“I’d like to see that there are options. Again, I’d like to see more options. I don’t want more interference,” said Norma Curry, who homeschooled her daughter.
For that very reason, a Forest Park family homeschooling their two young children don’t support the idea at all.
“If the government is offering us those proposed tax breaks, what are they going to want from us in return? Are they going to infringe on our freedom to educate our children the way we would like to educate them,” said Alicia Elam, who is president of the Southern Ohio Homeschool Organization.
Eastern Ohio’s Herald-Dispatch offered an editorial with a Thumbs down: Plan would undermine Ohio schools further.
Sen. Kris Jordan, a Republican who represents a district north of Columbus, is proposing that parents who home-school their children receive a property-tax reduction equal to what they pay for school levies in their local districts. Under his plan, those who own property and choose to home-school their children would be the winners, some to the tune of a couple thousand dollars or more a year.
Losing out would be the public school districts, who would no longer receive those property taxes. The state’s Department of Education says more than 10,000 children are educated at home, although how many are in owner-occupied residences is unknown. So the financial impact on school districts is hard to gauge, but it no doubt would run into millions of dollars.
This bill has gained ample Ohio media attention since its introduction. SB 127 has not progressed past the Ways and Means Committee. But Senator Jordan, as sole sponsor, has gained much consideration for his proposal. The issue appears to be a nonstarter worthy of much discussion.