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Ohio – Income-Based Scholarship Program

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Ohio – Income-Based Scholarship Program

Ohio enacted and launched its Income-Based Scholarship Program in 2013. It offers private school vouchers to students from low- and lower middle-income households. These school voucher amounts vary depending on family income. Continue reading to learn more about this program’s funding, eligibility, regulations, governing statutes, and more.

Program Fast Facts

  • An expansion of Ohio’s “EdChoice” voucher program

  • 5,718 participating students (2015–15)

  • 60 percent of families with children income-eligible statewide

  • 472 participating schools (2014–15)

  • Average voucher value: $3,761 (2014–15)

  • Value as a percentage of public school per-student spending: 34 percent

Program Details

Ohio’s Income-Based Scholarship Program Participation

Students Participating
School Year Ending

Click the + symbols to learn more about this program’s details.

Income-qualified students in kindergarten, first grade, and second grade are eligible for vouchers to attend private schools, provided they are not eligible for Ohio’s other voucher programs. Third-grade students will be eligible starting in the 2016–17 school year.

Student Funding

Vouchers are worth up to $4,650, not to exceed the private school’s actual tuition and fees. Voucher amounts fluctuate based on family income.

Student Eligibility

In the third year of the program, students are eligible if they are incoming, first-time kindergartners, first-grade, or second-grade students from families with incomes (1) no more than 200 percent of the federal poverty level ($48,500 for a family of four in 2015-16) for a maximum voucher, (2) above 200 percent but no more than 300 percent of the federal poverty level ($72,750 for a family of four in 2015–16) for a voucher worth $3,487.50, or 3) above 300 percent but no more than 400 percent of the federal poverty level ($97,000 for a family of four in 2015–16) for a voucher worth $2,325. If more applications are received than available vouchers, priority will be given first to students who received vouchers in the previous year, second to students from families with incomes at or below 100 percent of the federal poverty level ($24,250 for a family of four in 2015–16), and third to students from families with incomes between 100 and 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Once they receive a voucher, a student is eligible in future years unless their family income exceeds 400 percent of the federal poverty level. Only students from low-income families who do not qualify for the EdChoice Scholarship Program are eligible.

Rules and Regulations

  • Income Limit: 400 percent x Poverty
  • Prior Year Public School Requirement: None
  • Geographic Limit: Statewide
  • Enrollment Cap: Conditional
  • Voucher Cap: $4,250
  • Testing Mandates: State
  • School Requirements:
    • Be chartered by the state
    • Meet state standards for chartered nonpublic schools
    • Comply with state laws regarding nondiscrimination and health and safety codes
    • Teachers and staff with children must undergo background checks
    • Administer state tests; test results are published on the Ohio Department of Education website
      • If a school has more than 65 percent of students participating in a voucher program, the school must administer the state test to every child in the school; parents of children who do not receive a voucher may opt out of the state test requirement

Governing Statutes

Legal History

No legal challenges have been filed against the program.

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