Catholic Conference of Ohio
Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Education Department - Catholic Conference of Ohio

About the Education Department

The Catholic Conference of Ohio's Department on Education serves those involved in Catholic elementary and secondary schools, religious education, youth and young adult ministry, and college campus ministry. 

Resources

Fact Sheet on Catholic Schools in Ohio with Summary of Programs of Tax-Supported Assistance for Students, Families and Educators- 2021

Special Needs Children:

Education

Catholic Conference Advocates on the State Budget Bill

Senate school choice provisions especially helpful to Catholic school students and families.

In a letter sent to public officials regarding the state budget bill, HB 110, the Catholic Conference of Ohio offered areas of support and concern. It states:

"Thank you for your careful consideration of this important legislation. We appreciate how each version of this bill built upon the excellent frameworks of the others. Overall, we find the versions before you to be child-friendly and family-friendly. We especially appreciate the additions in the Senate that enhance care for both the unborn and newly born, provide further conscience protections, and incorporate school choice provisions within the broader framework of school funding reforms. 

We offer several recommendations to the Conference Committee..."

Ohio Senate Unveils Their Version of State Budget

Provides Unprecedented Support for Catholic Students and Parents

The Ohio Senate unveiled their version of the State Budget (HB 110). It builds upon the Governor's and House proposals that promote children, families and persons in need. The Senate added additional provisions that further promotes school choice.  The Conference commends such additions and especially recognizes the excellent leadership that Senate President, Matt Huffman, provided in this area. 

Highlights in the Education line items include:

  • Increases max scholarship awards for students receiving an Ed Choice or Cleveland Scholarship to $5,500 (grades K-8) and $7,500 (grades 9-12);
  • Extends eligibility for traditional EdChoice scholarships, including provisions for siblings, foster children and incoming 9th graders; gradually phases out the requirement for a student first to be enrolled in a public school;
  • Provides helpful improvements to the EdChoice scholarship eligibility, notification, funding and administrative procedures;
  • Directly funds 100% of the scholarship cost for students who receive EdChoice, Cleveland, Autism, or Jon Peterson scholarships, rather than funding these students in their districts of residence and then deducting funds to pay for the students at their schools of choice;
  • Extends eligibility for Cleveland scholarships to K-8 nonpublic schools located within 5 miles of the Cleveland School District;
  • Allows a nonpublic school that elects to receive Auxiliary Services directly to designate an organization (e.g., a diocese) to receive the funds on its behalf;
  • Removes the statutory per-pupil cap on Administrative Cost Reimbursement;
  • Eliminates the requirement that an early childhood education program meet the 3rd highest tier of Step Up to Quality in order to qualify for state funding;
  • Creates a $1,000 tax credit for those who donate to a Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO) providing scholarships, primarily to low income students, to attend a non-public school;
  • Increases the formula amount for determining Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship awards and increases the appropriation for the Peterson program;
  • Increases the maximum scholarship amount of the Autism Scholarship Program to $31,500 in FY22 and $32,455 in FY23;
  • Maintains helpful House passed provisions related to Auxiliary Services, Administrative Cost Reimbursement, College Credit Plus, and school busing, and increases the payment in lieu of transportation to 50% of the local cost of transporting the student, up to $2,500..

A full Senate vote is expected on Thursday, June 10, 2021. A Conference Committee will meet shortly afterwards to reconcile differences between the Executive, House and Senate versions.  A balanced budget must be enacted by July 1, 2021.

Conference Testifies on Pending State Legislation

Public Assistance, Immigration, and Education Issues Addressed

The Conference testified on the following legislation:

Sub SB 17: Placing additional requirements for receiving public assistance benefits.  Testimony

HB 75: Possible amendment denying workers' compensation to undocumented workers.  Testimony  

HB 110: Education provisions in the budget impacting Catholic schools and students.  Testimony

Ohio House Adds Additional Funding for Programs Helping Catholic School Students

Auxiliary Services and Administrative Cost Reimbursement Programs Increased

The Ohio House Finance Committee added additional support for two programs helping Catholic school students. The House Ominbus Amendment increased GRF appropriation for nonpublic administrative cost reimbursement by $816,000 in FY22 and $1.6 million in FY23. It also increased the maximum per-pupil amount of administrative cost reimbursement payments to nonpublic schools for each of FY22 and FY23 from $466 to $475.

The amendment also increased GRF appropriation to Auxiliary Services  by $1.8 million in FY22 and $3.65 million in FY23. 

The full House is expected to pass this substitute version of the budget bill (HB 110).  Action and advacacy will now occur in the Ohio Senate.  Emphasis will be upon maintaining gains made in the House version, while encouraging improvements in the EdChoice programs, school transportation, and funding for housing and hunger programs. A balanced budget must be enacted by July 1, 2021.

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State Scholarship Programs

Learn about the various Scholarship Programs available to Catholic Schools in Ohio.

Learn more

Links

Archdiocese of Cincinnati

Diocese of Cleveland

Diocese of Columbus

Diocese of Steubenville

Diocese of Toledo

Diocese of Youngstown


The Ohio Catholic School Accrediting Association

Department Contacts

Larry Keough
Associate Director, Department on Education

Convenes and staffs the Superintendents of Catholic Schools and Diocesan Youth and Young Adult Directors

Superintendents of Schools
Chair: Deacon Paul Ward, Diocese of Steubenville

Youth & Young Adult Ministry
Chair: Richard Maume, Diocese of Toledo

Department Contacts

Theresa Bowser
Director, OCSAA

Convenes and staffs the Ohio Catholic School Accrediting Association (OCSAA)

Chair: Susan Gibbons, Archdiocese of Cincinnati

Department Contacts

Carolyn Jurkowitz
Director, Catholic Conference of Ohio

Convenes and staffs the Directors of Religious Education and Campus Ministry

Directors of Religious Education
Chair: Chris Hoag, Diocese of Cleveland

Campus Ministry Directors:
Chair: Richard Maume, Diocese of Toledo