Peter Greene believes that Ohio is trying to be like Florida, hoping to expand  vouchers to every student as if every public school in Ohio is rotten. Once the voucher money is approved, the state doesn’t care about the quality of education. Ohio already has a low-performing charter industry, one of the worst in the nation, why not give vouchers to attend religious schools that use the Bible as their science textbook? I wish some entity in Ohio would place a referendum on the ballot and ask voters if they want to defund their public schools in order to expand public funding of vouchers and charters.

He writes:

You will recall that Ohio school districts are facing an explosion in costs as they enter the next phase of the privatization program. Phase One is familiar to most of us–you start out with vouchers and charters just for the poor families who have to “escape failing public schools.” Phase Two is the part where you expand the program so that it covers everybody.

Well, Ohio screwed up its Phase Two. Basically, they expanded the parameters of their privatization so quickly that lots of people noticed. The number of eligible school districts skyrocketed, and that brought attention to a crazy little quirk in their system, as noted by this report from a Cleveland tv station:

We analyzed data from the eight Northeast Ohio school districts that paid more than $1 million in EdChoice vouchers to area private schools during the 2019-2020 school year as part of the program.

Those districts include Akron, Canton, Cleveland Heights-University Heights, Euclid, Garfield Heights, Lorain, Maple Heights, and Parma City Schools.

Out of the 6,319 students who received EdChoice vouchers, we found 4,013, or 63.5%, were never enrolled in the district left footing the bill for their vouchers.

Yep. That means that at the moment this kicks in, the district loses a buttload of money, while its costs are reduced by $0.00. This means that either the local school district cuts programs and services, or it raises taxes to replace the lost revenue, effectively calling on the taxpayers to help fund private school tuition for some students. I wonder how many legislators who helped engineer this are also opposed to plans from Democratic candidates to provide free college tuition at taxpayer expense?

The legislature has been running around frantically trying to– well, not head this off so much as slow it down just enough to reduce the number of angry phone calls their staff has to take. Nobody seems to be saying “This is a mistake” so much as they’e saying “Doing this so fast that people really notice is a mistake.” Someone cranked the heat on the frogs too fast. Meanwhile, this weekend was their last chance to get this fixed before next year’s voucher enrollment opens, and they have decided to punt because everyone is getting cranky.

Is this at least going to help some poor folks? Well, the proposal is to up the cap to 300% of poverty level. That’s $78,600 for a family of four. So there’s that.