COLUMBUS, Ohio, Sept. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ohio House Bill 136 passed out of the House Education Committee by a 12-10 vote. The bill would create the Parental Choice and Taxpayer Savings (PACT) Scholarship Program, a statewide income-based school voucher program for low and middle income families.
"Every parent wants to give their child the best education possible, but for many parents across the state, their limited income restricts the educational options available for their children," said School Choice Ohio Executive Director Chad Aldis. "With House Bill 136 passing out of committee, we are one step closer to giving every family in Ohio the opportunity to choose the best learning environment for their child, regardless of where they live and how much money they make."
Eligibility for the PACT Scholarship Program would be based on family income. Families with an income that does not exceed 2 1/2 times the standard for reduced-price lunch would be eligible for the program, provided that the family's income is below the program cap of $95,000. Scholarships would range from $2,313 to $4,626, and would be determined by family income, based on a sliding scale.
While Ohio's current statewide school choice program, the EdChoice Scholarship Program, puts the emphasis on the public school's grade, the PACT Scholarship Program would place the focus on the educational needs of each individual child and whether those needs are being met in his or her current learning environment, regardless of the school's performance.
"This is an incredibly important piece of legislation that the House Education Committee has approved," said Aldis. "I praise the committee for their thorough and careful review of this bill, because it is very important to many Ohio families."
The bill, sponsored by Representative Matt Huffman, has bipartisan support and 37 co-sponsors. It must still gain the approval of the full House and the Ohio Senate.
For more information about Ohio's school choice programs, visit www.scohio.org.
School Choice Ohio (SCO) is committed to the goal of every child in Ohio having access to a quality education. Because this is not yet a reality, the organization works tirelessly to educate both the public and our leaders on the importance of empowering parents to find the best educational setting for the needs of their children. SCO believes that all parents should have the opportunity to choose which school is best for their children, regardless of their income level.
SOURCE School Choice Ohio