FILE - Family Raising Childhood Parents

(The Center Square) – Ohio parents can now use a new eligibility calculator to find out if they qualify for state-based school choice scholarships.

Americans for Prosperity Ohio created the calculator as part of a campaign it says will help advance the educational opportunities for all Ohioans. The campaign also includes a series of training events across the state and partnerships with other groups pushing for education reforms.

The calculator announcement comes during National School Choice Week and on the heels of a bill introduced in the Ohio Senate that would eliminate the financial eligibility requirement and offer EdChoice scholarships to all students throughout Ohio.

“School Choice Week will help parents, legislators and school boards to focus attention on their ongoing responsibility to advocate for a families-first approach for every student,” said Ezra Escudero, director of coalitions for AFP-OH. “Ohio must continue to fund a complete education system where parents are the ultimate decision-makers about the future of their children and where students are free to attend any school – public or private – that enhances their unique gifts, addresses their unique challenges, and respects their values without regard to ZIP code or neighborhood.”

Currently, any student entering grades K-12 whose family income is at or below 250% of the federal poverty level can apply. The state’s EdChoice website lists those eligible in a single-person household with a gross annual income of $33,975, followed by a two-person household of $45,775 and a three-person household of $57,575. An eight-person household becomes eligible with an annual income of $116,575.

The calculator takes parents through a series of steps to determine eligibility.

As previously reported by The Center Square, Sen. Sandra O’Brien, R-Ashtabula, introduced the Parent Education Freedom Act in the session that recently began. She said the newly expanded EdChoice Scholarship would give $5,500 for students in K-8 and $7,500 in grades 9-12 to be used in any public, community or chartered non-public school in the state.

Opponents call the plan unconstitutional.

Regional Editor

An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher.