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Husted Defends Ohio Private School Voucher Program Facing Legal Challenge

Andy Chow

A top Republican leader is defending Ohio's private school voucher program. Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted says the EdChoice program began as a way to help students in struggling school districts and he says it's still effective.

Husted, who was Ohio House speaker when EdChoice passed in 2005, said families continue to support the vouchers today.

"When we focus on the kids, usually education conversations are easy. When we focus on the adults, that's when they get complicated. And this is about adults fighting over control and resources, not about what children and families want," he said.

Husted said EdChoice started with a Democratic co-sponsor, Dixie Allen of the Dayton area.

But the voucher program was rolled into the larger budget bill in 2005 and only received two Democratic votes.

Allen, who went on to become a Montgomery County commissioner, passed away in 2019.

Since the creation of EdChoice, the program has grown from 14,000 vouchers to more than 50,000 voucher participants and no longer has a cap to how many students can receive a voucher.

Most Democrats opposed the program more than 17 years ago and continue to criticize EdChoice.

The voucher program faces a legal challenge by public school leaders who argue most families using the taxpayer vouchers to go to private school never intended to enroll in a public school.

Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

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.