The League of Women Voters of Ohio oppose HB136

In another blow to those seeking to privatize public education in Ohio, the non-partisan League of Women Voters of Ohio have come out in opposition to HB136

-The League believes that public money should be spent only on public schools that are accountable and responsive to tax payers and comply with standards that ensure a high quality education. Nonpublic schools are not accountable to the taxpayers through elected boards of education; are not required to “open their books” to ensure that the schools are fiscally responsible and that public funds are being spent to serve a public purpose; are not required to serve all students; and are not required to comply with the same operating, teacher licensure, performance, and accountability standards as public schools.

-In addition, Am. Sub. HB136 would divert public funds to private schools (and increase Ohio’s obligation to educate students in private schools) when state funding for public schools will decrease by $1.8 billion over the biennium (HB 153 – Amstutz), and many school districts are cutting programs, laying-off teachers, and preparing to ask voters to increase local taxes to support schools.

The League believes that public education is the cornerstone of our democratic government and prepares students to be active and informed citizens in our society. That is why securing and financing a high quality public education system based on meeting standards, accountable to the public, and available for all students, is so important.

The League also issued these other important points

  • Am. Sub. HB 136 would divert limited state funds to participating private schools at a time when school districts are struggling to balance budgets and save education programs after losing $1.8 billion in state funds as a result of HB153 the biennial budget.
  • Private schools are not responsive or accountable to elected boards of education. They are not required to "open their books" to ensure that the private schools are fiscally responsible and that public funds are being spent to serve a public purpose.
  • Eligible students currently enrolled in eligible private schools could opt to be phased-into PACT, thus expanding the state's obligation to educate students who never attended public schools, at a time when overall state funding for school districts has decreased, and school districts are struggling to maintain the quality of their education programs.
  • Am. Sub. HB 136 does not require private schools that accept public funds to participate in Ohio's accountability system for schools and be ranked along with other schools, or comply with all state education standards including academic, performance, and operating standards, or meet the requirements outlined in Chapter 3323 of the Ohio Revised Code, the Education of Children with Disabilities.