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Changes coming to Ohio's EdChoice voucher program

State Senate votes to approve EdChoice bill. House prepares to vote Wednesday.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Changes to the state's EdChoice voucher program are close to becoming official after a vote by the Ohio Senate on Tuesday night.

The bill moves to the state House, Wednesday evening.

The changes in wording approved in the Senate would halt the dramatic increase of eligible schools. The qualifications for income-based scholarships would also change to include more families 

If all goes as planned, the two-year freeze would give lawmakers time to look at the metrics that schools are graded on.

According to Ohio State Senator Theresa Gavarone, if approved, it limits the EdChoice schools to the ones who received a D or F grade on report cards.

"41 schools across my district were set to be sucked into edchoice. But after speaking personally and holding meeting with parents, superintendents, teachers, and school officials. I'm happy to say that only three schools in my district will be designated EdChoice" said Ohio State Senator, Theresa Gaverone.

If the bill is passed in both the House and Senate it would take Anthony Wayne, Oregon and Springfield schools off the list, just to name a few.

State lawmakers worked Tuesday to revise the EdChoice bill that has faced criticism from local officials as well as Democrats and Republicans.

Although changes have been proposed to the bill, those aren't exactly set in stone. 

The current bill proposal would freeze the number of schools on the designated list for the next two school years. It would also increase the income-based eligibility requirements.

Local school leaders in the Toledo area also spoke out EdChoice on Tuesday. 

In a newly released letter, district leaders addressed the current conversations pitting public schools against private and religious schools.

The letter said district leaders understand the role EdChoice and the voucher program will play in the state. But, they want to make sure all aspects of Ohio's education are represented together.

Credit: WTOL11
Credit: WTOL11

Leaders from Perrysburg Schools, Washington Local School and St. Francis de Salles School signed off on this letter.

Perrysburg Schools Superintendent Tom Hosler said this letter isn't about public and private school views on EdChoice or feelings about the program. It's about everyone coming together and working toward quality education for all local students.

RELATED: Ohio EdChoice program knocked by some northwest Ohio educators, politicians

RELATED: Private school leaders discuss EdChoice amid push back from public schools

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