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Former House Democratic Leader Says EdChoice Did Not Have Bipartisan Roots

Statehouse News Bureau

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted (R-Ohio) said the EdChoice program that gives students taxpayer-funded vouchers to attend private schools began as a bipartisan effort to help kids leave struggling school districts.

But Chris Redfern, the former House Minority Caucus leader, said the voucher program was never a bipartisan effort.

Redfern said in 2005, only one Democratic member of the House originally supported the idea. The program was eventually included in the budget bill that year and received votes from two Democrats.

"This has so little to do with classroom performance, so little to do with performance on tests or graduation rates, colleges, acceptance rates. This has to do with money, big money, and how organizations and individuals who support the privatization of public schools have rewarded Republican legislators with money," said Redfern.

Public school leaders are challenging the voucher program which is being used by more than 50,000 students.

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.