Representative Bill Patmon, a champion for Cleveland students, released the below statement today lauding a crucially-important next step toward equity for Cleveland voucher recipients. The House of Representatives passed the bill Wednesday with the support of Cleveland Democratic Representatives Patmon, John Barnes, and Sandra Williams.
Representative Bill Patmon Lobbies for and Receives the Passing of Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program change
Mid-biennium budget review amendment eliminates parental co-pay for Cleveland families
COLUMBUS, Ohio – State Representative Bill Patmon today announced that among the provisions included in House Bill 487, the mid-biennium budget review bill, was an amendment that eliminates the Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program parental co-payment for families residing within the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.
“This is all about equality. The hardworking parents of this city are the only ones in the state who are saddled with this burden,” said Representative Patmon. “The House of Representatives has signaled its commitment to improving the educational options for the students of the city by moving to eliminate this unjust hardship.”
Families who participate in the Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program are the only families in the state that are required to make a co-payment to receive a scholarship. There is no co-pay requirement in any of the state’s three other school voucher programs.
“The bipartisan support that this bill received in the House sends a strong message that we are committed to providing equal opportunities for students in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District,” said Patmon. “I encourage my colleagues in the Senate as well as Governor Kasich to embrace this needed reform.”
The Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program was created in 1995 as the state’s first school voucher program and is only the second program of its kind in the nation. The Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program offers scholarships to students who live within the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. Students can use the scholarships to assist with tuition at the participating private school of their choice. Currently, more than 5,000 Cleveland students receive this scholarship.
As Cleveland principal Peggy Schauer shared in a blog post last year, this change would be a much-needed relief for the low-income parents who use the Cleveland voucher. We encourage you to contact your legislators to let them know you also support this legislation.