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Education

Ohio House Approves EdChoice Voucher Extension

photo of Ohio Statehouse
KAREN KASLER
/
OHIO PUBLIC RADIO
The Ohio House approved a plan to move the start of the EdChoice application process to April 1, just hours before the private school voucher prorgam was originally slated to start accepting applications.

The House has voted on a plan to move the start of the EdChoice application process ahead to April 1, just hours before the private school voucher program is supposed to start accepting applications on Saturday. Now, it goes to the Senate Friday morning.

Talk of a 60-day extension came after a day of negotiations over a plan that would replace performance-based EdChoice vouchers going forward with income-based vouchers. But when it was attached to a different bill and amended on the floor, Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) said a deal they’d been trying to work out with the Senate wasn’t happening.

“But it’s vitally important that we avoid the fiscal cliff to which we will be subjecting our public school districts if we do not, in effect, buy us some more time.”

The extension passed the House overwhelmingly. If the Senate doesn’t agree, 70 percent of Ohio’s school districts would have a failing building where students qualify for EdChoice vouchers – more than double the buildings that qualified for EdChoice this school year.

Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) issued a statement after the vote, which defends his chamber’s vote on an EdChoice compromise earlier this week, and added, “It is time to solve the immediate problems before us. We shouldn't be asking Ohio's schoolchildren and educators to wait for months.”