Ohio Legislature Passes Expansion of Cleveland Voucher Program

The following is a statement from Ohio State Rep. Bill Patmon (D):

Mid-biennium budget review amendment eliminates parental co-pay for Cleveland families

COLUMBUS, Ohio – State Representative Bill Patmon today announced that among the provisions included in House Bill 487, the mid-biennium budget review bill, was an amendment that eliminates the Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program parental co-payment for families residing within the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

“This is all about equality. The hardworking parents of this city are the only ones in the state who are saddled with this burden,” said Representative Patmon. “The House of Representatives has signaled its commitment to improving the educational options for the students of the city by moving to eliminate this unjust hardship.”

Families who participate in the Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program are the only families in the state that are required to make a co-payment to receive a scholarship. There is no co-pay requirement in any of the state’s three other school voucher programs.

“The bipartisan support that this bill received in the House sends a strong message that we are committed to providing equal opportunities for students in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District,” said Patmon. “I encourage my colleagues in the Senate as well as Governor Kasich to embrace this needed reform.”

The Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program was created in 1995 as the state’s first school voucher program and is only the second program of its kind in the nation. The Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program offers scholarships to students who live within the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. Students can use the scholarships to assist with tuition at the participating private school of their choice. Currently, more than 5,000 Cleveland students receive this scholarship.