Ohio’s four voucher programs which benefit children in  low-income families  and students with special needs are now serving more than 24,000 children, according to the School Choice Yearbook 2011-12€”the annual award-winning publication offering the most comprehensive data on the nation’s 27 private school choice programs€”released by the Alliance for School Choice.

The school choice landscape in the Buckeye State saw significant expansion in 2011, after the state’s flagship Educational Choice Scholarship Program quadrupled its enrollment cap, the Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program raised its voucher amounts, and the legislature passed a plan creating the Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program, which is slated to begin next year. Ohio is also home to a fourth program, the Autism Scholarship Program.

Across the nation, more than 210,000 children have benefitted from publicly funded private school choice programs €“ a growth of nearly 25 percent since 2007. Last year’s expansions also mean that Ohio joins Arizona as one of only two states in the nation with four school choice programs. All four of Ohio’s programs provide vouchers to disadvantaged children to attend the school of their parents’ choice.

The Alliance’s annual Yearbook is a collection of the nation’s most accurate data on private school choice programs across the country.  The release of the 2011-12 edition, which chronicles both new programs and expansion nationwide, recaps what The Wall Street Journal dubbed “The Year of School Choice.”

In addition to an analysis of trends and information regarding school choice, the Yearbook offers a directory of the accountability provisions and requirements for each of the 27 private school choice programs and a chronicle of the events from the past year.

“Ohio has for nearly two decades been at the forefront of education reform, and 2011 was no different,” said Yearbook co author Malcom Glenn, the national communications director at the Alliance. “With a new program on the horizon this year, even more families will finally be given a much-needed choice in their child’s education.”