The Madison-Plains school board voted unanimously on Dec. 13 to oppose House Bill 136, which would expand the availability of vouchers for students to attend private schools.
The proposed legislation would allow any student in any district whose family makes less than $95,000 a year to get a voucher covering the cost of tuition at a private or parochial school. The current program gives preference to low-income families.
“Not only is this a detriment to all public schools in the state of Ohio. The number of kids hurt by this voucher program way outweighs the number of kids who would benefit from it, said school board member Don Swonger.
The voucher program limits the students who are able to go due to transportation costs for those parents who are already struggling, said Swonger.
“If were going to break this generational cycle of welfare that we run through here, its not going to work, he added.
Currently, only students assigned to schools rated by the state asD orF for two of the last three years can get vouchers. HB 136 would allow students to be eligible for vouchers no matter how their schools performed. The state would deduct approximately $5,800 from a school districts state aid, depending on the particular district, for each student receiving a voucher.
Students who are currently attending a private school would become eligible as the program is phased in. Under this plan, eligibility for vouchers would increase more than 10-fold.
With the boards passage of the resolution opposing the measure, Madison-Plains Treasurer Tim Dettwiller will forward copies to members of the Ohio House of Representatives.
Swonger encouraged voters to contact local House Rep. Bob Hackett to express their opinions on the voucher program.
“He needs to understand that this is going to affect not only Madison-Plains and the schools in his district, but this is going to affect kids across the state of Ohio. We need to kill this thing, Swonger said.