County ESC board opposes Kasich plan

LISBON – Concerned about Gov. John Kasich’s budget plan, which could increase the number of publicly funded vouchers going to private or parochial schools, members of the Education Service Center board voted a resolution opposing the measure.

“It’s taking more public money and giving it to non-public participants,” said President Richard Stoudt during Monday’s meeting.

The budget, which is part of House Bill 59, would allow both kindergarten and first-grade students living in households with incomes less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level to attend private or parochial schools with vouchers. The cost would total more than $25 million over the biennium, which is the length of the budget.

The plan also would grant the vouchers regardless of the academic performance of the public school the student is supposed to attend.

An additional program proposed would expand eligibility for the EdChoice vouchers for students in grades K-3. Those attending school buildings receiving a letter grade of D or F on the new K-3 Literacy component of the new report card for two out of the past three years would be eligible.

The resolution passed by the ESC board points out the proposed programs would reduce the amount of funds at public schools, which are already seeing cut in other areas. This would reduce the effectiveness of the schools for other students attending school there.