September 14, 2022—The Shaker Heights Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday to join a growing coalition of 125 public school districts challenging the constitutionality of the rapidly growing private school voucher program that is siphoning away hundreds of millions of dollars from public school students, teachers, classrooms and communities.
In a lawsuit filed earlier this year in Franklin County Common Pleas Court, the coalition–called Vouchers Hurt Ohio–contends that the Ohio Constitution does not give the Ohio General Assembly the power to use public money to fund private schools through tuition vouchers.
“A threat to one public school district is a threat to all public school districts,” said Board of Education President Dr. Emmitt Jolly. “The Shaker Heights City School District supports a strong, well-funded public school experience for all Ohio students, regardless of where they happen to live.”
In its resolution approved Tuesday, the Board of Education stated that by deducting appropriations from public school districts, the EdChoice voucher program:
- Reduces funding available to support the additional needs of district minority pupils, pupils in poverty and pupils with disabilities
- Diminishes the amount of funding and level of opportunities for all district students
- Increases the reliance of local tax revenue from residents
The Vouchers Hurt Ohio coalition is working with the Coalition of Equity & Adequacy of School Funding, which was instrumental in leading the successful court challenge to the way Ohio pays for public schools during the 1990s. Vouchers Hurt Ohio now has approximately 125 member school districts well over half of Ohio’s 88 counties.