Information session set for May 19 at Holy Name High School
About 400 people from the Diocese of Cleveland, including students, teachers, parents and diocesan school officials, were among those attending a rally on May 2 in Columbus to show support for Senate Bill 85. If approved, the legislation would give middle-and low-income families the opportunity to choose a private school for their children’s education.
The bill, sponsored by State Sen. Matt Huffman, a Republican from Lima, would create the Opportunity Scholarship Program and establish scholarships worth up to $5,000 for elementary and $7,500 for high school tuition. Families whose household income is at or below 400 percent of the poverty level would be eligible for the scholarships. A family of four with an annual income of $98,400 would qualify for the scholarship program, if the legislation is approved.
No votes are scheduled yet on the bill, which would increase access to quality education in Ohio. The legislation is being discussed in the Senate Education Committee. A current version of the bill can be accessed through the state legislature website, legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA132-SB-85.
Those interested in learning more about the legislation are invited to an information session at 9:30 a.m. on May 19 at Holy Name High School, 6000 Queens Highway, Parma Heights. Huffman will attend and there will be time for questions and answers. Register for the event online at cdcohiooppscholarshipsb85.eventbrite.com.
Christopher Knight, secretary for catechetical formation and education/superintendent for the Diocese of Cleveland, will serve as moderator for the information session.
“I was gratified by the enthusiastic support and attendance at the rally,” Knight said. He estimated total rally attendance at about 2,000. Also represented were the dioceses of Columbus, Toledo and Youngstown, as well as representatives of other non-public schools.
Knight said the contingent from the Diocese of Cleveland filled about seven buses, which were provided by rally organizers. Some schools made arrangements to tour the statehouse and were able to meet with their legislators, he added.
“It was a great learning experience for the students. They were able to exercise their right to free speech and peaceful assembly and to learn about the legislative process,” he said. “They learned that every voice counts and everyone matters.”
Knight said he “encourages people to contact their state senators and state representatives to ask for their support of the school choice legislation.”