The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice

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

Ohio - Educational Choice Scholarship Program

Enacted 2005 • Launched 2006 • Voucher

Ohio students attending chronically low-performing public schools are eligible for “EdChoice” vouchers to attend private schools. The cap on available vouchers is 60,000.

Latest Stats (2013-14)

  • Students participating: 16,999
  • Schools participating: 443
  • Average voucher value: $4,105 (2012-13)

Program Details

Student Funding
Vouchers are worth up to $4,250 in grades K-8 and $5,000 in grades 9-12, not to exceed the private school’s actual tuition and fees. Participating schools may charge additional tuition for students whose household incomes exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level, but must accept the voucher as payment in full for students at or below the 200 percent level.

Student Eligibility
Students are eligible if they attend a local public school that has been designated in a state of “academic watch” or “academic emergency” by the state for two of the last three years, or if they would be assigned to such a school based on their residence but are instead currently enrolled in a charter school or are entering kindergarten. Students enrolling in grades K-12 in Ohio for the first time and would be assigned to a qualifying school are eligible, as long as they are at least five years old by January 1 of the school year. Students in “open enrollment” districts who are enrolled in charter schools or entering kindergarten are eligible if the district has been designated in a state of academic emergency for three consecutive years. Also, students who are either enrolled or eligible to be enrolled in public schools that got a performance index grade in the lowest 10 percent for two of the most recent three rankings and that were also not declared to be “excellent” or “effective” in the most recent ranking are eligible. Beginning in 2016-17, students in grades K-3 who are enrolled in a local public school that has received a grade of “D” or “F” in “making progress in improving K-3 literacy” in two of the three most recent state report cards and has not received an “A” in the same category in the most recent report card issued prior to July 1 of the school year are also eligible.

Legal Developments
No legal challenges have been filed against the program.

Rules & Regulations
• Income Limit: None
• Prior Year Public School Requirement: Conditional
• Geographic Limit: Statewide
• Enrollment Cap: 60,000
• Voucher Cap: $4,250 (K-8) / $5,000 (9-12)
• Testing Mandates: State achievement tests

Governing Statutes
Ohio Rev. Code §§ 3310.01-17

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
6/5/2012 The Greenfield School Revolution and School Choice
10/26/2011 Lessons for Ohio from Florida’s K-12 Education Revolution
8/20/2008 Promising Start - An Empirical Analysis of How EdChoice Vouchers Affect Ohio Public Schools
2/5/2008 Grading School Choice: Evaluating School Choice Programs by the Friedman Gold Standard

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
7/18/2011 WORLD | School Choice Gains Support
7/5/2011 Wall Street Journal | The Year of School Choice
6/30/2011 Ohio’s Dramatic Expansion of School Choice Praised by Nation’s Original Voucher Organization
5/6/2011 NPR | School Voucher Debate Heats Back Up
4/19/2011 USA Today | Why School Vouchers are Worth a Shot

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