HB153, the budget bill, increased the availability of school vouchers for private schools from 14,000 to 30,000 last year and to 60,000 this year. Clearly the legislators was expecting a private school voucher gold rush.
Among the 17,438 applications for an Educational Choice Scholarship were 3,814 new applicants. That deadline was Friday. About 17,000 applications were filed last year to use vouchers this school year.
There are 60,000 vouchers available next school year for students in low-performing schools. They’re worth $4,250 for younger students and $5,000 for high-school students.
The Dispatch headline catagorizes this as "School-voucher programs prove popular". the reality and the truth is obviously quite different. Approximately 3,438 additional students have appliedfor vouchers above the original cap of 14,000. That amounts to just 5.7% of the new 60,000 cap.
The voucher expansion in Ohio is clearly a massive failure. Lawmakers obvously expected demand for these vouchers to be over 30,000, hence the increase to 60,000 this year. For those that continue to believe that parents in Ohio want "choice", for the second year in a row, they have been proven to be wrong. Parents in Ohio continue to overwhelmingly support public schools - it's time politicians listened and began to support it fully too.