‘Backpack Bill’ proposed in Ohio House, Education Association says it would ‘drive a hole in state budget’

Ohio State Capitol.
Ohio State Capitol.(WOIO)
Published: Feb. 15, 2022 at 6:28 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WOIO) - House Bill 290, named the “Backpack Bill,” was recently proposed to the Ohio House Finance Committee. According to the state, the bill would give parents the opportunity to choose what type of schooling their child receives by allowing for an opt-in program. This program would give students K-8 $5,500/year or 9-12 $7,500/year to be used for schooling outside of the public realm.

According to the proposers of the bill, this would not take money away from public schools. This is something the Ohio Education Association (OEA) says is not true.

The OEA believes that HB 290 would “force local communities to rely even more heavily on local property taxes to fund schools for the 90 percent of Ohio children who attend public schools,” OEA President Scott DiMauro said.

The OEA says that, even with the program, most families couldn’t afford private schooling and would need additional help to do so.

HB 290 was discussed during the Financial Committee meeting on Tuesday and will be sent for a vote to the house.

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