On Tuesday afternoon, the Republican-held Arkansas State Legislature passed the School Choice legislation, which will now be sent to Gov. Sarah Sanders for her signature. This legislation, also known as “Arkansas LEARNS” or Senate Bill 294, passed with a 26-8 vote.
In a press release given by Sanders, her team breaks down what “Arkansas LEARNS” is about. This includes the idea that Critical Race Theory shouldn’t being taught in Arkansas.
The press release reads, “President Biden’s Department of Education is using nationwide guidelines and grant programs to force school districts to adopt key tenets of Critical Race Theory. That includes work from the “Abolitionist Teaching Network” and parts of the newly proposed “American History and Civics Education” priorities.”
“The Governor’s Executive Order directed the Secretary to comb through those DOE materials to ensure Washington bureaucrats can’t bully Arkansas schools into teaching racist indoctrination. As Governor Sanders and Secretary Oliva have said, Arkansas will teach students how to think, not what to think.”
The article also addresses concerns that the reforms will get rid of the teacher pay scale and discourage teachers from pursuing further education, that they will cost taxpayers too much, that they force every kid to go to government-run pre-k, and that they contribute to the school-to-prison pipeline.
“This bill uses a mixture of existing state funds and federal grants to fund the price tag. In fact, Arkansas is still on track to enact another tax cut. And of course, quality education systems pay for themselves many times over in the long run. Every kid deserves the opportunity for a quality education that sets them up for a lifetime of success.”
The article asserts that the proposed plan doesn’t discriminate against sexual minorities, won’t unfairly give new teachers a bigger pay bump than veteran teachers, won’t cost taxpayers too much for paid maternity leave, and won’t leave teachers without protection from unjust firing.
“Most Americans agree that young children shouldn’t be exposed to obscene sexual content in the classroom. Clearly, you haven’t read Florida’s bill, and you have not read this one. This bill isn’t radical or discriminatory – it’s about protecting kids.”
On Tuesday, Sanders tweeted the following:
“My education plan just PASSED WITH OVERWHELMING SUPPORT: 78-21 in the House and 26-8 in the Senate.
A HISTORIC WIN for parents, teachers, and students that will set the education model for the nation, I’m ready to sign it into law tomorrow and end the failed status quo.
Every kid will soon have access to a quality education and path to a good paying job and better life, right here in Arkansas.”
🚨 My education plan just PASSED WITH OVERWHELMING SUPPORT: 78-21 in the House and 26-8 in the Senate.
A HISTORIC WIN for parents, teachers, and students that will set the education model for the nation, I’m ready to sign it into law tomorrow and end the failed status quo.… https://t.co/6ZQc97vfF6
— Sarah Huckabee Sanders (@SarahHuckabee) March 7, 2023