I'll wait and see what Rep Huffman's final amendments look like. I'm not optimistic. The whole premise of the bill is still wrong. The fact that he's waiting to release proposed changes until this week concerns me. I'm fearful that he will permit this to turn into a "kitchen sink" piece of legislation where he will permit various pet projects from his colleagues to be added so he can win over enough votes. The timing is a concern too. He knows this is not a popular bill and those in his home district are doing a great job of holding him accountable on this bill. I'm worried it will not get the attention needed if all these changes become public over the Christmas holidays or if he tries to rush this through without proper public input on the amendments.
Whether Mr. Huffman is willing to acknowledge it or not, this is n
othing but a Catholic Schools Stimulus Bill. Halloween has long since passed, and it is time to stop disguising this as school choice. I say this as a proud product of St. Gerard and LCC and I am still a practicing Catholic and member of St. Michael parish in Findlay. The simple truth is that Mr. Huffman resides in an area where the elementary Catholic school system is struggling for enrollment even with the ability to receive revenue from those coming in from the Lima voucher program. ODE reports show Lima's St. Charles, St. Gerard, and St. Rose have K-8 enrollments of 413, 153, and 109 respectively while LCC is at 331 for 9-12. Apparently Lima City voucher children are not enough and he wants to use this bill as a method to funnel money into LCC and its feeder schools from Shawnee, Elida, Bath, and Perry residents. By the way, Lima's Catholic school system is already slated to receive over $681,000 this year in state funds, or $677.36 per pupil in state funding. This is on top of the public school system's financial obligation to provide transportation for many of its residents to the Catholic schools.
I suggest that one of Mr. Huffman's constituents contact his office and make a public records request for all incoming and outgoing correspondence (including emails) from and to representatives of the Toledo and other dioceses of Ohio (e.g. bishops, priests, principals, etc.) as well as any correspondence he may have sent or received from LCC, St. Gerard, St. Charles, and St. Rose in the past year. Don't let this slide under the radar.
Huffman revises school voucher bill