FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky students could use their KEES merit scholarships for qualified workforce training programs under a bill that today cleared the House Education Committee.
House Bill 61, sponsored by Rep. Kimberly Poore Moser, R-Taylor Mill, would add these training programs—which the bill states would have to be “in one of Kentucky’s top five high-demand work sectors—to the list of eligible uses for KEES, or Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship, awards earned by Kentucky high school graduates.
Students enrolled in a qualified workforce training program that allows them to earn postsecondary credit hours at a participating schools would be eligible for reimbursement of training costs based on their KEES award beginning with the 2019 school year, per the bill.
“We just want to allow this for any student regardless of whether they feel ready for a four-year degree or if they simply would prefer to go into a trade program,” said Moser.
Similar legislation was considered by the 2018 Kentucky General Assembly in both the House and the Senate.
KEES money is now awarded to recent Kentucky high school graduates and other eligible students enrolled in college or university or a registered apprenticeship program, according to Kentucky law.
Students earn KEES money for each year of high school in which they maintain a GPA of at least 2.5, per state law. Additional KEES awards are earned based on ACT/SAT and other test scores.
HB 61 now moves to the full House for its consideration.