FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said Wednesday he was vetoing a measure that would allow limited use of scholarship tax credits to support private school tuition, calling it an attack on public education.
Many public education advocates denounced the proposal leading up to Beshear’s announcement, but the embattled bill could still become law when the Republican-led legislature reconvenes next week. Override votes are expected on a series of vetoes, and the education bill could be at the forefront.
The measure would create scholarship tax credits — referred to as education opportunity accounts — to pay for education expenses, including private school tuition in highly populated counties. The accounts would be backed by private donors eligible for tax credits.
Opponents warn the accounts would drain up to $25 million a year from the state treasury — money that could go for underfunded public education.
“If it becomes law, this measure would greatly harm public education in Kentucky by taking money away from public schools and sending it to unaccountable, private organizations with little oversight,” the governor said during a news conference.
Beshear, who campaigned as a vocal supporter for public education, was backed by a series of public education leaders who gave video messages supporting the veto.