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Legislative Leaders Disagree on School Voucher Fix

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Senate President Larry Obhof and House Speaker Larry Householder

With just hours to go before families could submit applications for the state’s EdChoice private school voucher program on February 1, lawmakers approved a delay until April 1 so they they had more time to try to work out a compromise.

The Republican leaders of both chambers are holding fast to their different proposals.

The Senate’s plan has 420 school buildings eligible for EdChoice, and would increase income-based vouchers to 300% of the federal poverty level - $78,000 for a family of four. Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) says his chamber’s plan was on point and on time.

“For the specific problem that that should have been dealt with by February 1st, we had a solution for that. We passed it in time for that,” Obhof said. 

But Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) wants the House’s plan, passed after the delay was approved. After next school year it would replace EdChoice with all income-based vouchers at 250% of poverty.

“I think there'll be a number of senators that probably may quietly, just quietly agree with us. This is the fix. It's the right way to go. It's the right thing to do,” Householder said.

If lawmakers can’t agree, the number of EdChoice eligible buildings will balloon to 1,227 on April 1.