As the almost-universal voucher bill (SB 85) is pending, Ohio legislators should take notice that Texas lawmakers supported an amendment to their budget expressly stating that state money, “may not be used to pay for or support a school voucher, education savings account or tax credit scholarship program or similar program through which a child may use state money for non-public education” by a 103-44 vote.

But even after that resounding defeat, some Texas lawmakers proposed a voucher program for poor families. It was defeated by a 117-27 margin. It appears Texas lawmakers understand that universal “voucherism” is initiated by “using” the poor to get a foot in the door. A quarter century ago, Ohio “used” the poor kids of Cleveland to get the Ohio voucher bandwagon started.

Ohio lawmakers have a constitutional duty to perfect a thorough and efficient system of common schools. That defined duty precludes any further consideration of SB 85.


William L. Phillis, Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy of School Funding