February 27, 2023

A. J. Calderone: Future of school voucher system is questionable

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Ohio, despite a lack of any proof that the concept works, keeps pushing for more versions of school vouchers. Writing for the Vindicator, LaBrae superintendent A. J. Calderone has some major questions.

Legislative leaders espouse the notion that “the money should follow the child,” which under this premise, would mean Ohio taxpayers are responsible for funding three types of school systems, their local public schools, Ohio charter schools and private schools. Such a system creates many questions that Ohio citizens should ponder earnestly.

For example, should the money follow the child? Will private schools be subject to the same levels of accountability as local public schools? Are private school teachers properly certified at the same level as public schools? Will taxpayer funds flowing to private schools be subject to audits? Is the achievement of students taking the voucher better than their public school counterparts? Will private schools be required to accept all students? Should Ohio taxpayers fund parent choice? If the State diverts hundreds of millions of dollars to private schools via vouchers, what might be the impact on local public schools? What might be the long-term impact on local property taxes? Why is Ohio increasing dollars for vouchers faster than the legislature is increasing dollars to fully fund the Ohio Fair School Funding Plan? Does Ohio allow such a transfer of taxpayer funds for other public goods such as parks, police and fire?

These questions are just a sampling of important considerations in the voucher debate.

Read the full editorial here. 

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