Voucher Bill Narrowly Clears Education Committee

House Bill 136 passed by the House Education Committee on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 by a vote of 12-10. The bill, sponsored by Representative Matt Huffman (R-Lima), would create a new statewide voucher program that would divert even more funding from Ohio’s public schools. The bill would create the “PACT scholarship” to provide taxpayer-funded vouchers for students to attend private schools. Students would be eligible for vouchers based solely on household income (with a cap of $95,000). OEA strongly opposes this bill. Under HB 136, every school district would potentially lose students and funding to private schools regardless of how well the public schools perform. Further, the bill would allow students already enrolled in private school to be eligible for the voucher program. The potential fiscal impact on public schools, where the vast majority of children are educated, could be devastating.