Commonwealth Policy Center

The Kentucky Supreme Court heard a case on whether a private educational foundation can receive private money to distribute to families searching for school choice for their children. At issue is whether donors to the foundation should receive a tax credit. The opponent argued that this siphons money from public education. But advocates of Educational Opportunity Accounts (EOAs) say that the money was never the state’s to begin with. The goal of the EOA program is to give poor kids scholarships so that they can go to whichever schools their parents think are the best fit for them. The court room was packed, many with pro-school choice supporters present. But in the end, it’s the state Supreme Court that will have a final say on whether such educational opportunity accounts are legal. But should they? Justice Michelle Keller appears to be opposed. “But it seems to me … that it might divert what might otherwise be public money because of the tax credits that are given,” Keller said. “I don’t know of many other tax credits for individual taxpayers that are almost dollar per dollar.” The legislature enacted EOAs and has the right to make policy, not Keller. If she wants to legislate, then she should run for the legislature. In fact, Northern Kentucky voters will have an opportunity to determine Keller’s fate since she’s up for reelection this November.