This letter is being submitted on behalf of the Marysville Board of Education to better inform our community regarding Ohio’s EdChoice voucher program.
Ohio’s ballooning EdChoice voucher program threatens to undermine the system of public education in Ohio. The program uses a flawed school report card to unfairly label public schools as “failing” and forces districts to subsidize the cost of private school tuition. Due to recent changes, hundreds of millions of public tax dollars will subsidize private school tuition for students, many of whom have never attended a public school.
Next school year, more than 70% of Ohio’s districts will have an EdChoice-eligible building. The number of eligible buildings will grow dramatically from approximately 230 last year to more than 1,200 next year — a 422% increase. Nearly half of these buildings received overall grades of A, B or C on their current state report card.
Vouchers cost $4,650 for K-8 students and $6,000 for high school students, funneling your tax dollars away from public schools to pay for private and parochial tuition. Students can keep the voucher throughout their academic career, costing taxpayers nearly $66,000 per pupil to fund a private education. These costs far exceed what the state provides the public school districts, so districts must rely on local tax dollars to cover the difference.
Vouchers also threaten districts’ ability to serve their remaining students and jeopardize the quality of those students’ educational experiences. Public school districts are held to high standards and accountability, unlike private schools that do not have to use the same state tests to assess student achievement and can determine their own enrollment and admission policies.
In the end, local taxpayers who never intended for their tax dollars to go to private and parochial schools lose.
Contact your state legislators and ask them to stop funneling taxpayer dollars to private and parochial schools.
Taxpayer dollars are meant to support our public schools where every child is accepted and educated.
President of the Marysville Board of Education