The Worthington Board of Education on Monday passed a resolution opposing Ohio House Bill 136 (H.B. 136), which would use taxpayers' money to send children to private and parochial schools.

The Worthington Board of Education on Monday passed a resolution opposing Ohio House Bill 136 (H.B. 136), which would use taxpayers' money to send children to private and parochial schools.

"Our very existence is dependent on no bill like H.B. 136 becoming law," said board member Charlie Wilson, who introduced the resolution.

The bill would create the Parental Choice and Taxpayer Savings Scholarship Program, a statewide income-based school voucher program for low- and middle-income families.

Families with an income that does not exceed 2.5 times the standard for reduced-price lunch would qualify for vouchers, as long as their incomes did not exceed the cap of $95,000 per family a year.

Unlike current state voucher programs, this one would not focus on the performance of the students' schools.

The bill was passed out of the House education committee Sept. 22 and has not been introduced to the full House.

Both board president Marc Schare and board member David Bressman said they hesitated to vote for the resolution without giving residents an opportunity to offer their input.

Bressman abstained from voting. He said he opposes the bill, but was concerned about the lack of public input.

But board member Julie Keegan said she believes the issue is urgent.

"I find it hard to believe the citizens of Worthington would be upset with us," she said.

At Schare's request, wording opposing any legislation that seeks public dollars to support private education was deleted from the resolution.

Former board member Abramo Ottolenghi urged the board to oppose the legislation, predicting H.B. 136, if passed, would be "the demise of this school district and public schools in Ohio."

He said he has only voted against one school issue in his life, but would no longer vote for school levies and bond issues if public education funds go to support private schools.

"If the bill passes, there will be no money for the school district," he said.