Enacted 1995 • Launched 1996 • Voucher
Parents in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District can receive vouchers to send their children to
private school or public schools bordering the school district. No more than half of new recipients may
be students previously enrolled in private schools.
Latest Stats (2013-14)
- Students participating: 6,027
- Schools participating: 35
- Average voucher value: $4,112 (2012-13)
The maximum voucher value is $4,250 for grades K-8 and $5,700 for high school. Families with incomes
less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level receive vouchers worth 90 percent of tuition, whereas
families above the 200 percent level receive vouchers worth 75 percent of tuition. Parents whose
household income is more than the 200 percent threshold agree to pay the remaining tuition.
Children in grades K-12 in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District are eligible. Priority is given to
families with incomes less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level ($47,100 for a family of four
in 2013-14). Children from families with incomes above 200 percent of poverty are eligible to receive
vouchers if approved by the Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction. Participating private schools
must accept voucher students on a random basis, giving preference to low-income students if they
have more applicants than open seats.
On June 27, 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Cleveland school voucher program does not
violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution; that vouchers are constitutional when parents have
independent, private choice of schools without favoring or disfavoring religion. By design, the voucher
program is “school neutral.” Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, 536 U.S. 639 (2002).
Rules & Regulations
• Income Limit: 200 percent x poverty
• Prior Year Public School Requirement: None
• Geographic Limit: District (Cleveland Metropolitan)
• Enrollment Cap: None
• Voucher Cap: $4,250 (K-8) / $5,700 (9-12)
• Testing Mandates: State achievement tests
Ohio Rev. Code §§ 3313.974-79
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