When the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program in the landmark Zelman v. Simmons-Harris case ten years ago, it opened the door for thousands of children to attend the school of their choice. The impact of the decision extends beyond the boundaries of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and even beyond the state of Ohio. It set the precedent for school vouchers cases across the nation.
In the 10 years since the Zelman v. Simmons-Harris decision, Ohio has created three new school voucher programs – the EdChoice Scholarship Program, the Autism Scholarship Program, and the Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program. At the time of the decision, approximately 4,500 students in the state were using a school voucher. Now, more than 22,000 Ohio students are attending the school of their choice with the help of one of the state’s four school voucher programs, and that number continues to grow each year. Across the nation, more 80,000 students are using state-funded scholarships to attend the private school of their choice.
We recently joined with nearly 700 parents, students, school leaders, supporters and special guests in Cleveland to celebrate the anniversary and the promise of the Cleveland Scholarship & Tutoring Program, a promise that was affirmed by the Supreme Court decision.
During the celebration we shared the video below that shares the stories of students and parents all across the state whose lives are being changed by Ohio’s scholarship programs. Take a look.