The highly anticipated Ohio Afterschool Child Enrichment (Ohio ACE) program is finally launched. The Buckeye Institute has promoted Ohio ACE and similar policy initiatives to help families better afford K-12 learning resources and improve their children’s education. Families have faced significant disruption to schooling over the past two years, and the first education savings account arrived just in time to help families pay for a variety of needed educational services.
From April 11, eligible families can apply for ACEOhio.org for a $500 account to help parents pay for tutoring, programs, day camp fees, language and music lessons, and field trips. Accounts will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis to families earning up to 300% of federal poverty guidelines while allotted funds are exhausted.
During the pandemic, The Buckeye Institute inspired Ohio ACE with its call for a federally funded college savings account. New Ohio program builds on Buckeye’s Political solutions for the Pandemic series and its previous recommendations detailed in Education Savings Accounts: Expanding Education Options for Ohio. These efforts have paid off. Eligible families can now access $125 million in federal COVID relief funds to personalize their child’s education.
Ohio ACE should be the beginning, not the end, of college savings accounts and other similar programs in Ohio. Policymakers should expand this vital initiative and make it permanent so that all families can afford the educational resources needed to help their children succeed.
Greg R. Lawson is a researcher at the Buckeye Institute and has authored a number of research articles on education reform, including Giving Families Certainty: Improving Education with Education Savings Accounts and Education Savings Accounts: Expanding Education Options for Ohio.