The Buckeye Institute, an ultra-conservative think tank of sorts, has a long history of opposition to adequate funding for public schools, and support for tax-funded, privately-operated alternatives to public education.
David Hansen, the former Ohio Department of Education (ODE) charter school office head had been a Buckeye Institute official. Hansen resigned from his short stint at ODE when it was revealed that he was guilty of data rigging.
In a May 31, 2017 report, Buckeye Institute recommends an atrocious public policy proposal-Education Savings Accounts. The report quotes a Matthew Ladner who states, “American schools suffer under a system of local government-run monopolies dominated by producer interests.” (This is a real slam to the 613 Ohio school communities that operate public school by way of the democratic process.)
This statement reflects a mentality that is void of an understanding of the real world of the common school system. From that inane premise, the authors of the Buckeye Institute report argues that this ESA option is needed in addition to all the other “choices” offered in Ohio.
ESA allows individuals to donate to an organization that provides financial support for private school vouchers. The donor then can deduct the amount of the donation from his or her tax bill.
The ESA scheme was cooked up in Florida to circumvent the Florida Constitution’s prohibition of using tax money for private, religious schools. U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is a champion of the ESA scheme.