I support certain principles to guide your
consideration of important education legislation, including House Bill 11 (The
Backpack Bill), Senate Bill 11 (The Parent Educational Freedom Act), and the
Governor’s proposal to expand EdChoice to 400% of FPL as found in House Bill
I believe that each of these education
opportunity proposals will require an additional appropriation of tax dollars. Therefore,
I suggest that the state operating budget, House Bill 33, is the appropriate
place to incorporate these proposals.
According to recent polling by Yes Every Kid, (https://yeseverykid.com/press/new-poll-finds-majority-of-ohio-voters-support-education-savings-accounts/) Ohioans support expanding education opportunity in the Buckeye state.
The polling indicates that:
Ohio voters support implementing an
Education Savings Account (ESA) program by a nearly five-to-one margin, with
64% supporting and 13% opposing.
Furthermore, a majority of voters (74%)
indicated support for school choice, where parents, instead of the government,
are allowed to choose the best school for their child.
Therefore, I urge the Ohio House to include the
following objectives in the final version of House Bill 33 that is sent to the
Objective 1: Expand Educational Savings
Account (ESA) programs in Ohio to provide maximum flexibility for parents and
families to direct a portion of the state share of education funding where they
Objective 2: Remove all eligibility
criteria from the existing EdChoice voucher program, effectively making a
Universal Education Opportunity Voucher available to all students in the state
Full incorporation of these objectives will put education
opportunity in a strong position as the Senate takes up consideration of the
bi-annual operating budget.
I stand ready to advocate and support the
successful passage of House Bill 33 as it includes these items.