A Single Option is Not a Choice         

The majority of Ohio families are happy with their local public schools.  Scholarship usage has not created the mass exodus from public education or the “avalanche” of EdChoice scholarship applications as was predicted prior to the passage of HB33 in July 2023, which established universal school choice for Ohio families.  The numbers of scholarships for the 2023-24 school year was an increase but continue to represent only a small percentage of Ohio students versus a majority of students who continue to be enrolled in public education. 

The state average of per-student expense in Ohio’s public schools is over $15,000 with some school district expenditures as high as $20,000 per student. Public education’s per-student funding continues to increase and is not affected by the state’s scholarship programs as the anti-choice activists would have us believe.  It will be interesting to review the numbers at the close of the 2023-24 fiscal year at the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce Development.

Source:  Ohio Department of Education and Workforce Development
Source: Ohio Department of Education & Workforce Development

Hey Pot!…the Kettle is Calling…

Public school leaders have partnered with anti-choice groups to push an agenda that removes educational options for the majority of Ohio students.  What makes it worse? …They are using taxpayer money to fund their efforts.

Instead of offering real solutions in Ohio education, those who oppose school choice have rallied to form the Vouchers Hurt Ohio coalition of school districts who are suing the state of Ohio in an attempt to end the state’s scholarship programs.  https://vouchershurtohio.com/districts/ The list of participating districts continues to grow, with Upper Arlington and Akron City Schools the anti-choice coalition’s newest members.

Participating districts are diverting thousands of taxpayer dollars away from the education of their students to join the coalition.  Every district that joins the lawsuit pays an annual fee-per-student enrolled in their district in order to fund their efforts which are not limited to just legal costs.  There are two public relations firms working overtime to get their anti-choice rhetoric out to the public. 

From those efforts there have been a flurry of articles that perpetuate anti-choice narratives and claims.  One particular article which was published in the Dayton Daily News and the Toledo Blade highlighted some of the educational options in and around the Dayton area.  A critical piece of information was left out of the article;  whether or not these school districts allow open enrollment.  Out of the nine school districts mentioned in the article, 5 of the districts (Centerville, Hamilton Local, Springfield, Beavercreek, and Springboro Schools) do not offer open enrollment which would allow students outside their district to enroll in their districts. 


The article specifically references Centerville City Schools as well as Spring Valley Academy, which is a private school in the same area (Montgomery County).  The enrollment numbers for Centerville Schools show that they lack diversity in their student enrollment when compared to Spring Valley Academy.  Spring Valley serves a much more diverse student population that includes students who are not able to attend Centerville Public Schools where they do not allow open enrollment. 

Source: Ohio Department of Education & Workforce Development

If scholarships are eliminated in Ohio, public education would be the only educational option for Ohio students unless a family can afford to pay tuition at a private school or have the resources to move to a better performing school district.  In other words, options would only be available to those who can afford it.  If the anti-choice coalition is successful in their suit, Ohio will regress to an educational system of “haves” and “have nots”…ironically the same false claim the coalition continues to use in their arguments against school choice initiatives.

If the Vouchers Hurt Ohio coalition wins, Ohio families lose.  We are losing sight of the most important factor in this whole discussion…our kids.  If we are not focused on what is best for each individual student we are missing the point.   Rather than fighting to limit Ohio’s kids, everyone should be focused on working toward a solution that provides the best education for each individual child. 

Americans expect choice.  Families should have a choice.  Most importantly, Ohio’s students deserve a choice.

Stay Informed

Sign up for our email list to stay update to date on the latest School Choice news.