Yesterday, the Ohio Senate passed its version of the state budget out of the upper chamber, whereupon the House promptly rejected it, setting up a conference committee to work out the differences.

Last week, we reported on important changes made by the Senate to increase the maximum scholarship amount for special needs students. This week brought even more great news for Ohio families! The Senate increased the maximum scholarship amount for elementary school students using an EdChoice scholarship from $4250 to $4650 and from $5000 to $6000 for high school students. While this is a substantial increase, the current amounts are the same as when the program was enacted in 2005. This increase will go a long way toward increasing provider participation in this vital program and create a more financially sustainable environment for the schools that are currently subsidizing these students.

The Senate’s strong improvements to Ohio’s school choice programs build on Governor Kasich’s budget proposal, which also provided strong support for school choice through a number of important policy ¬†proposals. With the House’s historical support for school choice, Agudath Israel is hopeful that this budget will make a profound difference to many children and families.

Agudath Israel thanks Senate President Keith Faber (R-Celina), Senate President Pro Tempore Chris Widener (R-Springfield), and members of the Senate for their broad support. We look forward to continuing to vigorously advocate for this issue in the House.

Ohio residents: please contact your legislators to ensure this increase remains in the final budget bill. To take action, click here.