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Democratic Lawmaker Has Doubts About Changes To Expanded School Voucher Program

A Hilliard schools student completes classroom work with an iPad.
Columbus Neighborhoods

A Democratic lawmaker and longtime critic of private school vouchers says she’s not convinced there’s time to do a short-term fix to a huge expansion of the state’s largest voucher program.

The new rules for the EdChoice program in the budget passed in July will mean next school year, 70% of all school districts – including some of the best districts in the state – will have some students eligible for private school vouchers that districts must pay for.

Republicans, including Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford), have said they’re hoping to do a fix before the EdChoice application process opens February 1. Householder said the long-term solution will be bigger.

“Our failure in this state is our grade cards and our testing system," he said. "We need to make certain we get those things corrected."

However, state Sen. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) said she doubts it.

“They’ve known about it since the budget. The deadline for that change is February 1. The House isn’t returning until the last week of January. So are they serious?" Fedor said.

There are Senate sessions scheduled for January 15 and January 22, but no House session on the calendar right now until January 28.