Solon School Board Takes Stand Against School Choice Bill
Solon School Board President Julie Glavin said that House Bill 136 "threatens the essence of public education as we know it."
The Solon Board of Education approved a resolution opposing a school choice bill moving through the Ohio Legislature, saying that it "threatens the essence of public education" in Ohio.
House Bill 136 expands the school voucher program by allowing students to receive public money to attend a private school, taking the money from their home school district.
The resolution was unanimously approved Monday night by the school board.
"The operation of the proposed program would take dollars directly from the already financially beleagured local public school districts resulting in fewer resources for the education of the remaining students," the resolution reads.
So public school districts across the state are alarmed by the bill, which would take money from their already depleted coffers.
Solon School Board President Julie Glavin didn't mince words, saying the bill "threatens the essence of public education as we know it."
She added that in the long run, she believes the proposal wold "harm so many more students than this opportunity can help."
The bill has passed through the House Education Committee but has not had a hearing yet before the full House. That's not expected until after the Nov. 8 election.
Superintendent Joe Regano said the district stands to lose more than $2 million if the bill passed, as it stands today. But that number could well be higher if more students choose to attend private school under the law.
Regano said, like the budget crisis earlier this year, the bill is another example of the state "usurping local tax dollars."
Solon only receives about $600 per pupil in state aid. Under the bill, students would recieve a tuition credit of $5,500 depending on their family's income.
School board member Dorothy Seibert said she believes students in school districts ranked "excellent" should not be eligible for such a program.
The whole point of the voucher programs is to give students a chance to move to a more effective school.
Glavin and board member Margo Morrow said the bill would enact such sweeping change to education in the state that it needs more scrutiny.
Stay tuned in coming weeks for more on this developing story.