Stephen Dyer is a former state legislator in Ohio who writes frequently about the perils of school choice. In this post, he warns that the Thomas B. Fordham Institute (nominally based in Dayton but actually in D.C.) wants to expand school choice to 90% of the students in Ohio. It is not because school choice has been a success in Ohio. In fact, it has failed miserably by every metric. It is just because…choice is good even when it fails to improve the education of students.

Dyer writes that Fordham’s

latest call to massively spend on a separate school funding system that has been such a wretched overall failure for our students and led to the greatest taxpayer ripoff in Ohio history while demanding that taxpayers subsidize private school tuitions for nearly 90% of Ohio households and calling that a “middle class” initiative is too much. 

Dyer shows that public schools in Ohio consistently have outperformed charter schools.

Why does Fordham want a dramatic expansion of vouchers, given their terrible results?

Dyer writes:

I’ll begin with their mind-numbing call for families making $111,000 a year to get $7,500 in taxpayer money to attend a private school, without any call for public oversight of how those funds get spent.

Vouchers: Worse performing, racially segregating, no fiscal oversight. But, hey. Let’s put more tuition subsidies there.My feelings on Ohio’s voucher program are pretty clear. We know that in nearly 9 in 10 cases, Ohio’s public schools outperform the private schools that get these vouchers. We know that voucher recipients are 54% more likely to be White than the typical student in the district they leave — sometimes far more likely to be White. For example, Princeton City Schools in Hamilton County is 77% minority, yet 92.8% of the 265 students taking vouchers from there are White. We also know that as many as 2 in 3 voucher students never attended the public school that is being punished financially for “failing” them.

The evidence is clear, and has been for years: Ohio’s vouchers don’t provide better options for students, subsidize private choices parents have already made, lead to greater racial segregation of schools and communities, and toss billions of public tax dollars into a budgetary black hole that has zero accountability or oversight.