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Ohio Senate Budget Moves Money To School Vouchers

School bus.

Republican Senate leaders have frozen the existing school funding formula in their version of the budget. So did the House, but it did add funding into services to help lower-income students. 

Senators are planning to make some changes there.

President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) said the Senate will keep the $550 million Gov. Mike DeWine put in for wraparound services such as counseling and after school programs in lower-income districts. 

The House budget added $125 million to that total. But Obhof said Senators want to use that money on other education-related priorities, "including an expansion of the Ed Choice scholarship program, including a supplement for the school districts that have seen significant population growth in recent years."

The Senate budget expands the Ed Choice program that provides vouchers for students, and expands eligibility to more students.

Districts that have been growing – but which saw their increases in state funding limited or capped –have threatened a lawsuit, saying that violates federal equal protection laws.