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School Group Raises Concerns About Proposed Voucher Program Change

Students in the classroom
Columbus Neighborhoods

As lawmakers consider a deal that would avoid a large increase in the number of public school buildings where students would qualify for private school vouchers, Ohio’s largest school groups are raising concerns about it.

The proposal from state Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) says only buildings getting F's on state report cards would stay on the list where students qualify for EdChoice vouchers for the next three years.

Barbara Shaner, of the Ohio School Boards Association, says that would take 899 schools off a list of more than 1,200. But she says just $10 million has been set aside for high school freshmen who would be eligible for private school vouchers if their building is considered failing.

"That's going to be a cost to the districts for the next four years for that one student," Shaner says.

School groups are also concerned about the expansion of income based vouchers, which the state does pay for.

School choice advocates are calling on lawmakers to not make changes to the EdChoice program and have even considered a possible lawsuit.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.