Ohio public school officials back income-based voucher bill

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Groups representing superintendents, boards and business officials from public schools are supporting a proposal to make eligibility for Ohio's voucher system based on family income instead of school performance.

Lawmakers in the GOP-controlled House and Senate have been considering changes to avoid a looming spike in the number of qualifying locations for the program, known as EdChoice. The program funds private school tuition for students from public schools that aren't meeting certain state performance guidelines. The list was slated to more than double to over 1,200 schools for the next academic year, raising concerns about funding and fairness.

The public school administrators' groups said Tuesday they support a plan passed by the House that would create the Buckeye Scholarship Opportunity program. Students from families making up to 250% of federal poverty guidelines would be eligible.

“We would like public funds to stay with public schools, but we realize we're not at that point right now,” Northern Local School District Superintendent Tom Perkins said.

The Senate hasn't yet voted on that plan.

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