NEWS: Ohio Voucher Bill Could be Hot Topic in Fall Session

From The Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum in Ohio:

BUCYRUS — A bill to allow wider access to vouchers to cover private school tuition is closer to becoming law, though many questions still need to be addressed, officials said.

Ohio House Bill 136 was approved by the House’s Education Committee last week, said Rep. Jay Hottinger, R-Newark. It would expand the state’s private school voucher program to any student in any district whose family makes less than $95,000.

“This is a very significant public policy issue,” said Hottinger, a co-signer of the bill. “The decision … will potentially have a lot of consequences and a lot of ramifications.”

The state’s EdChoice program — an extension of a Cleveland voucher system — allows students from low-income families in academically poor districts to apply for vouchers to cover tuition at a private school.

The new bill, which hasn’t been scheduled for a full vote in the House, would create the Parental Choice and Taxpayer Savings Scholarship Program.

It would significantly widen the scope of the voucher program and, school district leaders say, could have a detrimental financial impact on public schools.

School districts would see $5,783 taken from their state aid for each student who leaves with a voucher. The students would then qualify for varying scholarships based on family income.

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