Major Development: An Arkansas House Panel Has Approved Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ Proposal To Revamp The Education System Of The State
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Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders promised to make sure every kid in her state has educational freedom and she has delivered.
Sanders’ plan to overhaul the education system in her state received the endorsement of an Arkansas House panel.
The newly-elected governor’s campaign website reads:
“I believe every child growing up in Arkansas should have access to a quality education, a good-paying job, and a better life right here in our state, and I believe Arkansas LEARNS is how together we will achieve it.”
– Sarah Huckabee Sanders –
The House Education Committee advanced the 145-page plan which will now go before the State House for a vote.
If it receives approval, which is likely because of the Republican majority in the House, it will go to the Senate for a vote and then to Sanders for signing.
“This is the beginning of our commitment as a state to put students first, and to look everyone in the eye and say Arkansas will continue to lead in terms of education,” the bill’s House sponsor, Republican Rep. Keith Brooks, reminded the panel before the vote.
Not everyone is on board with the governor’s plan, however. It has received some opposition from Democrats.
“We are constitutionally bound to provide an adequate and equitable education to all Arkansas students,” Democratic Rep. Denise Garner said before the vote. “This bill sets us up for future lawsuits for failure to do that.”
School administrators and teachers testified to their opposition to the voucher plan in the bill. Some opponents also voiced concern about funding.
“I hope and pray the funding is there like we’ve been told now for a few weeks,” Heath Bennett, superintendent of the Harmony Grove School District, told the panel on Tuesday.
“Because if it’s not you may have some of the best highways going through your town, but you may not have a school.”
Do some teachers and administrators fear that their schools will not be chosen for attendance?
If so, that should be an incentive to work harder to make your school a top choice.
According to Fox News:
“Sanders’ proposal would raise the minimum starting pay for teachers from $36,000 to $50,000, and it follows calls over the past several months by Democrats and Republicans to raise minimum teacher salaries from one of the lowest in the nation. But the bill includes other measures opposed by Democrats and teachers’ groups, including the voucher program.”
“The legislation would phase in over three years an ‘education freedom account’ for private and home schooling that will be equal to 90% of the state’s per-student funding for public schools, which is currently $7,413.”
The plan also promises to “improve access to quality pre-K and make reading coaches available for at-risk children.”
It empowers parents with more choices, so no child is ever trapped in a failing school and lifetime in poverty, and curriculum transparency through innovation and online resources.”
It creates a “voucher program directing public money toward private schooling.”
Proponents of the bill are excited about the options available to parents for educating the children of Arkansas.