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Stephen Dyer · January 27, 2020

Ohio’s School Voucher Crisis in 4 Charts

The number of Ohio’s voucher eligible school buildings has exploded

The above chart shows just how quickly and systemically the numbers of voucher eligible buildings have exploded in only two years.

For nearly all of the 20 plus years of the voucher program, approximately 200 or so buildings were eligible.

These pie charts illustrate how many school districts will be coping with state funding losses to private schools if lawmakers don’t address this runaway train.

The number of eligible buildings has more than quintupled in just two years and lawmakers are now scrambling to address the voucher explosion.

Rural school districts will be among the hardest hit

One of the myths about vouchers is that it’s only an issue in major urban districts like Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati.

In reality, the largest percentage increase in voucher losses occurred in poor rural and suburban school districts. These skyrocketing totals have almost been exclusively driven by the increased losses to the EdChoice program — increases the legislature is trying to curb by Saturday.

Unless lawmakers address the issue, the EdChoice voucher expansion will continue to drive up the cost of the voucher program, exponentially.

The growth of Ohio’s school voucher program had been steadily rising, but now it’s growing exponentially, largely because of the explosion in the EdChoice vouchers. The slope of this trendline is frightening for many public school districts.

For years, our Education Policy Team has been ringing alarm bells about the compounding growth of private school vouchers, especially since 2010. Here is a report we wrote in 2017 where we raised concerns about the growth and efficacy of the voucher program.

We wrote another report this year where we warned that this last budget passed in 2019 would be eventually dubbed the “Voucher Budget.”

Innovation Ohio will continue monitoring the situation, which we hope will fix the short- and long-term issues with the voucher program.

Tagged in these Policy Areas: K-12 Education