School Choice

Legislators Override Kentucky Governor's Veto of School Choice Bill

Kentucky is now the 28th state with some form of school choice.


Lawmakers in Kentucky successfully overrode Gov. Andy Beshear's veto of a school choice bill, opening several avenues for families in the state to pursue a better education for their children.

The new law, originally House Bill 563, allows students in Kentucky public schools to switch school districts, and it creates a new tax-advantaged education savings program for families to use for private school tuition, to pay for tutoring, or to cover other educational expenses. The most controversial part of the proposal was the creation of a $25 million scholarship fund—to be filled by donations from private businesses, for which they would receive state tax credits—that students in Kentucky's largest counties can tap to help pay for private school tuition.

In vetoing the bill last week, Beshear, a Democrat, repeated tired arguments from teachers unions and public school superintendents who fear the erosion of their monopoly control over the state's education spending.

Thankfully, the Republican-controlled state legislature wasn't listening. The state House voted 51-42 on Monday evening to override Beshear's veto and the state Senate followed suit with a vote of 23-14 shortly afterward. (In Kentucky, overriding a veto does not require a supermajority vote.)

"Lawmakers ultimately did the right thing for students, and for the first time, Kentucky families will have access to the schooling options they deserve to find the best fit for their kids," says Robert Enlow, president and CEO of EdChoice, an organization that backed the bill.

With the passage of the first school choice bill in state history, Kentucky is now the 28th state with some form of school choice, according to the American Federation for Children, a nonprofit that supports school choice.

There may soon be more. The Wall Street Journal notes on Tuesday that more than 50 school choice bills have been introduced in different states this year, with the uptick in legislative interest likely a direct result of teachers unions' unwillingness to reopen schools as the COVID-19 pandemic abates.

Beshear's veto demonstrated how the public school establishment continues to exert political pressure on states that try to give families more educational options. But the Kentucky legislature's swift reversal suggests that the tide is turning.

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  3. In Kentucky, overriding a veto does not require a supermajority vote.

    Oh, *that* voter suppression had jolly well better also be changed!

    1. Seems like veto is the wrong word for it, when the requirements to override are the same as to pass it in the first place. The Kentucky Governor “mildly inconvenienced” the school choice bill.

      I wonder if there are any perks to being governor. You have to be on record for all legislation passed, but you have less influence on whether it becomes law or not than a member of the state house. The only person the job would appeal to are the folks who just went to faithfully execute the laws handed to them by the legislative branch.

  4. “In vetoing the bill last week, Beshear, a Democrat, repeated tired arguments from teachers unions and public school superintendents who fear the erosion of their monopoly control over the state’s education spending.”

    Yeah, so, for those of you keeping score, Andy Beshear, the governor of Kentucky, is a Democrat, and both chambers of the Kentucky General Assembly are controlled by Republicans.

    Show me a state where a major office is held by a Democrat, and I’ll show you a Democrat who is almost certainly beholden to teachers’ unions. Those of us who live in states that are dominated by Democrats and the unions they answer to should really be pounding the table on this to our friends and family. Defeating the influence of government employee unions on your life is about defeating the Democrats who represent them. There are some issues that become so big, even the government employee unions will get out of the way, but even then, that’s typically only because they’ve somehow been given a piece of the action. This isn’t just limited to teachers’ unions either. It works the same way with law enforcement unions.

    Kamala Harris was a bootlicker from California because licking the cops’ boots made a ton of sense in a state where the government is controlled by Democrats and, therefore, beholden to government employee unions–like law enforcement. And that’s just one example.

    1. Tennessee, with a nominally R governor, but a whole lot of RINOs in the legislature, is in much the same boat. Out local Rep got booted in the last election specifically because the teacher’s union targeted him for openly supporting school choice.

      They made an example of him.

    2. There are 6 states, CA being one, who have Ds guvs & legislatures; OR, WA being 2 others, are also beholden to teachers unions where those who are responsible for the educating of our children are REFUSING to do their jobs. In Republican states, 26 of them, these teachers should be fired!
      Now, what Kentucky needs to do is OPEN their schools to in-class learning!!

  5. I didn’t really need the first Boehm article.

  6. Should be fun watching the democrats and teachers unions beclown themselves all over this issue.

  7. Make $5000 per child, any child not just your own, a full tax credit up to your tax liability. Then watch everyone abandon public schools.

    1. I doubt everyone would abandon public schools. I’m much more confidant many of the those public schools would begin to clean up their acts.

      Like it or not they often (but not always) have some tremendous built in advantages – solid physical plants with central locations, and staff with plenty of experience (who often simply lack any actual positive incentives to perform.) Add in the extracurriculars, and nostalgia and many people would prefer their kid’s stay in those public schools.

      Frankly, in many places it would not take much improvement to seal the deal. To be sure some need a lot of improvement and some are hopeless, but most are not like that.

      The worst of the worst truly do drag things down, just like a few urban centers make our national homicide rate look so bad.

      And I say this as someone who kept his kids out of ordinary public school as much as he could.

      1. But those staff do not have any experience actually teaching; just parroting leftist talking points in a schoolroom.

  8. This sounds like great news for (1) slack-jaws who favor schools that teach nonsense to children and (2) those who wish to see Kentucky remain mired toward the bottom of the ‘states ranked by educational attainment’ list.

    1. Your factless rant aside, kids from religious schools regularly outperform public schools kids on standardized tests by a fat margin–nationally–and it’s been that way for a very long time.

      There are excuses teachers’ unions and their cronies use for why that is, but they’re probably beyond your comprehension. Suffice it to say that religious schools don’t need to make such excuses because their students always seem to outperform public schools on standardized tests (for less cost).

      We libertarians have long suspected that the reason they don’t teach critical thinking well in public schools is because the bureaucrats and politicians who run public schools have a conflict of interest in teaching voters who to think critically. They’d much rather teach voters to just think what they’re told. Out of curiosity, are you a product of public schools?

      1. 36 out of 50 in education. I’m sure they’ll do great.

        Perhaps ole Ken here is a product of that system. Would explain a lot.

        1. Fuck off Jeff.

        2. Are you saying that because Kentucky ranks 36th out of 50 states in education, that means public school kids in Kentucky do better than private school kids in Kentucky?

          That public school kids in Kentucky wouldn’t do better if they were in private schools in Kentucky?

          What are you talking about?

    2. “slack-jaws who favor schools that teach nonsense to children” sounds like, well, you.

      Honestly, do you even think before you type? You claim that Kentucky is “mired toward the bottom” while ignoring that they got to that ranking with the exclusively-public school system that you claim to want. By your own measure, the Kentucky public schools have failed. So you think the right answer is “do more of the same”?

  9. Teachers’ unions are a form of organized crime but instead of selling drugs or hijacking trucks, they are making our children stupid and noncompetitive. They should be outlawed. They do nothing but foster corruption and hurt our children. Their opposition to in-school education is a classic example. They want to get paid for doing nothing. Since we are the one paying them, we need to say, ‘No.’ If they refuse to work, fire them.

  10. the school choice bowel movement is a covert catholic attempt to violate the 1st amendment and siphon off tax dollars from the average unconscious american. these catholic theocrats are the very same scum flooding the country with catholics from latin america cause catholic theocrats have no respect for any nations rules, laws and constitutions. this is the same subversive game these mass murderers have been pulling on western nations for many centuries, and the only nation able to remove them where the NSDAP germans. should probably rethink all that jew holocaust programming.

    1. Catholic schools do a far superior job, when compared to government run schools, of graduating well educated students. Catholic schools run on lean mean budgets all the time, much less than public schools. Catholic schools are in demand schools for parents looking for alternatives, and non-catholic students are admitted on a space available basis plus their academic abilities. Catholic schools do not make money on non-Catholic students, and their deficits are usually covered by the parish church and the Archdioceses.

  11. KY voters missed with the choice of governor, but got the vote for legislators right. School choice creates competition between school districts to improve their education and staff and faculty. Government is a generally bad performer because they do not face competition and ranking that effects their budget. The total number of schools students effects the amount of federal support a district gets. Good schools get more students under school choice. The school districts that lose students lose that students proportion of the federal money, making it that much harder to manage budgets. This makes school choice a good thing!

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