Home > Government Schools > The evolution of school choice in Ohio

The evolution of school choice in Ohio

1780 – The earliest school for American settlers opened in Marietta soon after Ohio Company settlers arrived.

1828 – The City of Cincinnati opened Ohio’s first vocational school — the Cincinnati Mechanic’s Institute.

1829 – Ohio’s first public school districts began forming.

1850 – The requirement for the state to provide for a system of common schools was included in the newly rewritten state constitution, where it has remained ever since.

1907 – The state legislature passed the Tuttle Bill, which empowered local school boards to establish and maintain manual training and commercial departments in connection with the local school system.

1917 – Ohio appointed the first State Board of Vocational Education, which entitled Ohio to federal funding for vocational education under the federal Smith-Hughes Act.

1960s and 1970s – Homeschooling in Ohio and the United States became a popular trend among liberal-leaning families who began the “unschooling” method.

1989 – The Ohio Revised and Administrative Codes provided specific steps and guidelines that parents must follow in order to ‘enroll’ students as homeschooled.

1989 – PSEO first established by the Ohio General Assembly for students in grades 11 and 12.

1989 – Open enrollment first established into law.

1989 – Magnet schools first authorized by the state legislature.

1995 – Ohio’s first voucher program – the Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program – authorized by the Ohio General Assembly.

1997 – The program expanded to allow students in grades 9 and 10 to participate.

1997 – The Cleveland Scholarship & Tutoring Program became operational.

1997 – Charter Schools, defined in the Ohio Revised Code as “community schools,” first authorized by the Ohio Legislature.

1999 – A revision provided broader opportunities by permitting the creation of new charter schools in the twenty-one largest urban districts, and by 2000, any district designated by the state as in academic emergency could create a new community school.

2000 – The first online schools (e-schools) began operation in Ohio.

2002 – The Zelman v. Simmons Harris Supreme Court Case ruled the Cleveland Scholarship & Tutoring Program constitutional, because it has an important secular purpose and is neutral about religion.

2003 – Creation of the Ohio Autism Scholarship

2005 – Creation of the EdChoice Scholarship Program

2007 – Ohio first authorized STEM schools.

2011 – Creation of the Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program

2013 – The EdChoice Scholarship Program expanded to provide vouchers for students from families based on income-eligibility guidelines.

2013 – PSEO (Post-Secondary Enrollment Options) is opened to homeschool students.

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