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Government & Politics

EdChoice Voucher Debate Continues

a photo of Matt Huffman
JO INGLES
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
State Sen. Matt Huffman (R-Lima) wants to restrict vouchers going to wealthier school districts.

A lawmaker who backed the expansion of the state’s largest voucher program said it’s creating problems – with a 400% increase in the number of public school buildings where students will be eligible for private school vouchers by next school year.

He’s joining the calls to make changes before the EdChoice program starts accepting applications in a few weeks.

State Sen. Matt Huffman (R-Lima) said the EdChoice expansion has created unintended consequences.

“There are a lot of schools on this list that shouldn't be on the list.”

So he suggested changes, such as restricting vouchers in high wealth districts and eventually having vouchers of $6,000 for high school students and $4,650 for younger kids paid by the state, not by districts.

“We have some school districts that get $200 from the state and that pay $6,000 out for a voucher. But there's other school districts getting $9,000 from the state and they actually make money off the program.”

With the EdChoice application opening February 1, Huffman said a quick fix is needed. But state lawmakers aren’t set to come back for voting till the middle of January.