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Parents Fighting Senate Measure Say School Choice, Vouchers Go Hand-In-Hand

Andy Chow
Parents of students using EdChoice voucher gather at the Statehouse.

Parents of kids using private school vouchers are calling on lawmakers to reject a plan that would avoid a major influx in schools eligible for the EdChoice program.

Students are eligible for EdChoice vouchers if their public school building appears on the "low-performing" list. That list has 517 school buildings on it now, but it's set to jump to 1,227.

Lawmakers are looking at a proposalto avoid that spike, which is set for February 1.

But Corneita Allen, who has two kids using the vouchers, says school choice and the voucher program go hand-in-hand.

"When you're talking about those families having a voucher to be able to make that choice, that's huge. Because otherwise they wouldn't have the means to make that choice," says Allen.

The proposal also includes an increase in need-based voucher eligibility so more low-income families could apply.

That would raise the threshold to 250% of the federal poverty level, which is about $50,000 for a family of four.

School groups have advocated against the increase of school buildings eligible for the voucher program, saying that drains more money from local public school districts.

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