Autism Scholarship Program
Ohio students who have autism (including autism-spectrum disorders) may use a voucher to receive education services from a private provider. The vouchers can apply toward tuition at a private school. After participating students receive education services, they apply to the state for reimbursement of expenses. Ohio will reimburse education services up to $20,000 per year. The program launched in 2004.
Cleveland Scholarship Program
Families who live within the boundaries of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District are eligible to use a voucher to send their children to private school. The voucher also may be used at public schools bordering the school district. No more than half of new recipients may be students previously enrolled in private schools. The maximum voucher value is $4,250 for grades K-8 and $5,700 for high school. Families with incomes less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level receive vouchers worth 90 percent of tuition, whereas families above the 200 percent level receive vouchers worth 75 percent of tuition. Parents whose household income is more than the 200 percent threshold agree to pay the remaining tuition. The program launched in 1996.
Educational Choice Scholarship Program
Ohio students attending chronically failing public schools are eligible for vouchers to attend private schools. In grades K-8 the voucher is worth up to $4,250; in grades 9-12 it is worth up to $5,000. The voucher may not exceed the private school's actual tuition and fees. Vouchers are worth up to $4,250 in grades K-8 and $5,000 in grades 9-12, not to exceed the private school's actual tuition and fees. Participating schools may charge additional tuition for students whose household incomes exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level, but must accept the voucher as payment in full for students at or below the 200 percent level. The program launched in 2006.
Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program
Ohio parents of children with special needs enrolled in public schools are able to receive vouchers to pay for private school tuition and additional services at private therapists and other service providers. Vouchers can be used at public providers (i.e., school districts) if the district chooses to accept voucher students. The number of vouchers available is capped at 5 percent of the students with special needs statewide. Vouchers are worth the lesser of fees or tuition charged by the alternative public or private school, the amount of state aid otherwise provided to the public school district, or $20,000. The amount is reduced proportionately if the child is not enrolled in the alternative or private school for the entire school year. The Ohio Department of Education sets maximum funding amounts for different types of disabilities. Beginning in 2014, parents of students with a category 1 disability (speech and language only) may use the voucher only to pay for services included in their child's IEP and cannot use the voucher to pay for tuition at a private school. The program launched in 2012.
Income-Based Scholarship Program
Income-qualified Ohio kindergartners are eligible for vouchers to attend private schools, provided they are not otherwise eligible for a voucher in Ohio. In future years of the program, the next grade higher will be added each subsequent year. Vouchers are worth up to $4,250, not to exceed the private school's actual tuition and fees. Voucher amounts fluctuate based on family income. The program launched in 2013.