Mixed Messages From School Voucher Totals

Aug 18, 2011

The state greatly increased the number of taxpayer-paid vouchers available for students in failing schools. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports the final numbers are in from the latest round of applications, and the message isn't clear.

Just over 17,000 applications were turned in for vouchers – the second most ever in a single year. Chad Aldis with the charter schools group School Choice Ohio says he’s pleasantly surprised, though that’s far short of the 30,000 vouchers available.

“It took four years to meet the first cap and it’s going to take a few years to go up to 30,000, especially when the same pool of eligible students are eligible each year," says Aldis.

Scott DiMauro is with Join the Future, a coalition of public education professionals and supporters. And he doesn’t think this total is high at all.

“I don’t think there’s this drumbeat of demand, or this pent-up demand for vouchers. Most people are pretty satisfied with the quality of public education that their children receive,” says DiMauro.

The budget expands the EdChoice program to 60,000 vouchers next year.