On May 9th, the Ohio House of Representatives passed its version of the state budget, House Bill 166, by a vote of 85 to 9. Agudath Israel advocated for several measures included in the House version which directly benefit families choosing to attend Jewish day schools.
The House bill increases security funding for non-profit organizations and authorizes funds from security levies to be used to protect students in nonpublic schools. The DeWine administration and the House continued their support for auxiliary services funding and increased the per pupil allocation of the Administrative Cost Reimbursement (ACR) program. Both programs provide funding for all students attending nonpublic schools. Auxiliary services includes speech therapy, nursing, textbooks, among many other potential uses. ACR, which reimburses schools for fulfilling certain government mandates, received a per pupil increase in the budget.
Importantly, the House of Representatives followed Governor DeWine’s lead by increasing funding for the EdChoice income-based scholarship program over the next two years, which will allow the program to expand. The House also extended eligibility to more families and took steps to ensure that the EdChoice program remains robust.
“Agudath Israel of Ohio thanks Speaker Larry Householder for his leadership in this process,” said Rabbi Yitz Frank, Agudath Israel of Ohio’s executive director. “There are additional items that we hope will be added by the Senate and we look forward to working with Senate President Obhof and the DeWine Administration as the budget process continues over the next six weeks.”