Ohio Makes Voucher Program Universal

The Buckeye State becomes seventh state in 2023 to make educational choice a reality for all students

This week, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine gave his final stamp of approval to expand the Ohio Educational Choice Scholarship Program to all K-12 students in the state. The Buckeye State joins six others that have either created a new, universal choice program, or expanded an existing program to include all students.

The voucher program—commonly referred to as the “EdChoice” voucher program, but unaffiliated with the Indianapolis-based educational choice organization EdChoice—allows participating students to receive a maximum scholarship of $5,500 for K-8 students, and $7,500 for high schoolers annually to attend a private school of their family’s choosing. Previously, only 28 percent of Ohio’s students, those zoned to attend chronically low-performing public schools, were eligible to participate. As of the 2021-2022 school year, the program had 36,712 participants.

“For nearly 20 years, Ohio’s EdChoice voucher program has been a lifeline for thousands of students stuck in underperforming schools,” said EdChoice President and CEO Robert Enlow. “Thanks to the bold leadership of Ohio policymakers, all Ohio students will be able to access a school that meets their needs, regardless of whether our system has failed them in the past. We join Ohio families in celebrating today as The Buckeye State becomes the latest to contribute to 2023 being the Year of Universal Choice!”

Ohio joins Iowa, Utah, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, and Oklahoma in creating new universal choice programs this year, or expanding existing choice programs to include all or nearly all students.

“This is a transformative time for education, where we have the opportunity to break down barriers and empower families like never before,” Enlow continued, noting that 2023 is the Year of Universal Choice. “Universal choice isn’t just a concept; it’s a beacon of hope, a catalyst for innovation, and a testament to our unwavering belief in the power of parents. State policymakers have moved forward boldly this year, united in their pursuit of educational freedom to ensure every child has access to an individualized, high-quality education.

To speak with Robert Enlow about the Ohio voucher program, school choice trends and legislation, or existing educational choice programs across the country, contact Chantal Lovell at Chantal@edchoice.org, or 989-251-8388.

EdChoice is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to empower every family to choose the learning environment that fits their children’s needs best. Learn more at edchoice.org.