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School Officials Back Ohio House Voucher Plan

Andy Chow
Associations representing Ohio's superintendents, school treasurers, and school board members push their support for the House voucher plan at the Ohio Statehouse.

Ohio's major school associations representing superintendents, school treasurers, and school board members are backing the House plan to phase-out the voucher program known as EdChoice.

The Ohio House passed legislation that would grant vouchers based on a family's income instead of basing vouchers off of a school building's academic performance.

There are 1,227 public school buildings set to be designated as "failing" on the EdChoice voucher list. This makes students in those districts eligible for vouchers.

Tom Perkins, Northern Local Schools superintendent, says if this doesn’t change, more voucher money will suddenly be pulled from districts for students who were already going to private schools.

"The fear isn't the students leaving, it's the ones that are currently there that have never attended and the funding going to them, that's the real concern," says Perkins.

School groups prefer an all-income-based voucher system. But EdChoice supporters say changing it would pull the rug out from under parents who are counting on the current law.

The House and Senate is expected to hold several hearings about the future of Ohio's EdChoice program. The Senate's plan would keep part of the program that grants vouchers to students going to failing schools and also increase the threshold for income-based vouchers.

School administrators argue that the report card system that determines failing school buildings is flawed.

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