FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
The following statement can be attributed to ACLU of Kentucky Spokesperson Samuel Crankshaw regarding House Bill 9 to divert public dollars from public schools:
The Kentucky General Assembly today granted final passage to House Bill 9 to funnel public dollars from public schools into unaccountable charter schools. HB9 would reduce public school funding, harm Kentucky students, and reduce transparency on how tax dollars are spent.
School vouchers directly harm students by diverting funding for education, opening the door for discrimination, and reducing transparency on how tax dollars are spent. Charter schools are not subject to the same open records laws that keep public institutions accountable to taxpayers. This also means tax dollars could be used to support private institutions that are not required to ensure all students have equal access regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, or ability.
Charter schools also funnel public dollars into out of state corporations. Many charter schools are owned and operated by national corporations that view our children and our commonwealth as a source of revenue. HB9 is part of a national effort funded by dark money designed to weaken public education and enrich a few billionaires at the expense of our children.
Research shows legislation like this would benefit students from higher-income families and leave students from low-income families behind. Even worse, other programs to privatize schooling like those implemented in Indiana have proven to increase racial and economic disparities.
House Bill 9 would allow charter schools in all counties and require them in some. This legislation expands on a 2021 bill that violates the Kentucky Constitution and is currently blocked in state court. Both bills are part of a broader effort to divert money away from public schools and funnel it into unaccountable charter and private schools.
Kentucky’s public schools need more support, not less. Our shared public dollars should support Kentucky’s public school students, not private institutions.