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Politics

New Ohio School Report Cards Won't Impact Voucher Program

Freshmen in a classroom in Licking Heights High School work on an assignment.
Andy Chow
/
Ohio Public Radio
Freshmen in a classroom in Licking Heights High School work on an assignment.

Gov. Mike DeWine has signed into law a bill allowing students opt out of college admissions tests. Added to that measure was the bill to scrap the state’s A-F grades for school districts and replace them with star ratings in five categories. However it won’t affect the state’s largest taxpayer-funded voucher program.

Huge numbers of school buildings with failing grades in some categories increased the number of students eligible for EdChoice vouchers in 2019.

Chad Aldis with the pro-charter school Fordham Institute said last year the EdChoice qualification was changed to kids in buildings that scored in the lowest 20% on the Department of Education’s achievement measure called the performance index.

“Now it doesn’t tie report card grades to it, such that there might be pressures to increase or decrease, whatever narrative you want to buy into – the report card grades. It’s completely divorced the report cards and EdChoice eligibility,” he said.

The budget allows EdChoice students to use those vouchers to attend not just public schools but also private school, and increased the dollar amounts for both EdChoice vouchers and the Cleveland Scholarship program.