NEWS: Ohio School Vouchers Flourish as Application Periods Close

COLUMBUS, Ohio (April 16, 2012)–The Ohio Department of Education announced today that 18,928 applications were submitted for two state-funded scholarship programs.

The department received a total of 17,438 applications for the EdChoice Scholarship Program, which includes 3,814 new applicants. In addition, the department received 1,544 first-time applications for the state’s new Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program.

“First, we want to thank Governor Kasich and legislative leadership for expanding in last year’s budget Ohio’s school choice options by increasing the number of EdChoice Scholarship vouchers available in Ohio and creating the new Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship. Clearly our elected leaders have realized the basic belief that parents deserve the chance to send their children to a private school that will best fit their education needs. We are thrilled that thousands of Ohio families applied to take advantage of these scholarship programs,” said School Choice Ohio Executive Director Matt Cox. “The number of applicants for Ohio’s school voucher programs continues to rise at a steady rate each year as more parents become empowered and aware of their educational options. We expect this trend to continue into the future.”

The EdChoice application deadline was Friday, April 13, and the John Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program application deadline was Sunday, April 15.

The EdChoice program is available for students who attend the state’s lowest rated public schools. Students can use the state-funded school voucher to attend the participating private school of their choice. Currently, more than 15,000 students receive an EdChoice scholarship.

The Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program, created in 2011, is available for students with special needs who have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Scholarship amounts will be based on the child’s special need category and will not exceed $20,000. Students may use the scholarship to pay for tuition at a private school, additional services at a private provider, or at other public schools. A second application period will open for this scholarship in October.