The Cuyahoga Heights School District Board of Education passed a resolution on January 22, 2020 opposing the State of Ohio EdChoice Scholarship Program.
Here’s what you need to know:
- The Ohio legislature has recently made amendments which greatly increase the number and availability of vouchers for students to attend private/parochial schools at public tax expense.
- Such vouchers will be available to numerous families and students who have never attended Cuyahoga Heights Schools or any other public schools and for whom state funding has never been provided to Cuyahoga Heights or any other public schools.
- Cuyahoga Heights Schools’ state funding will be unjustly decreased by the amount of the vouchers provided to such families and students who have not and will not attend public schools and others who transfer to private/parochial schools.
- The estimated loss of revenue to the Cuyahoga Heights School District over the next four (4) years is approximately $200,000, which would devastate the District’s finances.
- Private/parochial schools accepting students with public tax vouchers would not be required to accept all students but would be permitted to retain their selective admission policies without enforcement of other laws applicable to public schools.
- Private/parochial school students are not subject to the testing standards required of public school students so that the actual performance of private/parochial schools subsidized with public tax dollars would not be known, relative to equivalent public school evaluation standards.
- This Board believes that the EdChoice Voucher program as it currently exists presents serious constitutional issues regarding the separation of church and state and the funding of religious institutions with public tax dollars.
- The State of Ohio has the constitutional responsibility to secure a thorough and efficient system of common schools.
- The EdChoice voucher program will have exactly the opposite effect by providing funding to private/parochial schools at the expense and to the detriment of public schools and their students.
- The Cuyahoga Heights Board of Education reaffirms its commitment to free accessible public schools which are adequately and equitably funded to guarantee a comparable education for ALL children and therefore opposes and respectfully requests the repeal of the ill-conceived EdChoice voucher program of the State of Ohio.
- Further, this Board opposes any funding programs, vouchers or otherwise, that have the effect of diverting public tax dollars from public schools to private/parochial schools.
The Board’s resolution was forwarded to all Ohio state legislators, the Superintendent of Public Instruction ad Governor of the State of Ohio. Download the Board's resolution here.