Press Release from the Center for Christian Virtue
COLUMBUS—Every student in Ohio will be eligible for a scholarship to attend the school of their choice thanks to a CCV-backed expansion of the EdChoice program included in the Fiscal Year 2024-2025 state budget Governor Mike DeWine signed Monday night.
Ohio is now the eighth state to make every student eligible for a school choice program. The budget also increased the amounts of the full scholarship amount.
“This was a historic step in bringing true education freedom to Ohio. Governor Mike DeWine signed a budget that breaks a crucial barrier: ensuring every student is eligible for a scholarship,” said Aaron Baer, President of Center for Christian Virtue. “Parents know what’s best for their children, and by expanding the EdChoice program to every student, parents will be better equipped to access the education that meets their child’s needs.”
CCV has been leading the charge for the passage of the Backpack Bill, which would create a new “Empowerment Scholarship Account” program that would fund students whether they attended private, public, or home schools. The new law in the budget accomplishes a major provision of the Backpack Bill by making every child eligible for some level of scholarship to attend private schools.
Under the newly passed law, families who make less than 450 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (approximately $135,000 per year for a family of four) are eligible for the full scholarship amount.
Families earning more than 450 percent of the Federal Poverty Level would be eligible for a portion of the scholarship on a sliding scale, down to approximately 10 percent of the scholarship amount based on their income. The proposed budget also increases the amount of the scholarship from $5,500 for students K-8 to approximately $6,165, and from $7,500 for students 9-12 to approximately $8,407.
Also included in the state budget were CCV-backed provisions to reform the Ohio Department of Education to bring more accountability to Ohio’s public schools. The newly formed Department of Education and Workforce (DEW) will allow state lawmakers to better address the academic and moral challenges in Ohio schools.
State lawmakers also included the Social Media Parental Notification Act that Lt. Governor Jon Husted called for to require social media companies and other online sites to get parental consent before a child under 16 opens an account.
The budget also created 5 new free-speech institutes at Ohio’s public universities to bring true academic and ideological diversity to the state’s college campuses.
Lastly, the budget included $14,000,000 for the Ohio Parenting and Pregnancy Program that pro-life pregnancy centers can apply for to support pregnant mothers and mothers with newborns.
“Today we celebrate how God is using CCV, families across Ohio, and our friends at the statehouse to make Ohio a freer, more prosperous state. I’m grateful to Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted for signing this budget. Senate President Matt Huffman and Speaker of the House Jason Stephens, along with so many other friends in the legislature, deserve our gratitude and praise for moving educational freedom forward this year,” said Baer.