Ohio School District Board Members: PLEASE pass RESOLUTIONS opposing the expansion of EDCHOICE VOUCHERS by the Ohio General Assembly, and then publicize them extensively in the media. Signed resolutions should be forwarded to Gov. DeWine, the Ohio General Assembly education leaders, and local reporters and news directors.
Model language provided below:
WHEREAS, with no testimony, no prior notice, and little explanation, the Ohio General Assembly added last-minute amendments regarding the expansion of EdChoice Vouchers before approving HB 166, the State’s biennium budget; and
WHEREAS, EdChoice Vouchers are now available to every K-12 student in Ohio, regardless of grade level and whether the child has ever attended a public school; and
WHEREAS, eighteen months ago, 30 Ohio districts had schools designated for EdChoice, five percent of the total number of districts across the state, but now, 70 percent of districts in Ohio have schools designated for EdChoice; and
WHEREAS, much of the data used to make the new EdChoice determination is five or six years old and comes from assessments the state no longer uses or is considering changing; and
WHEREAS, elected officials in Columbus froze public school budgets in the new budget bill and, at the same time, took money away from public schools by significantly and substantially increasing the numbers of students eligible to receive EdChoice vouchers, placing many school districts on the brink of financial emergency and uncertainty; and
WHEREAS, EdChoice imposes unfair burdens on local taxpayers who should not have to carry the millstone of the state’s efforts to subsidize private and parochial schools; and
WHEREAS, the legislative machinations used to pass the EdChoice expansion suggest a deliberate choice to undermine public schools and to shut out the voices of local communities;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that we demand immediate financial relief be provided to districts disproportionately impacted by EdChoice vouchers; that the state not deduct EdChoice Scholarship payments from school district funds and should directly pay for some or all of the new vouchers added to the program this year; that a cap be placed on the amount of money that can be deducted from a district in any given year; and that the EdChoice program be reined in so that it makes more sense for students, families, and taxpayers, without decimating public school districts;
THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the (public school district) Board of Education urges all lawmakers in the State of Ohio to refrain from approving any new legislation, or attaching any version thereof, before the original legislation has been properly vetted and heard by both chambers of the Ohio General Assembly, according to rules established by the Ohio Constitution.
Check out the Westerville City Schools Board of Education’s Resolution opposing EdChoice Vouchers. District officials will also hold a public information session to explain the negative impact of EdChoice expansion at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, January 6, 2020, at the district’s Early Learning Center, 936 Eastwind Dr., Westerville.