Board of Education » EdChoice Scholarship - UPDATE December 13, 2019

EdChoice Scholarship - UPDATE December 13, 2019

This page contains information about the EdChoice Scholarship (Voucher) Program and its impacts on public school districts in Ohio including Beavercreek City Schools. All information from the Ohio Department of Education used on this page is current as of December 13, 2019 but is currently under review at the state level, which may result in additional changes over the coming months. We will update this page if information changes and becomes available. 

 

Ohio has a very aggressive school voucher program (known as the EdChoice Scholarship [Voucher] Program) that provides public tax dollars to pay tuition for students attending private schools. Up to 60,000 scholarships are given to students who attend “underperforming” public school buildings, as defined by the Ohio Department of Education. These public school buildings have been designated as “underperforming” because of designated ratings in their state report cards. The scholarship must be used to attend private/parochial schools that meet requirements for program participation. The EdChoice Program will result in public taxpayer dollars being used to fund tuition payments for students at private/parochial schools.

The EdChoice Voucher Program Has Two Parts

    • Students whose family income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty level can obtain a state-paid voucher to go to a private school regardless of how their public school performs.
    • Students whose public school is considered to be “underperforming” by the state can be granted a voucher that has to be paid for by the student’s school district of residence.
 
The EdChoice Scholarship program has expanded to include students from public schools that are performing at a high standard on their state report card. 47.4% of buildings on the current list received overall grades of “A,” “B,” or “C.” Ohio went from fewer than 300 school buildings being deemed eligible for vouchers in the 2018- 2019 school year to more than 1200 school buildings for the 2020-2021 school year. That’s a 300% increase in two years.

No private/parochial school is held to any academic accountability standards by the state of Ohio. According to data collected by the Ohio Department of Education and also a study performed by the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, voucher students in private schools performed worse than their public school counterparts in reading and math.

Does the Beavercreek City School District have schools designated as “underperforming?”

Beginning in the 2020-2021 school year, BCS has one (1) school with this designation. Beavercreek High School, because of its value-added grade (F) on its 2018-2019 state report card, has been designated as "underperforming." Value added measures how much growth a group of students made relative to their expected growth as determined by The Ohio Department of Education - this is not a measure of student academic achievement! The value added component is just one of many measurements used to rate school buildings and school districts. For additional information, click here for Beavercreek High School’s 2018-2019 report card.

You can also view the 2018-2019 state report card for our entire district by clicking here.

What criteria is used to determine this designation?

The Ohio Department of Education is using data from the Ohio School Report Cards from 2013-2014, 2017-2018, and 2018-2019 to designate a school or schools meeting one or more of the following conditions (impacted BCS schools are listed in bold):

    • Performance – If any of the following is true for two report cards from 2014, 2018, 2019:  If the school received a Performance Index grade of D or F and a Value-Added (overall) grade of D or F on the 2014 report card, the school received an overall grade of D or F or a Value-Added (overall) grade of F on the 2018 or 2019 report card.  Beavercreek High School is designated in this category. 
    • Graduation – The school serves grades 9-12 and received a Graduation Rate grade of D or F on any two report cards from 2014, 2018 and 2019.
    • Lowest 10% - The school(s) ranked in the lowest 10 percent of public school buildings on the Performance Index on the Ohio School Report Cards for any two Performance Index rankings from 2014, 2018 and 2019; the school did not receive an overall grade of A or B on the 2019 report card.
    • Literacy – The school received a grade of D or F for Improving At-Risk K-3 Readers on any two report cards from 2014, 2018 and 2019. 
    • District Performance – No districts are eligible under this criterion.
    • Academic Distress – The school’s public district has an academic distress commission.
 

What is the amount of the EdChoice Scholarship?

    • $4,650 for students entering grades K-8 in 2020-2021, and $6,000 for students entering grades 9-12 in 2020-2021.  The first application period begins February 1, 2020 and ends April 30, 2020. The second application period begins July 1, 2020 and ends July 31, 2020.
    • Local property tax dollars fund district-paid vouchers. The state may provide some portion of the cost of the voucher, but districts must make up the difference from the proceeds from property tax levies. In some cases, the district receives no state aid to pay for the vouchers, so property taxes cover the full cost.

What will be the projected financial impact to BCS?

    • The projected impact will be financially devastating for BCS and many other public school districts. It is difficult to predict the number of students who will leave our school district to attend a private high school. We are projecting the financial impact to be more than a million dollars yearly.

How can a school be removed from this designation?

    • Removal criterion is unclear at this time. We have reached out to the Ohio Department of Education for clarification on exit criteria and will share this information once we have a response.

Who is eligible to apply for a scholarship?

    • Students currently attending a private/parochial school in grades 9-11, even though they have never attended a public high school.
    • Students attending a public school in their resident district who will be assigned to one of the designated public schools for the upcoming school year.
    • Students eligible to enter kindergarten for fall 2020 (and who will be five (5) years of age by January 1, 2021 who would be assigned to one of the designated public schools).
    • Students enrolling in an Ohio school for the first time who would be assigned to one of the designated public schools for the upcoming school year. 

Will private/parochial schools be required to accept all students who are eligible for EdChoice Scholarship payment?

    • No. Private/parochial schools will continue to have a selective entrance process for enrollment of students.  It is at the discretion of the private/parochial school as to which students are accepted to attend. They do not have to accept any student if they do not want to enroll that student.
 

What’s next?

    • The Ohio Legislature is currently considering the effects and possible amendment of this program. If you have concerns, CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS IMMEDIATELY. We have included a list with contact information to assist you. Thank you in advance for your help!