KEA President Eddie Campbell Defends Public School
Students from School Voucher Bill for Wealthy
KEA President Eddie Campbell recently appeared on Kentucky Tonight to speak against school vouchers. Watch here.
Last year the legislature, by a slim margin, passed HB563, which tried to establish a voucher scheme through an “education tax credit” structure that could cost the taxpayers of Kentucky up to $25 million each year for the next five years. With funding and legal expertise from the National Education Association and KEA, the Council for Better Education and private citizens challenged that law, asserting that it is unconstitutional. The Franklin Circuit Court agreed, and the issue is currently on appeal.
Regardless of the pending legal claims, two almost identical bills have been filed during the 2022 legislative session. The proposed bills, HB305 and SB50, would significantly expand the burden of the proposed tax credits, allowing up to $100 million a year in tax credit giveaways to rich donors and corporations. Giving special interest groups tax credits really means that the state is waiving payment of taxes that would otherwise have to be paid by those special interests. Extending credits takes dollars out of the state’s general fund that would otherwise be available for an array of public services that benefit all the citizens of the commonwealth, including supporting Kentucky’s public schools.
As of this writing, neither of the filed bills has been scheduled for a hearing. However, the threat to public school funding remains.
KEA strongly opposes diverting tax dollars from public education for private schools and tax breaks for the rich. We are not alone in this: the Kentucky Association of School Administrators is actively seeking signatures on a petition against this scheme and KEA supports that effort. You can read the petition and add your name here.
Keep up with the status of these bills and other education-related legislation by checking the KEA Bill Status Report, which is updated daily and is available at www.kea.org