Toledo Blade: Special Ed vouchers still in Ohio budget, will cost $160,000,000

From the Toledo Blade, the conference panel working on Ohio’s budget:

Approved a top priority of Republicans, an expansion of the state’s school voucher program to send 8,000 special education children currently in public schools to private programs or schools. The cost would divert up to $20,000 per student from public schools each year.

Yes – seven zeroes worth of special education vouchers, for only 3% of the special education population. 8000 x 20000 = 16 with seven zeroes.

I want to read that legislative language.

And I want Governor Strickland to use his line item veto.

The legislators should be ashamed of themselves – $160 million in complete and total new diverted funding?


7 thoughts on “Toledo Blade: Special Ed vouchers still in Ohio budget, will cost $160,000,000

  1. A couple of articles out of Toledo over the last month, I believe, detailed exactly that, Kyle.Here’s what I know about privates: they tend to be more expensive that the highest per student expenditure in any Ohio district and certainly far above the average. They do not require teachers to be licensed, as a general rule but that’s not hard and fast everywhere or at every level within any one school.Their priorities are set by their board, not by the parents or the district or the community outside the school. So parents must by into the mission of the school.Typically, though again, there are exceptions, private schools will tell you their limits to being able to handle kids on either end of the exceptional spectrum (gifted or special needs or both).Does that mean that some of those schools aren’t the perfect place for some kids? No, of course not. But as a general proposition, they can do pretty much whatever they want and they are run by boards that are often full of legacies with interest that may or may not match a general public.

  2. Jill and Pho, I should have phrased my earlier statement in the form of a question. Do you think tuition would go up at private schools if the state gave vouchers to every student. Wouldn’t schools like Walsh Jesuit High School, Western Reserve Academy or Our Lady of the Elms want to remain somewhat exclusive and raise their tuition?

  3. Anon – I see the language in the Blade article that says the money will be diverted. Frankly, that makes it even more onerous. One of the reasons private schools don’t have special ed services (in general, not entirely) is because it’s not worth the money it would cost them. No way will whatever does get diverted be able to help them get the services they need – you are chopping up an entire system of service provision that relies on numbers to make it effective. The private schools will be back to the parents or to the taxpayers for more money.And the gifted kids will continue to suffer with an unfunded mandate.And the kids who are on neither end of the spectrum will continue to be at risk as well.

  4. What are you talking about? First of all, it’s not new money. No new dollars are spent to make the scholarships happen. The money that is currently being spent is turned into scholarships instead of going to a school district.Feh.

  5. Let’s say the State of Ohio gave $5,000 to every student in the state to take to whichever school they wanted. I can guarantee the tuition at every legit private school in the state will go up $5,000 the next day.

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