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OSBA- Ed-Choice Update

Posted on: February 26, 2020

From:  Will Schwartz, OSBA — (614) 540-4000
           Barbara Shaner, OASBO — (614) 325-9562
           Kevin Miller, BASA — (614) 846-4080

Re:     Conference committee on HB 9 (EdChoice vouchers) concludes hearings

The conference committee on House Bill (HB) 9 adjourned without action after more than 50 hours of testimony and nine hearings in 10 days. Hundreds of public education supporters came out in force over the past two weeks to push for an end to building performance-based vouchers paid for by school districts and local taxpayers as contained in Senate Bill (SB) 89.

We are asking that you demonstrate your passion for public education once again by sending your testimony from the conference committee hearings to Gov. Mike DeWine and to the Ohio Senate! See below for directions.

DeWine, House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) and Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) are meeting this week to discuss legislative solutions to EdChoice. Media reports indicate that DeWine and Obhof intend to retain the performance-based aspect of EdChoice. Time is running out for a solution as the April 1 deadline nears. The legislature heads home this week to campaign for the March primary and will not return until the week of March 23.

• For those who developed testimony, please send your testimony via postal mail and also email it to DeWine at this link: The postal mail address is: Gov. Mike DeWine Governor’s Office Riffe Center, 30th Floor 77 S. High St. Columbus, OH 43215-6117
• When you send your testimony, please stress that:
— You support SB 89, which phases out performance-based vouchers.
— It is inappropriate and unfairly punitive to deem schools as “failing” when it is almost universally agreed upon by legislators and public educators alike that the school report card is flawed in many ways and in need of revisions.
— If the legislature wishes to have a voucher program, then the state should fund the program — not local taxpayers.
• Share your testimony with your state senators. Click here for their contact information.
• Attend the March 18 OSBA/BASA/OASBO State Legislative Conference. This event will be important to our EdChoice advocacy campaign. Click here for details and to register.

Additionally, our three organizations are in discussions with several other education groups about the possibility of a larger ‘support for public education’ event at the Ohio Statehouse on the same day as the State Legislative Conference. With that in mind, please mark March 18 on your calendars and plan to join us for one or both of these events. We will keep you updated as plans progress.

On Friday, we released a statement to the press that reiterates our support for SB 89. Click here for a copy of the press release.