January 6, 2021

Education Opportunity Accounts Legislation filed in Kentucky General Assembly

House Bill 149 will help expand education options to majority of Kentucky K-12 students

Frankfort, Ky. (Jan. 6 2020) – Kentucky House Majority Whip Chad McCoy today filed HB 149, legislation that will create Education Opportunity Accounts (EOA) and enable more students to receive the education that meets their needs. The proposed EOA program will support children from urban, suburban and rural communities across the Commonwealth—up to 70% of all Kentucky K-12 students are financially eligible to participate, with high need students receiving priority. Senate Bill 25, a companion bill in the Kentucky State Senate, was filed by Senator Ralph Alvarado.

EOAs are privately funded by citizens and businesses, who donate to Account Granting Organizations (AGOs). The AGOs then use the donations to award needs-based funding to eligible families, and the family can choose how best to spend those education funds. Funding can be tailored to a student’s specific needs and used for tuition and fees for attendance at out-of-district public or non-public schools, online learning programs, tutoring services, therapy programs, transportation to and from school, and more.

“COVID-19 has underscored a basic truth, that many things are out of our control—but being able to provide the best possible education to meet your child’s needs should never be one those things,” said Majority Whip Chad McCoy. “With Education Opportunity Accounts, more Kentucky parents will be empowered. This commonsense program will deliver the educational freedom Kentuckians are asking for with the greatest possible benefit to the state and our communities.”

Support for educational freedom continues to grow across Kentucky. In a recent poll, 77% of likely rural voters voiced their support for educational choice. Statewide, 65% of likely voters support educational choice, with majority support among Republicans, Democrats and Independents.

“I know my children’s personal and educational needs better than anyone, and thousands of Kentucky parents feel the same way,” said Leisha Garland, a Somerset parent who has resided and educated her children in four states. “To let finances or a mere zip code determine the educational preparedness of our children is unfair. Educational choice empowers parents to make the best decisions for their children, not some far-removed government bureaucrat. I am hopeful Kentucky will join the other 22 states in offering educational choice!”

EdChoice Kentucky, a bipartisan coalition supporting educational freedom, believes Education Opportunity Accounts are a great way for Kentucky to put students first.

“A zip code or financial status should never limit a child’s ability to have the education that best suits his or her needs,” said EdChoice Kentucky President Charles Leis. “This proposal prioritizes Kentucky students, giving parents the financial freedom they need to seek and find the best possible options for their children.”