Huffman Announces Legislation Updating Ohio's EdChoice Program Eligibility Approved by Senate
COLUMBUS—State Senator Matt Huffman
(R-Lima) today announced that his legislation providing flexibility to Ohio’s career technical centers and improving eligibility for Ohio’s Educational Choice Scholarship Program
(EdChoice) has been approved by the Ohio Senate and will soon move to the governor for his consideration.
“Senate Bill 89 reaffirms a parent’s right to choose the best educational environment for their children and provides relief to public schools that were unfairly being categorized as low-performing,” said Huffman. “Earlier this year, we heard hours of testimony from families, teachers and school administrators. I greatly appreciate their input, as well as the work my colleagues in the legislature put into listening and creating a solution.”
The underlying legislation in Senate Bill 89
reduces state mandates and regulations on Ohio’s career technical centers and educators to allow them to operate with greater efficiency and independence. The bill passed the Senate unanimously last year, but because of changes made to the bill in the Ohio House of Representatives, it again received consideration through a legislative conference committee. During that process, a conference committee of the House and Senate amended in a solution authored by Senator Huffman to allow Ohio’s EdChoice program to more effectively provide scholarships to students in low-income communities and low-performing school buildings.
Under Ohio’s current EdChoice eligibility process based on report card rankings, numerous school districts around the state were faced with being unfairly categorized as low-performing. According to the changes outlined in amendments to Senate Bill 89 and passed today, students will now qualify for EdChoice scholarships if they meet both of the following criteria: at least 20% of the student’s school district is composed of federally-designated Title 1-eligible students and the student’s building’s performance was ranked in the lowest 20% statewide for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years.
Ohio income-based scholarship eligibility will also be increased from 200% to 250% above the federal poverty line to provide options to eligible families.
Upon the Ohio House of Representatives’ approval of the conference committee report, Senate Bill 89
will move to the governor for his consideration. To watch Senator Huffman’s floor speech from today about the bill, visit OhioChannel.org.