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Kentucky school districts sue to stop new school choice law

‘Education should be about what’s best for Kentucky kids,’ school choice group says

School districts in Kentucky are suing to stop a law that would allow scholarship tax credits to fund private education for children.

The lawsuit will be filed for the Council for Better Education, “a nonprofit corporation whose members include 168 of Kentucky’s 173 public school districts,” according to its website.

“Based on advice from legal counsel, we believe there are multiple sections in KY’s Constitution that render HB 563 unconstitutional with respect to scholarship tax credits for private schools,” the group said in an email to its members, the Lexington-Herald Leader reported.

The letter said that the group would engage the firm of Wyatt, Tarrant, & Combs and file suit against the legislation as early as today.

What the school districts are objecting to, through the Council for Better Education, is a provision that “called for the creation of an education opportunity account program,” the Leader reported.

This opportunity account program “would allow students who are residents of counties with a population of 90,000 or more…to use funds received through the program for tuition and fees to attend nonpublic schools,” the paper explained.

It isn’t only parents who could throw in for their children’s education under this new regime. A broad range of people could get a tax credit for donating to these accounts, allowing individual Kentuckians to fund school choice much more directly.

Kentucky Democratic Governor Andy Beshear vetoed the bill, claiming it would harm public education. The Republican supermajority in the legislature overrode his veto.

In a statement reported in the Leader, the group EdChoice Kentucky criticized the school districts’ lawsuit to stall or stop this reform.

“Education should be about what’s best for Kentucky kids, not what’s best for a handful of bureaucrats who seek to enforce the status quo with this shameful lawsuit,” EdChoice Kentucky said.

MORE: University of Kentucky student newspaper celebrates victory in five year legal battle

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About the Author
Jeremy founded three of the Real Clear Politics family of websites and has covered subjects ranging from religious trends to space travel to an armed standoff, for hundreds of publications. His books and comic books include The Warm Bucket Brigade: A History of the Vice Presidency, William F. Buckley, and Movie Men. Jeremy graduated from Trinity Western University, where he served as an editor for the Mars Hill newspaper.