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Ohio GOP seeks to expand school vouchers
State Rep. Matt Huffman introduced legislation to eliminate restrictions and caps to Ohio's school voucher program.


State lawmakers are considering a bill to dramatically expand Ohio’s school voucher program which goes toward tuition for students at private schools. Lima Representative Matt Huffman introduced the bill today (Wednesday).   It would eliminate the requirement that a student be from a state-recognized failing public school district in order get the vouchers. He also wants to eliminate a cap on the number of private-school vouchers.

But, Bill Leibensperger from the Ohio Education Association says the state would better serve students if it focused on reducing class size and improving public schools. 

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 Representative Huffman says the bill will save the state money because each voucher would be limited at just 80 percent of what the state allots to the public schools to educate that student.  He says if just one percent of Ohio’s public school students used the vouchers it would save the state $70 million.

Listener Comments:

We should privatize the entire system. All schools should charge some degree of tuition. The state and local government could provide subsidies and vouchers for those unable to pay the tuition and still dramatically cut or even eliminate property taxes. Give people the freedom to choose how they want to educate their own children. The government needs to get its nose out of education and let us do it how we want.

Posted by: Damon (Macedonia) on December 8, 2011 11:12AM
Follow the money - it's all about moving tax payer dollars to private business. Huffman (sponsor of HB136) accepts thousands in donations from David Brennan every year and has been a constant proponent of dismantling funding to public schools in favor of private and charters. He's a product of private schools as are his children. SB5 is another way for the GOP to erode public education and divert public money to private hands. And it's not just here in Ohio. It's a GOP strategy nationwide.

Posted by: Nana (Lima) on June 2, 2011 10:06AM
i am thrilled to see this option available to families around the state of Ohio! we have wonderful small Christian schools in this area that are out of my daughters affordability. the values, respect and academic standard far exceeds anything the public schools offer and we live in a school system that is considered "excellent." why are people not allowed to "use" their own money (taxes) to place their children where they would thrive best!

Posted by: susan hall (youngstown) on April 14, 2011 8:04AM
The truth is that the Governor is not concerned with the quality of the education that children would receive in non public schools, just destroying them. No one who knows these schools could find that they were superior to public schools, but destroying public education and the middle and lower class is a political objective, not a progressive one.

Posted by: Ruth Fingerhut (University Hts) on March 13, 2011 8:03AM
Are we really willing to sub-contract our children's future and the future of our nation to the lowest bidder? Not all private schools are top notch. In fact,many have unlicensed teachers or teachers licensed in one area, teaching another. Most private schools are not equipped to handle students with special needs. As a result, these students either fall further behind, are ignored, or are not permitted to enroll. I have taught in 2 private schools, and I know teachers have to be "creative" to come up with the required materials to teach. When I taught in Springfield I needed to borrow copies of The Scarlet Letter from the public library since the school bookroom did not have enough copies for my students. When I taught in Lima ( I was a substitute in English, French, Religion and Social Studies), Friday was video day.
I currently teach k-3 Special Education in the public school system. My students write research papers using technology.The lessons I teach and the methods I use are based on scientific research and are highly effective.We have excellent professional development in our district and our students are not left behind!

Posted by: Connie Martin (Bellefontaine) on March 11, 2011 8:03AM
Unless the private schools would be held accountable regarding state testing, I would not be in favor of expanding the voucher program. Currently, private Catholic schools at the elementary level do not have to give students the state tests. Some parents say that after attending a Catholic school for a few years, they transferred their child to a public school, and their child was far behind. If taxpayer money is going to be given to these private schools, then they must be held accountable for students' achievement. And what happened to the separation between church and state?

Posted by: Carol (Perrysburg) on March 7, 2011 4:03AM
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