COLUMBUS – State Representatives Riordan McClain (R-Upper Sandusky) and Marilyn John (R-Shelby) gave sponsor testimony on House Bill 290, the “Backpack Bill,” in the House Finance Committee this week.
HB 290 would allow K-12 students throughout Ohio to have their state share of educational funding follow them to the school that best suits their educational needs.
“The goal of this bill is to put the child first in our funding model for education. To acknowledge that education is not a one-size fits all approach and that empowering parents to make the best decision for their children will result in better educational outcomes.” said McClain.
McClain and John noted that they have a substitute bill drafted and ready to be proposed to the committee. This substitute bill would add language that would create an Education Savings Account (ESA) that would be administered by the Treasurer of State’s office, and be made available to the parents of students that choose to opt-in to the program.
“HB 290 retains the local public school as the primary educational option. But, if that is not the best fit for the child, the parents would now have options. This bill is about equal access for all Ohio families to educational opportunity.” said McClain.
“When parents know they have options for their child’s education, they are more likely to be engaged with their child’s education. When parents are engaged with their child’s education, that student is much more likely to be successful throughout their educational life. Setting them up for a bright future as an Ohioan.” McClain added.
HB 290 awaits its second hearing in the House Finance Committee, where proponents of the bill will provide testimony to the committee, and answer any questions the committee may have.
This bill and others may be tracked by visiting www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/search