A bill allowing Kentucky students to utilize financial aid money they have earned in new ways passed through the state House on Friday morning.
Senate Bill 54, sponsored by Sen. Jared Carpenter, allows Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES) awardees to use their scholarship monies at proprietary schools, provided that the program falls within one of Kentucky’s top-five high-demand workforce sectors (advanced manufacturing, business/IT, construction, healthcare, and transportation). Carpenter has also noted the legislation would also apply to agriculture.
Carrying the bill on the floor, Rep. James Allen Tipton said KEES is one of the crown jewels of scholarships available to Kentucky students that are earned through their academic success and added this bill will expand access and provide more opportunities for Kentuckians.
The bill was amended in committee earlier in the week to roll House Bill 133 into the bill which allows KEES money to be used for a workforce solutions training program offered by the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. The committee substitute also added language that would add schools for art and design into the bill.
Senate Bill 54 passed the House 93-0 and will go back to the Senate for concurrence on the small changes made in the committee substitute.
Stay tuned to The Bottom Line for more updates on the 2023 session.