This past Wednesday, Agudath Israel’s Ohio Director, Rabbi Yitz Frank, delivered testimony before the Ohio Senate Finance’s Education SubCommittee. The testimony addressed a variety of budget provisions related to nonpublic education supported by Agudath Israel, as well as some suggestions for improvement, including:
- Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program /Autism Scholarship Program – Remove the artificial $20,000 cap on the voucher amount for the highest disability categories.
- EdChoice Scholarship Program – raise the scholarship amount for high school students and make other changes included in the House version of the budget
- Auxiliary Services funding (which provides important instructional services and resources for nonpublic students) and Administrative Cost Reimbursement (reimburses schools for some of the costs associated with complying with government mandates) – maintain the policy of parity to increase the funding amount to match the increase in funding for public schools
- College Credit Plus – make the problem voluntary for nonpublic schools
- Student Testing – remove some of the requirements for nonpublic schools to comply with state dictated graduation requirements which require 7 end-of-course exams
This testimony followed several weeks of meetings with members of the Senate. Agudath Israel will continue to vigorously advocate for these issues throughout the budget process, which is expected to be finished by the end of June.