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Ohio lawmakers are considering a new piece of legislation called the “Backpack Bill,” which aims to create a universal school choice program in the state.

Under the proposed law, eligible public, non-public, or homeschooled students would receive an educational savings account starting in the 2024-2025 school year.

This account would provide up to $7,500 to support a student’s enrollment in a chartered or non-chartered non-public school or homeschooling.

The bill’s sponsors argue that it promotes parental involvement by giving families more educational options and is not anti-public school.

While the bill could cost the state up to $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2025 if all eligible students take advantage of the scholarship, lawmakers assume only a 10% uptake in the first year.

The Backpack Bill has close to 30 Republican co-sponsors and is expected to have its second hearing next week.

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