Kentucky Governor Caves to Special Interests, Vetoes School Choice Bill
Kentucky’s public education establishment loudly complained about legislation that would have forced school districts to compete for students—and on Wednesday, Gov. Andy Beshear did their bidding.
Beshear, a Democrat, vetoed a school choice bill that would have allowed families to cross district lines in pursuit of better schools, with education dollars following students who decided to switch from one school to another. The bill would have also created 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 three largest counties could have tapped to help pay for private school tuition, while students elsewhere could have used the money to hire tutors or pay other educational expenses.
The bill would “greatly harm education in Kentucky,” Beshear said in a video statement announcing the veto, by “taking money away from public schools.” In other words, students in failing public schools should be forced to remain there so those institutions can continue to collect tax dollars—because that’s what is important, right?
It is important to one group of people: the public school superintendents who demanded on Tuesday that Beshear veto the bill. “We believe in choice, and we’re willing to have that conversation,” said Marty Pollio, superintendent of Jefferson County Public Schools, which includes the city of Louisville. “It needs to be done right, and we need to fully fund public education before we set aside $25 million for private school scholarship tax credits.”
This is the game that the public school establishment plays when it comes to school choic
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