Ohio House Budget Vote a Huge Victory for School Choice May 02 2007
Rob Walgate, 440-572-1796
Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio House of Representatives passage of the State Budget yesterday was a significant victory for school choice and a reaffirmation of the Legislature's ongoing commitment to expanding school options for parents. By a historic 97-0 vote, the House of Representatives passed a state budget that unanimously rejected Governor Strickland's attempts to limit charter school growth and eliminate the Ed Choice school voucher program.
"The outcry from parents, students, and educators who support school choice clearly made a significant impact upon state lawmakers," stated Melanie Elsey, Legislative Director of the Ohio Roundtable and Ohio Freedom Forum. "The parents who came to the House and met with Speaker Husted and other members played a huge role in this victory. Whenever lawmakers have the opportunity to look at the real faces of school choice they quickly understand the value and urgency of giving parents the opportunity to choose the best schools for their children."
"This vote is also historic in the fact it breaks the perceived stranglehold of the education monopolies on public policy in Ohio," Elsey continued. "The leaders of the education unions must surely be scratching their heads wondering what happened in the House. The unions could not gather even a single token vote, Democrat or Republican against a bi-partisan budget that fully supported Ohio's school choice expansion. The real education needs of parents and children trumped partisan politics and that is the greatest victory of all."
The state budget process now moves to the 33 member Ohio Senate where majority passage is required. After Senate passage, the budget moves to a conference committee for reconciliation of any differences in language between the House and Senate versions. The final step of the process is the Governor's signature on the Budget.