The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice

Advancing Milton and Rose D. Friedman's Vision of School Choice for All Children

Ohio - Cleveland Scholarship & Tutoring Program

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)

Program Details

Student Funding
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.

Student Eligibility
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.

Legal Developments
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

Governing Statutes
Ohio Rev. Code §§ 3313.974-79

Friedman Contact
Leslie Hiner |

Related Research

12/17/2014 Exploring Ohio's Private Education Sector
10/30/2014 The School Starter Checklist: Meeting the Private Education Regulations in States with School Choice
9/30/2014 The School Voucher Audit: Do Publicly Funded Private School Choice Programs Save Money?
5/30/2014 Public Rules on Private Schools: Measuring the Regulatory Impact of State Statutes and School Choice Programs
7/10/2013 The Empirical Evidence on Cleveland's School Vouchers
6/5/2012 The Greenfield School Revolution and School Choice
10/26/2011 Lessons for Ohio from Florida’s K-12 Education Revolution
2/5/2008 Grading School Choice: Evaluating School Choice Programs by the Friedman Gold Standard
8/1/2006 Segregation Levels in Cleveland Public Schools and the Cleveland Voucher Program
10/1/2005 Using School Choice: Analyzing How Parents Access Educational Freedom
1/1/2003 Grading Vouchers: Ranking America’s School Choice Programs

Related News

9/30/2014 New report shows school vouchers saved $1.7 billion during first two decades
3/12/2014 National Review Online | Choosing to Learn
1/23/2014 U.S. voucher, school choice enrollment reaches record high
8/15/2013 Sharing your story in “The ABCs” can be as easy as one, two, three
6/30/2013 Ohio governor signs statewide voucher expansion for low-income students
6/27/2013 Ohio House, Senate approve vouchers for low-income students
1/23/2013 “The ABCs of School Choice,” 2013 Edition, Now Available
9/18/2012 Enlow | Families Want School Choice; N.C. Should Give it to Them
6/5/2012 Limited Choice Doesn’t Support New School Models, Study Finds
10/28/2011 State Impact | OK, Maybe Closing the Achievement Gap is a Big Deal
10/26/2011 New Study: Ohio Poised for Florida-Style Education Gains
9/1/2011 Chicago Tribune | Idolizing Indiana
8/19/2011 Yahoo! | Indiana School Voucher Program Facing Lawsuit
6/30/2011 Ohio’s Dramatic Expansion of School Choice Praised by Nation’s Original Voucher Organization
2/28/2011 Indianapolis Star | Will state's top court settle school vouchers?

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