Lake Joins Lawsuit Against EdChoice | Community

MILLBURY – Local Lake Schools will join a lawsuit against EdChoice, which provides vouchers to students at underperforming public schools to attend private schools.

“It’s constitutionally challenged in an Ohio lawsuit,” Lake School Board chair Tim Krugh said at the November meeting.

The resolution was approved unanimously.

Krugh said there was a choice of school available for students in public schools.

“With enrollment open, we’ve kind of created a school choice in Ohio,” he said. “People can go pretty much anywhere they want to go now.

“All it does is transfer money from the state to the schools, and no one is against it. This is a bunch of state senators who are pushing… the voucher agenda way beyond what you might think is reasonable. This is what this trial is all about.

Krugh added that the state mandates for public schools to follow are removed for private schools.

“But they continue to want to channel taxpayer money to private and parish schools.”

Lake leaders have campaigned vigorously against EdChoice, dating back to the winter of 2020 when they met with Ohio Rep. Haraz Ghanbari, R-Perrysburg, and Ohio Senator Theresa Gavarone, R-Bowling Green.

In August, it was announced that a coalition of about 70 Ohio public school districts was planning to take legal action to challenge the state’s use of public funds to fund private schools, saying Ohio’s EdChoice voucher program takes money out of public schools and limits the state’s ability to provide equitable funding to these schools.

The lawsuit calls for the end of the EdChoice program.

Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy in School Funding Executive Director Bill Phillis said the state had withdrawn about $ 25 billion from public K-12 education year in favor of vouchers or other private school options.

EdChoice allows students in poorly performing public schools to attend private, charter, or parochial schools using taxpayer dollars. Lawmakers expanded the program this year from $ 6,000 per high school student to $ 7,500. The cap on the number of eligible students was removed and a separate voucher fund was created so that public schools no longer have to pass money on per student.

Phillis said planning for the trial began about 21 months ago, before the current state budget was passed in July. It has expanded opportunities for parents through tuition tax credits and education savings accounts.

The Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding began in 1991 and had both 515 public school districts. Current members number over 200, Phillis said.

Districts and vocational schools pay a membership fee of 50 cents per student. Approximately 1.7 million students are found in Ohio’s 611 public school districts. The average number of students per district is 2,782 and the average membership fee is approximately $ 1,400.

Krugh said Lake would pay around $ 2 per student to enroll.

(Some information for this story came from the central plaza.)

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