Fedor stands strong in fight for public education
January 28, 2020
Today, state Sen. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) stood up for public school districts across Ohio and voted with fellow Democrats against the expansion of private school vouchers.
“Ohio’s children have the right to receive a quality public school education,” said Fedor. “The expansion of Ohio’s voucher program undermines the state’s ability to fulfill its constitutional obligation. This money would be better spent in our publicly accountable schools on evidence-based programs and services that we know will improve outcomes for public school students.”
This evening, the Ohio Senate passed House Bill 9, which further expands Ohio’s ballooning private school voucher program. The bill increases vouchers’ minimum income eligibility to 300% of the federal poverty level, or $77,250 for a family of four. The bill also removes school building eligibility for buildings that received an A through C on the last report card as well as for buildings that received a D but were not ranked in the lowest 20% in two of the last three school years and that are not subject to an academic distress commission. Although this provision does make fewer school buildings eligible, Democrats say this is not enough to halt the growth of vouchers.
Under the bill, only students up to the 9th-grade, who had not previously been enrolled in public school, will be eligible for vouchers. HB 9 also allocates an additional $30 million to reimburse school districts that have lost funding due to voucher students this school year.
In a floor speech, Fedor said that a true fix to the voucher expansion requires an overhaul of the current accountability system for schools.
“When private and parochial schools are not held to the same standards as public institutions, it is wrong to assume that students receiving EdChoice vouchers are getting a better education,” said Fedor. “In fact, the Thomas Fordham Institute stated in June 2016 that ‘the students who actually left the public schools – at least those on the margin of eligibility – perform worse on statewide tests.’”