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BACKPACK BILL SUMMARY

This legislation creates a Backpack Scholarship Account in the form of an Educational Savings Account managed by the Ohio Treasurer of State for eligible students. The Backpack Scholarship will be funded by the Ohio Department of Education in the amounts of $5,000 for K-8 and $7,500 for 9-12 and adjusted by the same percentage that the base cost per pupil increases.

An Educational Savings Account (ESA) will be funded and distributed to eligible students. Eligible students are those whose parents opt in to the program. If the student attends a chartered nonpublic, nonchartered nonpublic, or is homeschooled the ESA is funded. If the student attends a public or community school the money is sent directly to their school.

The funding for the Backpack Scholarship is calculated based on the state base cost per pupil. Any district specific state add-ons, local dollars and the federal dollars allocated for a student’s education will remain with the public schools.

ESAs can be used for any of the following expenses: tuition and fees at a participating school, tuition and fees for a nonpublic online learning program, tutoring or interventions services, fees for standardized tests or other examination for college admission and prep courses, tuition and fees for workforce education, educational services for therapies, curriculum, textbooks, instructional materials, supplies, and fees for after school and summer programs.

Read the Backpack Bill

The bill was introduced to the General Assembly on May 5, 2021 as a legislative intent bill.

On October 6, 2021, joint sponsors Reps. Marilyn John and Riordan McClain and Center for Christian Virtue announced the sub bill with new language reflecting the funding changes from the Ohio Biennial State Budget.

This page will be updated as the bill moves through the Legislative process.