Sunday, August 28, 2016

White students disproportionately use Ohio school voucher program | The Columbus Dispatch

White students disproportionately use Ohio school voucher program | The Columbus Dispatch:

White students disproportionately use Ohio school voucher program


White students appear to get into private schools using taxpayer-funded vouchers at a higher rate than black students, raising questions about why that’s happening.
Ohio’s original voucher program, called EdChoice, allows students assigned to low-performing public schools to seek acceptance to a private school that accepts vouchers. A Dispatch analysis of 2014-15 data shows that the schools eligible because of their failing test scores were 61.3 percent black, but black students represented 48.5 percent of the students who were attending a private school on a voucher that year.
Whites made up 21.4 percent of the students attending qualifying low-performing schools, but 33.4 percent of those who applied and were accepted to a private school under the voucher program, state records show.
Add in a second, fast-growing Ohio voucher program, known as the EdChoice expansion program, which provides low-income students with vouchers even if they aren’t assigned to a low-performing public school, and the enrollment grows even more disproportionately white.
While census data show that about 29 percent of school-age children (ages 5-17) who live in poverty in Ohio are black, black students make up only 18.4 percent of expansion vouchers granted in 2014-15. Whites made up 64.3 percent of the expansion program, but only about 56 percent of the Ohio kids in poverty. The expansion program paid for more than 3,600 vouchers in 2014-15, triple the amount awarded the previous year.
“It is concerning,” said Nana Watson, president of the Columbus branch of the NAACP. “It’s concerning that it doesn’t seem to be balanced. We have more white children in the expansion program. And why is that?”
Asian, Latino and multiracial students appear to get vouchers at rates close to — within 1 or 2 percentage points — the proportional size of potential applicants, data show.
“It is illegal for any school to discriminate on the basis of race,” said Brittany Halpin, spokeswoman for the state Department of White students disproportionately use Ohio school voucher program | The Columbus Dispatch:

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