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Lawsuit seeks to scrap delay of school voucher applications

Ed Choice
Posted at 7:03 PM, Feb 03, 2020

COLUMBUS — Opponents of a plan to delay applications for Ohio’s biggest school voucher program for two months on Monday asked the state Supreme Court to throw the deal out.

Applications had been set to begin Saturday for the program known as EdChoice, which is supposed to help fund private school tuition for students from poor-performing districts and schools.

Lawmakers have been considering possible changes to avoid a looming spike in the number of qualifying locations for the program. Unable to reach agreement by this past weekend, they voted to postpone the start of applications and allow time for further consideration.

The bill passed over the weekend was not done in a way allowing it to take effect immediately, meaning the original deadline is in place and the state is now violating it, according to a complaint filed with the Ohio Supreme Court by two private religious schools, parents of Ohio students planning to use vouchers and a conservative advocacy group.

The plan harms Ohio children and families and “deleteriously impacts hundreds of Ohio’s public and private schools,” the complaint said. The group asked the high court to order the state “to immediately begin accepting, processing, and awarding EdChoice Scholarship applications.”

Gov. Mike DeWine declined to comment on the lawsuit Monday, but said he wants a plan that gives options to poor students in bad educational situations, but that also doesn’t disrupt public schools.

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