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Lawmaker Questions Republican Willingness to Correct Massive School Voucher Expansion

a photo of a school hallway
KAREN KASLER
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
A hallway in Westerville South High School. The suburban Columbus school is not failing. It received a C on the 2019 Ohio School report card but students will be eligible for EdChoice vouchers starting in the 2020-21 school year under new rules.

A Democratic lawmakers and longtime critic of private school vouchers says she’s not convinced there’s time to do a short-term fix to a huge expansion of the state’s largest voucher program.

The new rules for the EdChoice program in the budget passed in July will mean next school year, 70% of all school districts – including some of the best districts in the state – will have some students eligible for private school vouchers that districts must pay for. Republicans including Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) have said they’re hoping to do a fix before the EdChoice application process opens February 1. But State Sen. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) said she doubts it.

“They’ve known about it since the budget. The deadline for that change is February 1. The House isn’t returning until the last week of January. So are they serious?”

Fedor said the House won't return for a voting session till January 28. She criticizes Republicans for shortchanging Ohio children.  

fedor_-_i_have_doubts_about_voucher_fix_cut.mp3
Building for the future

“Both the House and the Senate have to start getting serious about public education and supporting public education for the benefit of our children and to modernize our education system. They deserve that, not politics as usual in the Statehouse.”

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.