School Choice in the States: April 2024

Three states—Georgia, Missouri, and Nebraska—passed (and two enacted) bills creating or expanding programs relating to education freedom in April. As of this month, EdChoice is tracking 80 bills in 29 states relating to education savings accounts, vouchers, refundable tax credits, and tax-credit scholarships this year. About 78% of that legislation relates to education savings accounts.


Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed SB 233 in April, creating an ESA program for students in the lowest performing 25% of public schools.


HB 745, legislation that would create the Louisiana GATOR Scholarship Program, a universal ESA, passed the House in April. It received record support from Democrats on a universal choice bill, with six Democrats joining most Republicans in House passage. The bill arrived in the Senate and was referred to the Committee on Education. Similar legislation that originated in the upper chamber, SB313, is currently in Senate Finance Committee. The legislation has faced multiple rounds of amendments during this phase of the committee process as legislators continue to work out the details of the program. Common to both is the universal eligibility of the GATOR Scholarship Program, and prioritization of low-income and at-risk student populations. A wide-use ESA program, values will range from an average of $5,500-$15,000 depending upon family income and special needs, to allow families to customize the best education for their student utilizing private education, tutoring, online curriculum, specialized therapies, and other approved expenses. Mechanical details of the program continue to be worked out by stakeholders.


SB 727, which would expand the Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Account, received final passage in April and awaits the governor’s signature. If signed into law, the legislation would expand the tax-credit education savings account program’s geographical borders to include students statewide, make siblings of participating students eligible, increase the funding cap from $50 million to $75 million, and raise income eligibility from 200% to 300% of the Free and Reduced Lunch (FRL) rate.

Correction from last month’s brief: SB 727 did not previously leave income eligibility at the status quo.


Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen signed LB 1402 into law in April, replacing the Opportunity Scholarship tax-credit scholarship program with a voucher program. The voucher will be available to students from households with incomes at or below 213% Federal Poverty Line (FPL) and are entering kindergarten, first, or ninth grade at a qualified school; those transferring from a public school (enrolled for at least one semester immediately preceding the scholarship award); students who are the dependent of an active or reserve duty military personnel moving into Nebraska; those who have previously received an education scholarship under the Opportunity Scholarship Act; and any sibling of a scholarship recipient who resides in the same household. Students must be enrolled in a qualified school.

New Hampshire

Passed by the House in February, HB 1665, a bill to expand the state’s Education Freedom Account Program’s (EFA) eligibility from 350% to 500% FPL, was heard in the Senate Education Committee in April. It is expected to receive a committee recommendation in May. If enacted, eligibility would reach approximately 69% statewide.

SB 442 initially allowed students who were denied a transfer request after experiencing hardship in a district school to qualify for the EFA Program without an income cap. In April, it was amended in the Senate to increase the EFA Program’s eligibility from 350% to 400% FPL overall and to include students who have experienced such hardships. It also included added regulations relating to reporting requirements and reduced administrative fees collected from EFA families from 10% to 8%. The Senate passed the bill in April. The House, having already passed a much larger expansion in HB 1665 with no added regulations to the program, killed SB 442 later in the month.

New Jersey

The companion bills of the New Jersey Student Support Act, A 4144/S 3035, were referred to their respective education committees in April. A tax-credit scholarship, this legislation would be available to students living in households with incomes not exceeding the federal income guidelines for reduced price lunch.


SB 1477 and HB 3388 would provide program updates to the Oklahoma Parental Choice Tax Credit Act, enacted in 2023. Improvements would include changes such as shifting the program to operate on a fiscal year instead of a tax year, excluding the credit from inclusion as taxable income or being used to offset tax debt, fees, or liabilities, adjustments to the application process, and including eligibility for students attending schools exclusively serving students experiencing homelessness and schools that primarily serve low-income students. SB 1477 passed the House as amended after previously passing the Senate. HB 3388 passed the Senate as amended after previously passing the House. Both will now return to their original chambers for concurrence on amendments.

SB 358, legislation that would expand the Lindsey Nicole Scholarship for Students with Disabilities Program, passed the House in April. The bill removes the prior-public requirement and expands eligibility to students adopted while in the custody of other agencies or federally recognized tribes and students enrolling in schools exclusively serving students experiencing homelessness. Students in out-of-home placements are not required to have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or service plan to qualify for LNH. The bill was returned to the Senate for concurrence on amendments.


HB 1183/SB 503 (Senate companion) would have created an ESA program with universal eligibility. However, the program would have been limited by a program cap of 20,000 students per year, capping how many families would have access to the program. It also included an escalator that would increase this cap by 20 percent each year if over 90 percent of the program cap is met. Both HB 1183 and SB 503 died in committee.

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