Today, Governor Mike DeWine announced his state budget priorities for fiscal years 2024 and 2025 in his state of the state address. Among his K–12 education proposals include bold steps that would greatly strengthen Ohio’s school choice programs. Most notable are: (1) boosting the supplemental funding for quality public charter schools to $3,000 per economically disadvantaged pupil (up from $1,750 currently), and (2) expanding Ohio’s EdChoice program to allow any family earning less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level to be eligible for a private school voucher (up from 250 percent of poverty).
“Students thrive when parents are empowered and engaged in their education,” said Chad L. Aldis, Vice President for Ohio Policy at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. “To his credit, Governor DeWine has consistently put Ohio’s families and students first, and this budget proposal is no different. Investing in quality charters will narrow funding gaps, provide schools with the resources needed to expand, and ultimately offer more parents excellent public school options. At the same time, raising the income-eligibility threshold for EdChoice vouchers will give working-class families access to private schools that are otherwise out of reach.”
The governor also announced important early literacy and career-technical initiatives. Each of these proposals will be formally introduced in the state budget bill. Over the next few months, House and Senate lawmakers will review these proposals as well as put forward ideas of their own. The final budget legislation is likely to pass by the end of June.
“As the governor’s ideas head to the General Assembly, we urge lawmakers to enthusiastically support his school choice proposals,” concluded Aldis. “All students in Ohio deserve to attend great schools—whether traditional district, public charter, or private school. The governor’s bold steps forward will continue to empower parents with quality choices and unlock learning opportunities for thousands of Ohio students.”