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Lawsuit Filed Against Ohio Over Changes To School Voucher Program

Aaron Baer, President, Citizens for Community Values
Jo Ingles
Ohio Public Radio
Aaron Baer, President, Citizens for Community Values

A suit has been filed in the Ohio Supreme Court by families who are affected by the legislature’s recently imposed 60-day moratorium on vouchers for the state’s EdChoice private school program.

The President of Citizens for Community Values, Aaron Baer, says he represents parents and private schools who have been harmed by the law pushing the EdChoice window from February 1 to April 1. Baer says the newly passed law is also unenforceable because it lacks an emergency clause that would allow it take effect right away.

“The manner in which they addressed this is unconstitutional. And what they did, in particular, is hurting a lot of families and it should not have come to this," Baer says.

Baer says the changes are tough for families who had planned to participate in the program.

“These families and these schools do not have multi-million dollar taxpayer-funded budgets," he says. "They are living check to check, year by year, month by month.”

The House and Senate passed the 60-day freeze on applications for EdChoice after both chambers had a disagreement over how to proceed with legislation to change the program.

Ohio Senate Spokesman John Fortney reacted to news of this lawsuit by saying, “As always our senators remain available to resume talks in conference committee regarding the senate’s amendment that passed with a bipartisan supermajority.”

As the clock ticked down to a February 1 deadline for lawmakers to make a change to Ohio’s private school voucher program, the Ohio Senate approved a House measure to delay the issue.

The voucher program was set to put 1,227 schools on the low-performing list for the 2020-2021 school year, which that would have been twice as much as the current list of 517.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.