School choice bills gain momentum in Frankfort

Bills designed to provide more school choices for parents are gaining momentum in Frankfort.
Published: Mar. 15, 2022 at 11:46 AM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Bills designed to provide more school choices for parents are gaining momentum in Frankfort.

The bills are House Bill 305 and Senate Bill 50, both adding to a controversial measure that narrowly passed in 2021 which was then challenged in the courts.

They expand the program to provide nonpublic school tuition assistance to every county in the state. The bill that passed last year only allowed the tuition assistance that’s paid for through tax credits in larger counties.

Neither bill has been voted on in committee yet, but proponents say there is still time. Supporters say parents statewide are calling for this.

“When you talk about tuition assistance, we have a lot of families reach out to us wanting this in their county,” said Andrew Vandiver, EdChoice Kentucky president. “If not, what can we do to make it available? because there are so many wonderful private schools throughout the state that want to serve students.”

Opponents say the bills take state money away from other needed services.

“These bills are not about helping students, it’s about providing tax credits for large corporations and for rich donors,” said KEA President Eddie Campbell.

The program that was approved last year was capped at $25 million and if this bill passes it will allow the cap to increase over time.

Supporters say 70% of parents statewide want more choice as to where their kids can go to school. They say any public students could take advantage of the money that could also be used for online learning, materials, or tutoring.

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