NEWS: Cleveland voucher co-pay removed in Senate proposal

From School Choice Ohio:

Today the Senate proposed a further improvement to the Cleveland school voucher program: the elimination of the current required parent co-pay.

Until now, parents have had to pay 10% or 25% of the $3,450 scholarship amount themselves. This is in addition to uniforms, application fees, and other costs that are not covered by the scholarship. Most of the families using this program are low-income, so a high percentage of many families’ annual income was required to utilize the scholarship.

SCO Director Chad Aldis began calling for the elimination of the parent co-pay provision in a presentation to the State Board of Education last year.

Together with changes added in the House version of the budget that would create eligibility for high school applicants and equity in the funding amount with EdChoice and Cleveland, this represents a major set of improvements for Cleveland students.

The Senate changes – which also include the creation of a Special Education Scholarship that they are naming for special education advocate and champion of the Autism Scholarship Program former Representative Jon Peterson – are likely to be approved by the full Senate this week. It will then move on to the “conference committee,” the small group of legislators designated to hammer out the differences between the House and Senate versions of the state budget and send a combined proposal to Governor Kasich for his signature.

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