2023 Legislative Session Wrap Up: School Choice Remains a ‘Top Priority’

March 22, 2023


We are quickly approaching the end of the 2023 legislative session. Lawmakers are currently on the "veto break," when Governor Beshear will decide whether he will sign or veto certain bills passed by the General Assembly. Next week, the legislature will meet for two final days to consider overriding vetoes.

At this point, it does not appear that House Bill 174, the Students First Constitutional Amendment, will pass during this legislative session. To recap, House Bill 174 was filed because the Kentucky Supreme Court effectively barred the General Assembly from passing school choice legislation.

Passing House Bill 174 would have put school choice on the ballot for voters to decide in November of 2024. Because a constitutional amendment cannot go on the ballot until 2024 at the earliest, legislative leaders decided to wait until
the 2024 legislative session to pass a school choice amendment. The 2024 legislative session begins in January of 2024 and will last 60 days.

I know that many of you will find this decision disappointing. However, significant progress was made over the past three months. Speaker of the House David Osborne told reporters that there is a "tremendous amount of support" for the amendment. House Majority Whip Jason Nemes declared that passing a school choice amendment is a "top priority" for the House Majority.

ICYMI: Nemes says "We're going to have school choice in Kentucky"

There were more than words this session when it came to showing support for the constitutional amendment. 35 members of the House of Representatives from across Kentucky signed on as co-sponsors of the bill, including Speaker Osborne and Majority Whip Nemes. No school choice proposal to date has had as many co-sponsors as House Bill 174. Further, House Bill 174 was successfully passed out of committee by an 8-5 margin. Moving the bill out of committee laid the groundwork for passage in 2024.

The Students First Constitutional Amendment is in a strong position for 2024. We would not be in this position if it was not for your devotion to increasing opportunities for Kentucky's students.


EdChoice KY will continue to be actively engaged during the coming months. We must show communities that Kentucky is missing out on opportunities for families and students as the only state in our region without a school choice program. When the 2024 legislative session begins in January of 2024, we will stand ready to advocate for the passage of a school choice constitutional amendment.

We want you to be part of this effort. Please continue to read our messages and share them with friends. If you would like a representative of EdChoice KY to speak to a local group in your community, please reach out to andrew.vandiver@edchoiceky.com and we will make that happen.

I have updated the list of co-sponsors below along with the counties they represent, showing the broad support for school choice. We appreciate all of the lawmakers who led as co-sponsors. We are especially grateful for Rep. Calloway leading the way as the primary sponsor. He worked incredibly hard to increase support for the bill amongst his colleagues and to push House Bill 174 through committee. We also want to thank Speaker Osborne and Majority Whip Nemes for making clear that passing the constitutional amendment is a priority and that we will have their support in 2024.


Primary Sponsor
J. Calloway (Breckinridge and Hardin)

Louisville and Surrounding Areas
D. Osborne (Oldham)
J. Bauman (Jefferson)
K. Bratcher (Jefferson)
J. Decker (Shelby)
K. Fleming (Jefferson and Oldham)
J. Nemes (Jefferson, Shelby and Oldham)
J. Hodgson (Jefferson)
C. Massaroni (Nelson)
N. Tate (Meade and Hardin)
R. Webber (Bullitt and Hardin)
S. Witten (Jefferson)
E. Callaway (Bullitt and Jefferson)
J. Tipton (Anderson and Spencer)
T. Huff (Bullitt)

Northern Kentucky
F. Rabourn (Carroll, Owen, Henry, and Trimble)
S. Dietz (Kenton)
K. Moser (Kenton)
M. Proctor (Boone)
S. Rawlings (Boone)
S. Doan (Kenton and Boone)
M. Hart (Pendleton, Boone, Campbell, and Kenton)
S. Maddox (Grant, Boone, Gallatin, and Kenton)

Somerset Area
S. Baker (Laurel and Pulaski)

Western Kentucky
B. Reed (Green, Hart, and LaRue)
M. Dossett (Christian)
R. Heath (Graves and McCracken)
R. Raymer (Butler and Muhlenberg)
W. Thomas (Christian, Caldwell, and Trigg)

Lexington Area and EKY
B. Wesley (Estill, Madison, and Powell)
M. Lockett (Jessamine and Fayette)
R. Dotson (Clark and Fayette)
D. Hale (Bath, Menifee, and Montgomery)
S. Sharp (Boyd and Lawrence)
D. Fister (Franklin, Jessamine, and Woodford)

Finally, thank you for your steadfast support of Kentucky’s students.


Andrew Vandiver
EdChoice Kentucky