School leaders: EdChoice is political, pitting private and public against each other

To the Editor:
The purpose of this letter is to provide a collective voice of private, religious and public school
leaders who are concerned about the current dialogue about EdChoice.
Northwest Ohio is fortunate to have a wonderful selection of public, charter, private and religious
schools.
As a collective group of educators representing public, charter, private and religious schools, we
welcome competition. We respect families’ rights to make choices.
There is considerable overlap between institutions. Some parents who attended religious schools are now
sending their children to public schools. Religious school graduates are now leading charter schools.
Former public school students have graduated and grown up to become religious school teachers.
In many ways, this has made our educational community stronger. This common thread that runs through our
families, neighborhoods, schools and community weaves the beautiful tapestry that binds us together.
Recent changes in EdChoice have seen this common thread being pulled and the intricate educational
tapestry that we know in Northwest Ohio has become frayed.
We recognize as a collective group that EdChoice and vouchers are going to continue to play a role in our
state. Exactly how is now being debated.
We recognize, value and respect the public, religious, charter and private schools, and their dedicated
teachers and staff. Public school districts, like private and religious schools, are struggling
financially. The state should make the education of the coming generations a priority. Considerations
for funding the education of all children should be of the utmost importance.
The recent EdChoice changes have put public and private schools in the ring opposite each other. This is
wrong. If we care about all children, we would never pit these sacred institutions against each other.

Ohio can and must do better.
This debate is political. We respect that we are advocating for different outcomes and both sides feel
passionately. There are very real dollars involved with this policy change, and schools and communities
have a great deal at stake.
It is so important that we remember that we have more in common than not. Our collective missions are
more similar than different. We have to be very careful that we are framing this discussion in a way
that does not paint large groups of people with too broad of a brush.
Very soon this will be resolved. When the politicians and leaders in Columbus move on to the next issue,
the school communities will still be here. We must find a way to focus on how we can work together to
find a solution.
Tom Hosler, Perrysburg Schools
Brent Welker, Eastwood Local Schools
Francis Scruci, Bowling Green City Schools
Tony Borton, Elmwood Local Schools
Dan Creps, Rossford Schools
Jim Witt, Lake Local Schools
Adam Koch, Otsego Local Schools
Ryan Delaney, North Baltimore School District
Fr. Geoff Rose, president, St. Francis de Sales School
Don Diglia, Ayersville Local Schools
Kim Grilliot, president, Notre Dame Academy
Hal Gregory, Oregon City Schools
Matt Geha, Springfield Local Schools
Troy Armstrong, Wauseon Schools
Kevin Parkins, president, of Central Catholic High School
Matt Daniels, director, Diocese of Toledo
Jim Fritz, Anthony Wayne Local Schools
William Berry, president, Cardinal Stritch High School
Jane Spurgeon, Sylvania City Schools
Tony Borton, Elmwood Local Schools
Eric Smola, Evergreen Local Schools
Mary Werner, president. St Ursula Academy
Ted Haselman, Pike-Delta-York Local Schools
Todd Cramer, Maumee City Schools
Tim Murray, Gibsonburg Schools
Michael Ferguson, Genoa Area Schools
Sandra Frisch, ESC of Lake Erie West
Jim Wyse, Millcreek-West Unity Schools
Adam Fineske, Ottawa Hills Local Schools