Ohio

Upper Arlington urged to join school aid lawsuit

Upper Arlington, Ohio (W.C.M.H.) — A group of parents, community members and supporters are asking the Upper Arlington School Board to get involved. lawsuit It calls into question Ohio's school voucher program.

of ed choice Scholarship programs provide parents with refunds and rebates to send their children to private schools.of lawsuit try to eliminate it.

What the current numbers show hundreds more families Although they were eligible this year, the coalition contends that many of those families never intended to send their children to public schools in the first place.

Upper Arlington has seen a more than 2,000 percent increase in families using the Ed Choice Expansion Voucher program this year compared to last year. The district is not a party to the Voucher Heart Ohio lawsuit against the state over the program. But many supporters of this lawsuit are trying to change that.

Supporters of the lawsuit said they hope that if Upper Arlington joins the lawsuit, other high-performing districts will do the same.

“I feel that public school districts have an obligation to protect public funds that go to public schools rather than private schools,” said Susan Miller, whose children attended the Upper Arlington school.

People who now live in the district or have children who lived in the district also came to school board meetings to express support for the district to join the lawsuit.

“In a community like ours, you can clearly see that the people taking advantage of it are people who already have their kids in private school,” resident Michaela Burris said. “Again, please respect that choice, but you will pay the price.”

The number of children receiving EdChoice Expansion support in Upper Arlington increased from 11 in 2023 to 301 this school year, according to the data. The number of students in Columbus City Schools, the district targeted in the lawsuit, has increased from 903 to 1,825.

“What this means to me is that resources are being taken away from children in public schools, and it's people's tax dollars,” Burris said.

Upper Arlington resident Kathy Paltz supports the voucher program.

“I'm not surprised because I think there are things going on in public schools that some parents are uncomfortable with,” Paltz said. “I really don't think the Upper Arlington School Board should participate in the lawsuit. I don't think our tax dollars should be used to pay for a lawsuit that hurts kids who attend failing schools. .”

The lawsuit was not on the agenda at the May 14th school board meeting, but many people expressed their opinions for and against it.

Upper Arlington Superintendent Robert Hunt released the following statement Tuesday:

“We appreciate the school board’s diligent efforts to evaluate the effectiveness of the voucher program. At its April meeting, the Board of Education requested that the Department of Education discuss this matter with its Finance and Finance Committee, which will likely discuss it at a future meeting in June. I understand that there is.”

The Ohio Vouchers Heart case is scheduled to go to trial in November.

https://www.nbc4i.com/news/local-news/upper-arlington/upper-arlington-pushed-to-join-school-voucher-lawsuit/ Upper Arlington urged to join school aid lawsuit

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