Dan King
Dan King · February 27, 2024

ARLINGTON, Va.—A new report, released today, directly contradicts many of the key criticisms leveled against Ohio’s EdChoice program by its opponents. The report, authored by Dr. Patrick J. Wolf of the University of Arkansas, the nation’s leading scholar on choice programs, analyzed publicly available research and data about EdChoice and came away with several key findings that show the program has had a positive impact across the board. The Institute for Justice (IJ) and five Ohio families are currently defending the program against a lawsuit which seeks to strike it down. 

“The findings in this report completely undermine the outrageous claims made by opponents of EdChoice, namely that the program leads to racial segregation and the gutting of Ohio’s public schools,” said IJ Attorney Keith Neely. “These claims were always absurd, and now the data is there to prove it.” 

The report makes 10 key findings, including:  

  • Like other school choice programs that have been studied across the country, Ohio’s EdChoice program improves the racial integration of public schools. 
  • Competition from the EdChoice program either improves or has no effect on student achievement in public schools. 
  • The scholarship program attracts and enrolls only a small number of students compared to Ohio’s public schools, even after the major program expansions in 2014 and 2023. 
  • Fluctuations in Ohio public school enrollments are small, and are largely explained by factors besides the EdChoice program. 
  • As the EdChoice program has grown, total Ohio public school revenue has increased, not decreased. 

“Rigorous scholarly research on the EdChoice program concludes that it leads to public schools that are better integrated by race and that produce higher levels of student achievement,” the report found.  

The lawsuit challenging the EdChoice program was filed in January 2022, by a group of public schools, claiming the program unconstitutionally diverts money from public schools to private schools. The program, which consists of two individual programs that were expanded in 2023, provides students with scholarships that they can use to attend the schools of their choice. 

“It is abundantly clear that the EdChoice program empowers families to find the best educational options for their children,” said IJ Educational Choice Attorney David Hodges. “We look forward to continuing to defend the program on the merits, so that families all over Ohio can continue to reap its benefits.”

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