Ohio’s flagship EdChoice Scholarship Program is being threatened with elimination or major changes and we need your help.
Since 2006, thousands of families across Ohio have relied on EdChoice scholarships to attend the Jewish school of their choice. Students who attended, or, in some cases, were eligible to attend a low performing public school could receive a voucher worth between $4,600 for elementary school and $6,000 for high school. But when the list of low performing school came out this year, it ballooned from about 500 schools to 1200, and the Legislature and unions reacted.
While the Ohio Senate tried to remove some of the existing schools from the list and freeze the list for the next three years, they also proposed expanding eligibility for the separate, income-based EdChoice program from 200% of the federal poverty level (approximately $50,000 for a household size of 4) to 300% of the FPL (approximately $75,000 for a household size of 4). The House countered with a bill to phase out the the entire building-based program and while they slightly increased the initial eligibility of the income-based program to 250% of FPL, they lowered the maximum income threshold. The Ohio House of Representatives and Senate could not agree before the February 1st deadline and decided instead to put everything on hold for an additional 60 days, leaving thousands of Ohio families not knowing whether they will be receiving vouchers next year.
WHERE THINGS STAND NOW:
Currently, the application window which was supposed to open on February 1st was delayed until April 1st. In the meantime, a lawsuit has been filed on behalf of parents and institutions, and legislative leaders are scrambling for a solution.
It is Agudath Israel’s goal to preserve the existing scholarships and even expand eligibility, but no one knows yet what the final deal will look like. All options are still on the table.
Agudath Israel has been intimately involved with the EdChoice program since its inception and continues to be at the forefront of the advocacy effort trying to preserve school choice for as many Ohio families as possible.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Take two minutes and enter your contact information below to contact your state legislators!
By entering your address, a pre-populated email will appear which you should then personalize using one or more of these talking points:
- Significant changes to EdChoice will hurt your family and your community. Ask them NOT to change the program!
- EdChoice works. These scholarships allow children to find a school that works for them.
- It’s not right to change the rules at the last second when plans have already been made for next year.
After pressing send, please take an additional few moments to call the legislators using the talking points provided.
Please support Agudath Israel of Ohio’s efforts to preserve this vital scholarship program by clicking here!