Kentucky constitutional amendment proposed for school choice

Cornerstone Christian Academy in Shelbyville, Kentucky, one of 352 private schools in the state serving more than 67,000 students, values the success of each student with small classroom sizes and programs like Abeka and Bob Jones University curriculum.

Editor’s note: This article appeared last week on

A proposed amendment to Kentucky’s Constitution would authorize the General Assembly to provide for the educational costs of elementary and secondary school students outside of the public school system.

A group known as EdChoice Kentucky is the driving force behind the measure, which they say would allow families to design the right learning options for their children through school choice.

Since the state Constitution was adopted in 1891, it limits education spending to “Common Schools,” in other words, public schools. Recently, the Kentucky Supreme Court threw out legislation that would allow tax dollars to fund charter schools, saying it violates the constitution. This proposal would eliminate that restriction.

During a Wednesday press conference at the Capitol Annex, Andrew Vandiver, president of EdChoice Kentucky, said the issue of school choice enjoys wide support. “Nearly 75% of Republican voters support the amendment, and nearly 60% of independent voters. That’s a strong showing for educational choice.”

Rep. Josh Calloway, R-Irvington, and a lawmaker since 2021, is the sponsor of the proposed amendment.  He noted, “Last year, the people of Kentucky elected the most pro-school choice General Assembly that has ever existed.

“Time and again, they have spoken out loudly in support of more educational choice options.”

He says the amendment’s legislation, House Bill 174, is simple. “It asks the voters to allow the General Assembly to empower parents to send their children to a learning environment that will help them succeed and is focused on the best fit for each and every child.”

Calloway pointed out that the December Supreme Court decision did more than just ban public money for private schools.

“It also set the stage to overturn decades of Kentucky’s education programs that are relied upon by families across the state of Kentucky. Things such as our bus transportation for both public and non-public school families.”

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BY Special to NextSteps