BRIEF: School Choice in the States – May 2023 

Each month, the EdChoice policy team breaks down into bite-sized pieces all of the past month’s educational choice-related legislative movement. 

The school choice momentum continued in May as legislatures in four additional states, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and South Carolina, advanced educational freedom for students in their states! 

Here’s what happened in May 2023. 


In May, SB 202 (companion HB 295–the PRICE Act), an ESA that would become universal three years following enactment, advanced out of its committee and received a second reading in the Senate.  

Additionally, SB 263 would expand student eligibility for the Education Scholarship Program (Tax Credit Scholarship). The bill passed the Senate in May and advanced to a second reading in the House. More to come. 


South Carolina 

SB 0039 creates an ESA for about 71 percent of South Carolina families. It was signed into law by Gov. Henry McMaster in May. 



HB 9 would create an ESA for students with exceptionalities to attend non-public schools. It passed the House in May.  

HB 98, which would expand public school choice and create a near universal education savings account program, passed the House in May. 



HB 393, legislation creating an ESA for students with disabilities, was signed into law in May by Gov. Greg Gianforte. 



LB 753 passed the legislature in May and was signed into law by Gov. Jim Pillen. This will create the Opportunity Scholarships Act, a tax-credit scholarship program, and Nebraska’s first private choice program! Eligibility will be the same qualifier for the National School Lunch Program, with priority given based on five needs based tiers. Taxpayers could get a credit for the full amount donated or 50 percent of their income tax liability for that year.  


New Hampshire 

Previously, HB 367 was written to expand the eligibility of the state’s Education Freedom Account Program from 300 percent to 500 percent of the federal poverty line (FPL). The bill was amended to increase that percentage from 300 percent to 350 percent of FPL. Also making its way through the legislature is HB 464, providing an expansion of the same program for special groups. Both passed the House earlier this year, and HB 367 passed the Senate in May, but it still must return to the Senate Finance Committee for recommendation and then pass the full Senate a final time. HB 464 died in the Senate. 

North Carolina 

HB 823, a bill expanding the state’s Opportunity Scholarships voucher program to universality, passed the House in May. Currently, enough lawmakers in both chambers are signed on to the bill to override a potential veto by Gov. Roy Cooper. The Senate companion bill is S 406. 


SB 11, which would expand eligibility for the Educational Choice Scholarship (voucher) program to universal access and increases the K–12 Home Education Tax Credit from $250 to $2,000, did not advance further within the Senate. Stay tuned for updates as Ohio begins its budget process. 


HB 1935 and HB 2775 are a package deal, creating a universal refundable tax credit for educational expenses. HB 1935 contains the portion regarding the refundable tax credit, and HB 2775 contains funding for public schools along with teacher pay raises. Both bills were signed into law by Gov. Kevin Stitt in May. 


Co-sponsorship memos for the Lifeline Scholarship program, which would create a targeted $7,500 ESA supported by Gov. Josh Shapiro, did not see any movement in May. Additionally, a co-sponsorship memo for a substantial increase to the Educational Improvement Tax Credit scholarship program did not move. Stay tuned for updates as Pennsylvania heads into budget season. 


SB 8: A nearly universal ESA, SB 8 would offer scholarships in the amount of $8,000 to participating students. The Senate passed the bill in April and is likely headed for a special session. 

SB 1474: This piece of legislation would create an ESA for students with disabilities. The bill passed the Senate in May. 


Vermont students who access educational options under the town tuitioning program face a threat in the legislature. H. 483, which already passed the House, makes significant cuts to the program, limiting the number of eligible schools, adding red tape for participating schools in the form of reporting requirements and additional steps for approval, and a moratorium on approving new independent schools.