More Cleveland students could attend private schools with vouchers under House plan

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

More Cleveland students would be able to attend private schools with taxpayer dollars under a plan approved by the Ohio House of Representatives.

The GOP-led House voted mostly along party lines Wednesday to allow students living within Cleveland city boundaries to obtain an EdChoice Scholarship if the Cleveland Scholarship Program is full. The provision was among several education-related changes in House Bill 487 spurred by Gov. John Kasich's off-year budget policy proposals.

The Cleveland Scholarship Program awards up to $4,250 for students in kindergarten through eighth grades and $5,700 for high school students to attend private schools. Scholarships, commonly known as vouchers, are awarded by lottery, with preference given to low-income families.

Vouchers were given to 7,039 Cleveland students last year, but the Ohio Department of Education received 7,491 applications. The state has never come close to awarding all 60,000 EdChoice vouchers.

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