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Parents can peruse school options at education fair Sunday

By admin Published: January 20, 2012

Local parent Erica Brown has brought together representatives for 16 traditional schools, charter schools, private schools and state voucher programs for an informational fair.

The fair, from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, will be held at the Akron-Summit County Public Library, 60 S. High St., in downtown Akron.

Through Brown’s efforts, the fair is one of the few events in the state at which parents can explore different school options under one roof, according to School Choice Ohio, an advocate for voucher programs.

Private schools presenting information include Archbishop Hoban High School, Our Lady of the Elms, Redeemer Christian School, Summit Christian School, Chapel Hill Christian School, The Lippman School and Spring Garden Waldorf School.

Charter schools include Imagine Schools, White Hat Management’s Life Skills Centers and Ohio Distance & Electronic Learning Academy and Akron Digital Academy (sponsored by Akron Public Schools).

Akron Public Schools also will promote the district overall and the Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts in particular. Akron’s open enrollment period for next year ends Feb. 3.

Barberton High School also will be represented at the fair.

Parents also will be able to learn more about two voucher programs the state offers.

The Ohio EdChoice Scholarship targets children enrolled in schools the state determines to be failing.

The EdChoice Scholarship amount is currently $4,250 for elementary students and $5,000 for high school students or the private school’s tuition, whichever is lower. Children attending 15 public schools in Akron are eligible to receive EdChoice vouchers because of their neighborhood building’s academic performance.

Parents of children with disabilities can learn about a new voucher modeled on the Ohio Autism Scholarship Program.

The vouchers are expected to be available for the 2012-13 school year. They will be capped at $20,000 per student and can be spent on private schools, private therapy or other services, according to School Choice Ohio. The law limits the scholarships to 5 percent of the state’s children with Individualized Educational Programs (IEP).

School Choice Ohio estimates the state could issue 11,750 scholarships based on the special needs population.

John Higgins can be reached at 330-996-3792 or jhiggins@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the education blog at http://education.ohio.com/.

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