CCO Statement on the FY24-25 Budget
Executive Director of the Catholic Conference of Ohio, Brian Hickey, issued the following statement commending the expansion of school choice and increased support of pregnant women, children, and other vulnerable Ohioans in the FY24-25 State Budget.
“Ohio's FY24-25 State Budget puts parents and children first in their educational decisions by providing the largest expansion of school choice in Ohio's history. For decades, the Catholic Church in Ohio and nationwide has consistently advocated for public policy that enables children of all backgrounds, no matter their income or zip code, to meaningfully access a school of their choice. The Catholic Conference of Ohio thanks Governor Mike DeWine, Senate President Matt Huffman, and Speaker Jason Stephens for their leadership in allowing every student to receive an EdChoice Scholarship for use at one of Ohio's hundreds of Catholic or other eligible schools.
Additionally, the CCO is grateful for budget items that invest in pregnant women, children, and other vulnerable Ohioans. These include expanding the eligibility of the Ohio Works First cash assistance for a woman's entire pregnancy, eliminating sales tax for baby products, an essential provision to stabilize non-profit senior affordable housing, and a boost in pay for direct-care professionals. We look forward to supporting more policies that express closer solidarity with mothers, families, and vulnerable Ohioans, furthering a culture of life and civilization of love."
School Choice Highlights
Thank you to all who took action and sent notes to your representative and senator to support school choice. It worked–now every Ohio student is eligible to receive an EdChoice Scholarship!
Scholarship amounts will be income-based. Students whose family income is at or below 450% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), or about $135,000 for a family of four, is eligible to receive the full scholarship amount, and a student whose family income is above 450% FPL is eligible for a scholarship decreased on a sliding scale, displayed in the graph below.
The EdChoice Scholarship increased to $6,165 for K-8 students and $8,407 for K-12 students. The Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship amount has also increased, and any student with an autism diagnosis can now qualify for the Autism Scholarship.
Guidance on how to apply and receive an EdChoice Scholarship for the 2023-2024 school year is coming soon!
Click here to view the 2023 FPL percentages by household/family size.
Integral Human Development Highlights
The 2024-2025 State budget provides for vulnerable Ohioans by including several provisions advocated for by the Catholic Conference of Ohio that support women, children, and seniors. Specifically, the State budget:
- Recognizes the dignity of life from conception by extending Ohio Works First cash assistance eligibility from the time a woman has been pregnant for six months to the entire duration of her pregnancy.
- Invests $3 million in the Healthy Beginnings at Home program, which stabilizes housing and provides services for pregnant women at risk of losing their homes.
- Encourages family life by removing sales tax from baby products including diapers, cribs, strollers, etc..
- Assures low-income senior housing developments operated by Church affiliates will continue to serve their residents by replacing a harmful tax valuation policy.