Forum will explore impact of school vouchers
The League of Women Voters (LWV) invites the public to a forum on Ohio’s school voucher programs and their local effects, to be held on Thursday, March 14, 7 p.m., at Heights Libraries’ Lee Road Branch, 2345 Lee Road.
Susie Kaeser, a Cleveland Heights LWV member and co-convener of the Heights Coalition for Public Education, will offer an overview of Ohio’s voucher policies and concerns. James Posch, a member of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education (BOE), will address how voucher policies have affected our local public schools.
After their presentations, Kaeser and Posch will be joined by Scott Gainer, treasurer and CFO of the CH-UH City School District, and Meryl Johnson, a member of the Ohio State BOE, representing District 11, for a panel discussion moderated by Jayne Geneva, past chair of the Lay Finance Committee for the CH-UH BOE. The panel will answer written questions submitted by the audience.
Since 2003, the Ohio legislature has created four education voucher programs that transfer public funds to religious and other private-education providers. The EdChoice vouchers are linked to high-stakes testing. While vouchers are mandated by the Ohio General Assembly, they are funded by monies allocated to local school districts. The policy has significant implications for local school districts, school funding, and oversight of public funds.
LWV of Ohio has long held the position that public funds should be used only for public schools, and that the public elementary and secondary education funding system should be “accountable and responsive to the taxpayers.”
The forum is presented by the Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland, and co-sponsored by the Heights Coalition for Public Education, the CH-UH Council of PTAs, and Reaching Heights.
Maryann Barnes is chair of the Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland.