80,000 Ohio Children Eligible for School Vouchers

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Application Deadline is April 17

Parents of children in these underperforming schools should seriously consider their options this year

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Columbus, Ohio March 30, 2009-- More than 80,000 Ohio children are eligible to receive vouchers to attend the private schools of their parents' choice, according to School Choice Ohio, the state's leading organization promoting and protecting voucher programs. To qualify, families must apply for the Educational Choice (EdChoice) Scholarship Program by April 17, 2009.

The EdChoice program provides vouchers for students in grades K-12 to attend private schools. Students are eligible if they attend public schools that are in Academic Watch or Academic Emergency and have been for two out of three years. Scholarships are worth up to $5,300 per year and can be used at any of the 313 registered private schools.

After a student is admitted into EdChoice, the private school will submit the scholarship application directly to the Ohio Department of Education. Once a child obtains a scholarship, they can continue to use the scholarship through high school graduation.

"Parents of children in these underperforming schools should seriously consider their options this year," said Chad Aldis, executive director of School Choice Ohio. "Parents who haven't looked into the EdChoice program before will be surprised at the high number of private schools available to them and the fact that these schools are affordable, accessible, and high-quality."

The EdChoice program was enacted in 2005 and serves 9,654 students this year. The state has set a cap on enrollment at 14,000 students.

School Choice Ohio recently established a new Web site, http://www.scohio.org, that provides parents with an easy-to-use map; parents simply enter their address and can locate private schools near them that accept EdChoice scholarship students.

"With the importance of a quality K-12 education growing in this uncertain economy, it is important that parents submit applications so that they at least have choices for their children," Aldis said. "The scholarship offers parents whose children are currently attending low performing schools a lifeline. If they are currently dissatisfied, it's important that parents know that this opportunity exists and that it can improve their children's education," Aldis added.

Interested parents can call the School Choice Ohio toll-free hotline 1-800-673-5876 for more information on eligibility, guidance on how to apply, and a list of participating private schools. Information can also be found on the web at http://www.scohio.org.

About School Choice Ohio
School Choice Ohio (SCO) is the Buckeye state's leading organization promoting and protecting educational freedom. The mission of SCO is to protect and expand children's educational options through ensuring choice in quality schools and other places of learning, thereby supporting systemic reform of K-12 education across the state. SCO believes that all parents should have the opportunity to choose which school is best for their children, regardless of their income level.

Tisha Brady


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