Agudath Israel applauds the Ohio General Assembly and Governor Mike DeWine for making school choice universally available in the state budget that was signed earlier this week.

Under the newly expanded EdChoice program, nearly every student in the state will be eligible for a $6,165 scholarship for elementary school students and an $8,400 scholarship for high school students. Every child will at least receive a minimum scholarship amount. A separate special needs scholarship program will now offer vouchers of up to more than $30,000 depending on disability category.

Rabbi Yitz Frank, executive director of Agudath Israel of Ohio, said, “Governor DeWine, Senate President Huffman, Speaker Stephens and the Ohio General Assembly rose to the occasion by giving all parents the ability and freedom to pursue the educational options that are best for their family. This expansion is a victory for Ohio families and a major day for the school choice movement.”

Agudath Israel has been fighting for school choice in Ohio for the last two decades and these proposed changes include the largest expansion of educational choice in the state’s history and one of the largest in the country.

Highlights of the budget bill include:

Universal EdChoice eligibility for every Ohio student:

                                      A student whose family income is at or below 450% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) based on Adjusted Gross Income will be eligible to receive the full scholarship amount (this is up from the current 250% of FPL), while students whose family income is above 450% will have the voucher amount decreased on a sliding scale. The minimum scholarship will be 10% of the full amount. Students who qualify for a special needs scholarship or who are eligible for the original EdChoice program due to their assigned public school, will receive a full voucher regardless of income.

  • Increases the scholarship amounts from $5,500 and $7,500 to $6,165 for K-8th and $8,407 for 9th-12th grades
  • Increases Ohio’s special needs scholarships amounts so that awards range from $9,000 to more than $30,000 depending on disability category
  • Increases funding for nonpublic school services and reimbursements to approximately $1,500 per student
  • Extends the $1,000 per child ACE scholarship for extracurricular educational activities by another year
  • Qualifies any student with an autism diagnosis for an Autism Scholarship of more than $32,000