New Buckeye Institute Report Offers #StudentsFirst Reforms to Help Regain Lost Learning

Sep 06, 2022

Columbus, OH – In a new policy report, #StudentsFirst: Empowering Parents to Help Students Regain Lost Learning, The Buckeye Institute outlines how empowering parents, funding students first, and enhancing school choice can counteract the ill effects the pandemic had on learning loss for Ohio’s K-12 students.

“The disruption of the pandemic cost Ohio students the equivalent of months of academic instruction. Given the negative long-term financial and social effects of this learning loss, Ohio policymakers should pursue student-first strategies to regain lost learning time and improve academic outcomes for elementary and secondary students,” said Greg R. Lawson, a research fellow at The Buckeye Institute and the author of the report. “By dramatically increasing schooling options and educational resources available to parents, policymakers will help families to tailor academic environments to fit their children’s learning needs.”  

Download the #StudentsFirst Handout

The report offers four commonsense policy solutions that will improve the K-12 academic experience for students, allow parents to make better schooling decisions, make educational resources more affordable, and raise the public’s trust and confidence in government-funded instruction. 

  • Broad-Based Education Savings Accounts: Create a broad-based ESA initiative to reform Ohio’s education system and its long-standing government-run education monopoly by shifting the focus to fund students before districts. 
  • Universal Open Enrollment: Make it easier for all families to send students to their school of choice by requiring all Ohio public schools to participate in inter-district open enrollment.
  • Expanded Tax Credit Scholarship: Increase the maximum tax credit from its current $750 limit to $2,500 to make it easier for grant organizations to offer larger scholarships to more students in need. 
  • Enhanced Spending Transparency: Require all public school districts to operate more transparently by sharing their spending data with parents in Ohio Checkbook.

“Families deserve these reforms as their students struggle to overcome the negative long-term effects of the pandemic protocols that cost them valuable years of learning,” Lawson continued.

# # #