Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Vouchers in Cleveland

Sunday’s Cleveland paper had an article on the effect of vouchers (five years after the Supreme Court’s Zelman decision) on Cleveland’s Catholic schools. Here’s a snippet:

Budget proposals from Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat, and the Republican-controlled Ohio House and Senate all provided money to continue the 11-year-old initiative, which gives parents a taxpayer-supported voucher to spend toward tuition at participating private schools.

Those factors have helped establish the voucher program as a solid safety net for Cleveland’s Catholic schools.


In one South Broadway neighborhood school, Holy Name Elementary, more than 90 percent of the students receive vouchers. In at least seven other Catholic elementary schools, more than 80 percent of the students use public dollars to attend.


"Vouchers have little impact except in so far as they support enrollment," [Margaret Lyons, superintendant of the Cleveland diocese’s schools] wrote. "Positive enrollments stabilize a school. However, vouchers do not cover the costs, so schools still need to find resources to supplement vouchers."

The article also notes that "[l]ast year, about 53,000 Cleveland students attended public schools, about 11,500 attended charter schools, which are also financed by the state, and about 12,000 pupils were enrolled in Catholic and other private schools." There’s nothing about student performance, but some about parental satisfaction and about the way in which church-related schools actually provide the public a bigger bang for the buck.

Hat tip: Religion Clause.

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