Less than a month to go until Ohio school voucher deadline

The clock is ticking in Columbus. We are now less than a month away from an important decision about school vouchers.

As the deadline approaches, some who make the decision aren’t sure how this will all turn out.

Many questions about school financing should be answered on Monday evening at a school financing forum in the American Legion Conn Weissenberger Post on Alexis Road in Toledo. People are expected to get a lot of answers, but what the April 1st school coupons will look like is the big one that’s still up in the air.

Children and families interested in joining Ohio’s expanded voucher program are still waiting. As the February 1 deadline approached, the legislature extended the window to April 1.

“Our school districts across the state are waiting. School districts, private or public, sit and wait for Columbus to do something,” said Lisa Sobecki, Ohio state representative.

Sobecki is part of all of these discussions in Columbus. She said the fight revolves around three issues: vouchers, school reports, and finally school funding as a whole.

“The common thread of the conversation was a flawed certificate. I’ve heard people say I shouldn’t take the vouchers away, but the certificate is flawed,” said Sobecki.

The voucher issue comes first. If nothing is done, students in around 1,200 public schools across the state are eligible for vouchers, some for the first time in counties that typically do well, such as Anthony Wayne.

“I don’t think taxpayers want us to make a patch because our patches started out with small patches and are now a gauze tie,” Sobecki said.

Sobecki has supported plans that make the vouchers income-based, but what income level families qualify at is another difficult part.

Maybe we won’t see a decision any time soon. There is a deadline of April 1st for the next voucher window. The next time the Senate meets is March 24th.

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