ohio’s new program, there are a total of 38 educational choice programs nationwide in 18 states and the District of Columbia. Ohio offers a total of five educational choice programs for children, more than any other state.

The American Federation for Children has been an active supporter of expanding and strengthening educational choice in Ohio for many years. AFC worked closely with in-state ally, School Choice Ohio, which offered tremendous leadership throughout the legislative session.

The American Federation for Children is the nation’s leading school choice advocacy organization and works in states across the country to help secure additional, high-quality educational options for families.