Ohio's new statewide voucher program - set to begin in fall 2006 (see here and here for a brief history) - is showing early signs of over-regulation. As signed, the law was designed to provide vouchers for 14,000 students in Ohio's major cities who are enrolled in schools that, for three consecutive years, have been classified as in "academic emergency" on the state's five-level performance scale. The Ohio Department of Education evidently wants to reduce the number of students eligible for vouchers, starting with students enrolled in public charter schools. Dayton Daily News education reporter/blogger Scott Elliott reports that "the education department manager ... made it very clear charter school students are not eligible [to receive vouchers] ... because ... the state's view was that the parents in those schools already have options." In Dayton alone, Elliott estimates 900 public school students are attending charters who, because their schools fall under the "academic emergency" label, would otherwise qualify for vouchers. We seriously doubt that the General Assembly intended for its new voucher system to give some public school parents more choices while leaving behind charter parents - who, Elliott points out, "might be more likely to try something new like a voucher."

"Will vouchers save private schools?," by Scott Elliott, Get on the Bus, December 19, 2005

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