In his State of the State address today, Ohio governor Ted Strickland announced that his proposed budget will eliminate the statewide EdChoice voucher program. People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas issued the following statement:
“Ending the EdChoice voucher program is the right choice, and Ohio’s children will be the real winners. Governor Strickland’s plan will let more resources go to proven reforms like smaller class sizes, improved teacher training, and school-community partnerships, and stop the diversion of taxpayer dollars away from public schools.
“Voucher programs are a misuse of taxpayer dollars. Private schools simply aren’t held to the same level of accountability as public schools. Vouchers send resources into a black hole: taxpayer money goes in, but accountability and increased student achievement never come out.
“An audit of the Cleveland voucher program, for example, a forerunner of EdChoice, found nearly $2 million in questionable expenses for the first year alone. See People For the American Way’s report on the Cleveland voucher program. And a recent Toledo Blade story exposed how some parents have gamed the system by actually transferring their children to failing public schools, just to grab voucher money later.
“Governor Strickland’s announcement is a first step towards giving every Ohio student an excellent education. We applaud his commitment to working for a first class public education system for all children.”