Catholic Conference of Ohio
Thursday, July 7, 2022

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

Legislative Report on Items in HB 110 (State Budget) Impacting Chartered Nonpublic Schools - Summer 2021

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

Special Needs Children:

EasyDNNNews

Lawsuit Filed Challenging the EdChoice Scholarship Program

The program assisting families who wish to select schools best suited for their children remains in effect

On January 4, 2022, a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Ohio’s EdChoice Scholarship Program was filed in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.  Nothing has changed due to the filing.  The program remains in effect during this phase of litigation.  Ohio’s educational scholarship programs have been a fixture of state education policy since the Cleveland Scholarship Program in 1995.  Educational choice scholarship programs assist thousands of families each year who wish to select schools that are best suited for their children.  As a longtime proponent of school choice, the Catholic Conference of Ohio is assessing next steps in responding to the lawsuit.  Although disappointed in the lawsuit’s filing, we remain hopeful these programs will continue to serve Ohio families for years to come.   

New Ohio Tax Credit for Tuition Assistance

Scholarship Granting Organization to prioritize low-income primary and secondary students

Ohioans can now recieve a 100% tax credit for up to $750 in cash donations to a designated Scholarship Granting Organization which aids students, including students attending private schools.  The program aims to prioritize scholarships for low-income primary and secondary students.  This is a great opportunity to provide tuition assistance for families who wish to send their children to our Catholic schools.  To learn more, contact your diocesan schools office.

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.

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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: Adam Dufault, Diocese of Columbus

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: Frank O'Linn, Diocese of Cleveland

Department Contacts

Jerry Freewalt
Executive 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