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Dem lawmakers secure key priorities in latest school voucher "fix"

Restoring local control, not allowing income eligibility to balloon and reducing number of schools affected among key reforms Democrats fought for
February 5, 2020
Democratic Newsroom

House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D- Akron) and Rep. Phil Robinson (D-Solon), who serves as the Ranking Member on the House Primary and Secondary Education Committee, issued statements today following the House floor vote of sub-bill Senate Bill (SB) 89.

“Our fight to restore the Ohio Promise of a good, quality public education continues,” Leader Sykes said. “House Democrats held firm throughout this process that we would not vote for a bill that hurt our public schools. The bill we passed today is far from perfect, but of all the options we have been offered so far, it provides the most help for our public schools. We look forward to continuing to work on this issue as we address bigger issues like school funding, the state report card, and oversight of private schools receiving taxpayer money.”

Rep. Phil Robinson agrees, though he expresses concern over the hurried, chaotic nature of the process and the petty political games that are being played by Republican House and Senate leadership.

“We were able to secure a number of Democratic priorities in the amendments, including preventing the income eligibility to balloon, restoring local control and reducing the number of schools affected by the broken voucher program,” Rep. Robinson said. “We know we needed to move quickly to make immediate, short-term improvements to the voucher system, but our effort to protect and preserve our public schools is far from over.”

Throughout the process, House Democrats have continued to advocate for the following:

  • Reducing the number of schools affected;
  • Restoring local control to our school systems;
  • Not allowing income eligibility to balloon to an inappropriate and unsustainable level;
  • Assurances that the report card and school funding will be studied