Columbus City Schools Board Tuesday night approved a resolution to join possible litigation over the state voucher program that takes money away from public schools - but not without heated argument.
School Board member Eric Brown read the resolution, which called for the district to join the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy in School Funding fighting the proposed expansion of the state's EdChoice voucher program, and to pay the coalition dues of two dollars per student in the district.
Board member James Ragland called the resolution "the height of hypocrisy". Ragland, who works for School Choice Ohio, a group that advocates for private and charter schools, says Columbus dropped the ball, and should not punish parents for voting with their feet.
"If we improve what we are offering, we do not have to worry about families taking their resources and moving their child to another academic institution."
But board member Michael Cole shot back that the possible litigation would simply force the state to follow its own rules. "...to ensure that public school districts like our and so many others, are not again harmed by how dollars are siphoned off from public schools, to accommodate - illegally and unfairly - other schools. Creating a further equity gap."
The board voted to waive the second reading of the resolution, and approved it 6-to-1. Only Ragland voted against. Columbus City Schools is hit hardest in the stateby the EdChoice program, losing $28 million in the previous school year.
In other business, the board unanimously approved the recommendations of a court-appointed referee to fire Michelle Milner, principal of Columbus Scioto 6-12, who was accused in 2020 of illegally suspending special needs students and manipulating data and placed on paid leave.