The Ohio House of Representatives passed a $51 billion state budget plan on April 12 that would dramatically increase the number of vouchers available to K-12 students.
In the budget, which now goes to the Senate, up to $81 million would be allotted for 18,000 vouchers targeting students in low-performing schools. The students could use the vouchers to attend private secular or religious schools.
The state already offers vouchers worth up to $2,700 to 4,000 students in Cleveland. In his budget, Gov. Bob Taft, a Republican, proposed offering vouchers to an additional 2,600 public school students outside of Cleveland.
On the day the House passed its budget, education groups from across the state rallied at the state Capitol for more school aid. With statewide vouchers and local budget cuts, “I’m afraid we’re going to be out of business,” said Jane Mullins, a 6th grade teacher in the 1,300-student New Lebanon district, which shut down so staff members could attend the rally.