John Mullaney, Chair
Nord Family Foundation
Erica Thomas, Secretary
New Albany, Ohio
Saint Martin de Porres High School
President & CEO
Foundation for Educational Choice
Vice President Consumer and Professional Research
Charles Y. Kidwell, Jr.
Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP
Julie Billiart School
Senior Director of Programs
Special Needs Outreach Manager
Community Outreach Coordinator - Southern Ohio
Community Outreach Coordinator - Central Ohio
Community Outreach Coordinator – Northeast and Northwest Ohio
In 1991, Ohio Governor George Voinovich created the Governor’s Commission on Educational Choice. That commission included business and educational leaders from around the state, and was one of the first real efforts to promote school choice in the nation. It was a bold initiative designed to inject a measure of competition into the educational system, thereby encouraging constant improvement in Ohio education.
Since then, much has happened in the Ohio School Choice movement. In the early 1990s, a massive effort was undertaken to educate and inform policymakers at every level of government about the effects of competition in education. In 1995, the Cleveland Scholarship Program was adopted by the Ohio General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Voinovich. And in 1997, Ohio created a charter school program, which provided and continues to provide additional options for Ohio’s parents and students.
In 2003, Ohio sponsored the Autism Scholarship. Each scholarship is worth up to $20,000 per year for students with autism, to meet their special learning needs. Then in 2006, the legislature created the statewide Ohio EdChoice Scholarship – the first of its kind in the nation – to provide up to 14,000 vouchers to students in underperforming public schools.
The tireless efforts of Ohio’s school choice leaders, in partnership with statewide elected officials and the legislature, have been thoughtfully designed to put Ohio’s families first. It has never been enough for Ohio’s school choice leaders to rest on their prior successes. Ohio proponents recognize that the choice movement is marked by change and enhanced calls for accountability. While the challenges before us are profound, there is tremendous promise in the support and encouragement offered by national and state leaders and by committed individuals like you.