Buckeye Institute-Inspired ACE Program Launches

Greg R. Lawson Apr 11, 2022

The long-awaited Ohio Afterschool Child Enrichment (Ohio ACE) program has finally launched. The Buckeye Institute has promoted Ohio ACE and similar policy initiatives to help families better afford K-12 learning resources and improve their children’s education. Families have faced significant disruptions to schooling over the past two years, and Ohio’s first education savings account program has arrived just in time to help families pay for a variety of necessary educational services.

Beginning April 11, eligible families may apply at ACEOhio.org for a $500 account to help parents pay for tutoring, curricula, day camp fees, language and music classes, and field trips. The accounts will be distributed on a first-come first-serve basis to families earning up to 300 percent of the federal poverty guidelines until the allocated funding is exhausted.

During the pandemic, The Buckeye Institute inspired Ohio ACE with its call for a federally funded education savings accounts. Ohio’s new program builds on Buckeye’s Policy Solutions for the Pandemic series and its earlier recommendations detailed in Education Savings Accounts: Expanding Education Options for Ohio. These efforts have paid off. Eligible families may now access $125 million in federal COVID-relief funds to personalize their child’s education.

Ohio ACE should be the beginning—not the end—of education savings accounts and other such programs in Ohio. Policymakers should expand this vital initiative and make it permanent so that all families can afford the educational resources needed to help their children succeed.

Greg R. Lawson is a research fellow at The Buckeye Institute and is the author of a number of research papers on education reform including Giving Families Certainty: Enhancing Education with Education Savings Accounts and Education Savings Accounts: Expanding Education Options for Ohio.