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EdChoice & Other Concerns

Posted on: January 24, 2020

Ohio’s EdChoice Scholarship/Voucher and other Ohio legislated programs are Hurting All Taxpayers and Public School Students


In 1997 the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that the public school funding mechanism in Ohio is unconstitutional.  Twenty three years later, legislators in Ohio have yet to deal with this issue. Instead they have cultivated a severe over-testing environment, while instituting a report card rating system that fails to assess the quality of the education, the “whole” child, or even the intellect of the students.  The Ohio Report Card system grossly misuses the data collected through the testing process, and have been found to best determine the “whiteness and the wealth” of students. The results degrade and devalue students and educators, and ultimately serve to undermine the public education system. In recent years additional programs like the Ohio Graduation Pathways, and Ohio’s EdChoice Scholarship Program continues the assault on public education by discrediting good public schools and now robbing Ohio school districts (and the taxpayers in our communities) of millions of dollars.


It’s time to say ENOUGH!  It’s time to let your local legislators know how you feel and that you demand that measures are taken to restore support both financially and educationally by adhering to research and best practices and allowing for more local control of our schools through our elected school boards.


One of the most serious issues Ohioans currently face is the EdChoice Scholarship Program which will financially devastate so many  school districts. Ed-Choice provides an application process that supports students living in an area with a designated EdChoice School the option of going to a private school.  When the application is approved the tuition to the private school is paid for by the local school district through tax dollars.


Bogan Elementary has been deemed an EdChoice School in Talawanda School District.  Please review some examples of how EdChoice is being misused.


*The state of Ohio gives $1,400 per student to Talawanda School District.  Other districts receive different amounts of money pending on how wealthy the district is or is not.  Talawanda is considered a wealthy district so less state money is given to Talawanda. The voucher system pays $4,650 for a voucher in grades K-8, and $6,000 in grades 9-12.


Example #1

Bogan has been designated as failing and underperforming based upon flawed EdChoice criteria and the report card.

A student living in the Bogan attendance area has reached the age that he/she can begin kindergarten, but the parents have never intended to register at Bogan Elementary.  These parents opt to send their child to a local private school. The parents apply for the EdChoice scholarship and receive a voucher for the tuition. The student never attended Bogan, so the $1,400 the State of Ohio normally contributes to Talawanda per student does not occur.  The student has never been counted as a Bogan student. The EdChoice voucher requires the local district to pay for the voucher for the private school tuition. The voucher amount is $4,650. No additional state money is given to Talawanda. Therefore, Talawanda, like all other EdChoice schools would need to take the $4,650 out of its general fund.  Taxpayers are paying the full amount of the money. When the student advances to Grades 9-12, the EdChoice voucher raises to $6,000. More out of pocket expenses for both Talawanda and the taxpayers. Please keep in mind that private schools do not have to adhere to any standards and are not required to test nor are they subject to the Ohio Report Card Rating System.  It is the right of parents to choose a public education or a private education, however, using taxpayer money to fund private education out of its budget is unimaginable and unethical.


Example #2

A student attended kindergarten at Bogan Elementary, but the parents decided to send their child to a private school for first grade.  The family applied for and received the voucher via EdChoice. The district must pay $3,250 to the private school, the difference between the Talawanda state per pupil rate ($1,400) and the K-8 voucher amount ($4,650).  AGAIN, the difference would come out of Talawanda’s general fund (meaning taxpayers pay the scholarship). The following year, Bogan increases its rating and comes off of the EdChoice list. Bogan would no longer be considered underperforming or failing as established by the EdChoice criteria, but the student could continue to apply, receive, and use the voucher program throughout his or her entire school career.   The district must continue to pay the private school the amount of the voucher for the rest of the child’s educational career. Taxpayers would be required to pay for this EdChoice voucher/scholarship by tapping into Talawanda’s general fund. Talawanda’s general fund comes from state money ($1,400 per student), income tax, and levies. Remember , when this child reaches grades 9-12, the EdChoice voucher increases to $6,000 per student per year.  This would result in Talawanda paying $4,600 out of its general fund (taxpayer money) when the student advances to grades 9-12.


There are tremendous issues affecting public education right now.  School funding (found unconstitutional in 1997), report card system, graduation requirements, unfunded mandates, flat school funding, EdChoice, many testing assessment requirements that occur on one or two school days out of the entire school year, and other educational decisions made have been made, adopted, and passed on to our local schools with very little input from our local school districts.  These issues are all connected to a larger picture. Ohio legislators will meet after January 26th to possibly address and band-aid the EdChoice issue. This does NOT address all of the issues and concerns! This does not STOP the attack on public education. It is time to work together and let our legislators know public education is critical and it is time for REFORM on all levels!


Representative Dolan has proposed a possible band-aid.  It is a step in the right direction...but there is far more work to be accomplished.


We greatly encourage Talawanda families to reach out to local legislators and request they address the issues that are harming Ohio’s public schools.  See contact information below…


Legislator Key Contacts: 


Bill Coley

Phone: (614) 466-8072


Twitter: @BillColeyOH



Sara Carruthers

Phone: (614) 466-6721


Twitter: @FriendsofSara or @Sara4Ohio


Candice Keller

Phone: (614) 466-5094



Paul Zeltwanger

Phone: (614) 466-6027




Mike Dewine

Phone: (614) 644-4357



Contacting the Educational Committee legislators as well as other legislators can be located at the link below: