Ohio: Vouchers Are Failing to Help Kids, but Legislature Wants to Expand Them

Stephen Dyer of Innovation Ohio writes here that vouchers cost Ohio taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars every year, yet voucher students are performing worse than their peers in public schools.

I don’t like writing these things. I really don’t. Because even when a policy I think is folly actually works, I’m glad that kids are able to benefit.

“The latest data, both from Ohio and nationally, demonstrate pretty clearly that private school vouchers simply aren’t working. In fact, they are making things worse for kids both in private, mostly religious schools, and those who remain in local public school districts.

“At Innovation Ohio, we released a report today that details many of the issues. Among them:

• Vouchers now affect schools and children in 83 percent of Ohio’s school districts

• More than $310 million will be spent this school year sending public money to private, mostly religious schools through vouchers

• Including additional direct state payments and reimbursements made to private, mostly religious schools, more than $568 million in Ohio taxpayer money is going to support these schools

• Every Ohio student not taking a voucher, on average, loses $63 a year in state funding because of the way Ohio’s lawmakers have decided to fund vouchers ($63 is about $15 more per pupil than we spend statewide on instructional and non-instructional equipment combined. It’s about the cost of a new Amazon Fire tablet.)

• In an era of the state providing less funding for public schools, its insatiable investment in private school vouchers force local taxpayers to subsidize them with $105 million in locally raised money to make up for districts’ state funding losses to Ohio’s voucher programs

• Students who take vouchers perform worse than their public school peers on state assessments

• Some of the highest performing school districts in the state lose money and students to vouchers, turning the original intent of the program on its head.”

Despite these dismal results, the Ohio legislature wants to expand the voucher program and make vouchers available to 75% of all school children.

Why?

from novemoore http://ift.tt/2tOa4zk

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