UPDATE: School choice bill to arrive on Beshear’s desk


Julianna Russ

The body of House Bill 563, from the Legislative Research Commission database.

This is an update to recent Hilltopper articles on this topic. Click here to read the first story, and click here to read the last update.


     Last night, the Kentucky House of Representatives passed House Bill (HB) 563 in a 48-47 vote. The House passed HB 563 last week, but when it passed in the Senate, amendments were added that required another vote in the House in order to move forward.

     This bill will create an Education Opportunity Account program, allowing families in certain counties to receive a tax credit when attending private schools. Additionally, it allows tax money to follow students who decide to attend public schools outside of their own district. 

     One component of the original bill was the controversial spending flexibility limit on all counties except Jefferson, Fayette, and Kenton. However, an amendment that was successfully added to the bill makes all counties with a population of more than 90,000 eligible. Campbell County is included in that roundup, with Boone, Daviess, Warren, and Hardin now added to the list as well.

     The former addition of full-day kindergarten funding was removed from the final draft of the bill. 

     Although there was some speculation as to whether there would be enough support to “veto-proof” the bill, or bar Beshear from vetoing it, ultimately the vote was too close. Now, it is up to Beshear to decide his stance on the bill. If he vetoes HB 563, as many experts are expecting, the state legislature will need to override it with a two-thirds majority vote in order to push it through. 

     More information is forthcoming, as this is a developing story.