The Catholic Conference of Ohio is grateful to the families who filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Ohio’s EdChoice Scholarship Program at the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. They represent the cause of all families across the state who receive these scholarships.
“These families have a vested interest in the outcome of the case because they are the direct beneficiaries of the EdChoice Scholarship Program. The program provides parents the opportunity to choose the best educational setting for their child to succeed. It has made a tremendous positive impact for thousands of families across the state,” said Jerry Freewalt, Executive Director of the Catholic Conference of Ohio.
Ohio’s Educational Choice Scholarship Program has been a fixture of state education policy since 2005. The program provides students from designated public schools the option to enroll in participating nonpublic schools throughout Ohio. EdChoice also supports students from low-income families entering kindergarten through 12th grade with scholarship opportunities. The first state-funded scholarship program for grades K-12 is the Cleveland Scholarship Program created in 1995.
The Conference affirms the notion mentioned in the motion to intervene that the EdChoice Program is not about whether nonpublic schools are better than public schools or public schools are better than nonpublic schools. The program provides parents of diverse backgrounds the best educational opportunity for the unique needs of their child.
“These families are representative of the makeup of EdChoice recipients who choose to send their children to Catholic schools for various reasons,” said Freewalt. “They come from diverse socioeconomic, racial, and geographic backgrounds. They are Catholic and non-Catholic.”
As mentioned in the motion to intervene, each family expressed their specific reasons why they chose to use the scholarship funding to send their children to a Catholic school. Their interests include strong academics, accountability, diverse student body, positive school environment centered upon faith-based values, discipline, character building, and excellence.
As a longtime proponent of school choice, the Conference remains hopeful Ohio’s educational choice programs will continue to serve families for years to come.