Ohio budget includes major school choice expansion, two new programs
Thousands more families will be able to access educational options
INDIANAPOLIS—EdChoice, a national nonprofit organization that promotes state-based educational choice programs, applauded Ohio lawmakers and Gov. Mike DeWine for expanding schooling options for students across the state.
Late last night, DeWine signed the state budget, which included an expansion of Ohio’s existing EdChoice voucher program, the creation of a new tax-credit scholarship program, as well as other choice-related policy changes. (EdChoice is not affiliated with and does not administer the EdChoice voucher program.)
“This is a huge win for Ohio families, continuing a national trend we’ve seen all year. Policymakers are putting students first by expanding access to different schools and schooling types,” said Robert Enlow, President and CEO of EdChoice, which advocates for universal school choice programs nationally. “So many more families than ever before are realizing that they want something different for their children when it comes to K-12 education. These programs make those options accessible.”
Details of the Ohio voucher expansions, the new TCS program, and other policy changes:
Increased scholarship sizes for the EdChoice and Cleveland Scholarships to $5,550 per pupil in grades K-8 and $7,500 per pupil in high school.
Increased scholarship sizes for the Income-Based Scholarships, Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarships and Autism Scholarships.
Expanded scholarship eligibility to include students in foster care and kinship care as well as to siblings of current scholarship students.
Removed “prior public school” requirement for EdChoice scholarship eligibility.
Removed cap on the number of eligible students who can participate and directly funds all scholarships.
NEW TAX-CREDIT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
All Ohio students are eligible to receive the tax-credit scholarships, but SGOs must prioritize students from low-income families.
Donors to scholarship granting organizations (SGOs) will receive 100% tax credits against their personal income taxes up to $750 per person.
OTHER CHOICE-RELATED POLICY CHANGES
Created a new microgrant of $500 for all low-income students (300% FPL) to use for a wide variety of educational expenses.
Created a new personal-use tax credit of $250 for families to use for homeschool expenses.
Created a new personal-use tax credit of $500 to $1,000 for families of children enrolled at certain non-chartered private schools.