School Choice in the States: February 2024

As of this February, this year, EdChoice is tracking 54 bills in 24 states relating to education savings accounts, vouchers, refundable tax credits, tax-credit ESAs, and tax-credit scholarships. About 78% of that legislation relates to education savings accounts, manifesting a continued dominance in lawmakers prioritizing flexibility for families.


In her February Sate of the State address, Gov. Kay Ivey unveiled her plan to bring universal education savings accounts to Alabama. Legislation, SB 61 and HB 129, collectively known as The Creating Hope & Opportunity for Our Students’ Education (CHOOSE) Act, has since been introduced. If enacted, the CHOOSE Act would create a tax-credit ESA program that would eventually be available to all students in the state. It passed the House in February and is headed to the Senate.


The Sunflower Education Equity Act, SB 469, was introduced in February in Kansas in an effort to create an education savings account program. Students qualifying for the free and reduced lunch program, from families with incomes less than or equal to 250% of the federal poverty line, and students with disabilities would be eligible to participate in the program. It was most recently referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means Committee.


Louisiana’s session kicks off later than most states, beginning in March, but legislation that would create a universal education savings account program is expected to be pre-filed soon.

Further, state lawmakers pre-filed HB 66 in February, a bill that would create an education savings account program for students with exceptionalities. It was referred to the Committee on Education.

HB 191, also pre-filed in February, would establish an education savings account program for student victims of bullying. It was also referred to the Committee on Education.


In February, Maryland lawmakers introduced two pieces of legislation that would establish education savings account programs. HB 704 would create an income-based ESA, allocating 75%of the state’s per-pupil education funding to families with incomes less than or equal to 500% of the federal poverty line and 50% of the state’s per-pupil education funding to families with incomes exceeding 500% of the federal poverty line. HB 675 would create a universal ESA. In addition to the per-pupil education funding, both bills would allow families to contribute funds toward their ESAs on a pre-tax basis.


Michigan lawmakers filed SB 711, a bill to create a tax-credit scholarship account. Qualifying students include students with disabilities, students in foster care, and students who previously participated in this program.


Lawmakers in the Magnolia state filed HB 1449 in February, a bill that would create a universal education savings account program. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Education.


LB 939 would establish an ESA program that would allocate funding based on the type of educational institution a student attends. For example, full-time public school students would receive a higher percentage of the state’s per-pupil funding than full-time private school students.

New Hampshire

A bill to expand the state’s Education Freedom Account Program’s eligibility from 350 to 500% of the federal poverty line passed the House in February. If finalized, this would constitute a significant expansion of the program. At the program’s formation, just about a third of the state qualified for the program, with last year’s expansion expanding eligibility to about 48%. If this legislation is signed into law, about 69%, over two-thirds of the state, will qualify. With the House Finance Committee waiving a hearing on the bill, HB 1665 heads directly to the Senate.


Four bills, SB 1477, HB 3388, HB 3396, and HB 3387, often called “clean up” bills, were introduced in February that would make small improvements to the Oklahoma Parental Choice Tax Credit Act. Improvements would include changes such as disqualifying the credit as income and streamlining the application process for low-income families.


Senator Anthony Williams, a Philadelphia Democrat and longtime school choice champion, has co-sponsored SB 1057, a version of Gov. Josh Shapiro’s proposed school choice bill, Lifeline Scholarships. A bill with bipartisan support, the Educational Freedom Act would offer targeted private school scholarships (and other expenses) to low-income students who live in low-achieving public school zones as defined by the state. Under the Educational Freedom Act, students who qualify could access scholarships ranging from $2,500 to $15,000, based on grade level and special needs. The bill was referred to the Senate Education Committee on February 12.

In late December, Representatives Joe D’Orsie and Josh Kail introduced HB 1904, which would create a universally eligible education savings account program, known as Student Freedom Accounts. If enacted, the Student Freedom Account program would offer Pennsylvania parents the most broadly flexible ESA in the nation. The proposal has been referred to the Education Committee, and awaits further action when the House reconvenes in March.

Rhode Island

Likely taking inspiration from its fellow New England state, New Hampshire’s SB 2340, introduced in February, would create an Education Freedom Account Program. Like the Granite State, this legislation would set up an ESA program to be administered by a third-party organization. Families with incomes less than or equal to 250% of the federal poverty line would qualify.


Two bills, SB 2787 and HB 1183, would create ESA programs with universal eligibility. However, both programs have a program cap of 20,000 students per year, limiting how many families would have access to the program. HB 1183 includes an escalator provision that would increase the cap by 20% each year until 90% of the program cap is met.


By mid-February when Wyoming legislators convened in Cheyenne for their 2024 budget session, a handful of school choice measures had been filed between the two chambers. Originally thought to be the best chance for success in 2024, HB 0019, sponsored by the House Education Committee with the support of Speaker Albert Sommers, failed to receive the necessary two-thirds support for introduction. While competing factions of the majority party rallied behind various measures as backup, a frontrunner emerged in HB 0166 by Representative Ken Clauston. Because budget sessions are shortened, lasting just over four weeks, rapid changes are reshaping the proposal. At the time of drafting, the key features of the Wyoming choice proposal included a means-tested program, limiting participation to students in households below 400% of the Federal Poverty Level, with values between $1,000 and $5,000. The appropriation has been reduced from its original $40 million to $20 million, with 30% being reserved for prekindergarten students for up to one year of preparation for K-12. HB 0166 has been passed out of the House and its fate is now with Wyoming Senators. Amendments are expected as early as committee and expected throughout the legislative process from the Senate.