Governor Sarah Sanders is about to sign of what I call a doozy of a bill into law.
This bill, which has now passed both the Arkansas House and Senate, will fund students instead of systems. Which means taxpayer funds will follow students whether they are in a public school, private school or are being home school. The bill establishes school choice for all students.
BREAKING: Arkansas Senate passed the governor’s bill to fund students instead of systems.
The vote was 26 to 8.
It already passed the House 78 to 21.
It now goes to Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders' desk.
All Arkansas families will have school choice.
— Corey A. DeAngelis, school choice evangelist (@DeAngelisCorey) March 7, 2023
But that’s not all it does. It also bans teaching gender identity to students below the 5th grade and it also bans CRT.
Sanders is set to sign the law tomorrow.
Here’s more via ABC News:
Arkansas lawmakers on Tuesday approved a education overhaul that creates a new school voucher program, handing a major policy win to Republican Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders that critics said could threaten support for public schools.
The Republican-held Senate voted 26-8 to send to Sanders the 145-page bill, which also raises minimum teacher salaries and puts new restrictions on classroom instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity.
The bill was the top legislative priority for Sanders, the former White House press secretary who took office in January as governor. She said she planned to sign the measure into law on Wednesday.
“I’m ready to sign it into law tomorrow and end the failed status quo that has governed our education system for far too long,” Sanders said in a statement. “Every kid should have access to a quality education and a path to a good paying job and better life right here in Arkansas.”
What the bill does:
Over three years, the plan will phase in an “education freedom account” to pay for private and home schooling costs equal to 90% of the state’s per-student funding for public schools, which is currently $7,413. It’s part of a renewed push for such voucher programs following the COVID-19 pandemic that’s been fueled in part by fights over school curriculum.
Other provisions include a prohibition against classroom instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation before 5th grade, similar to a Florida restriction that critics have called the “Don’t Say Gay” law. Another part of the legislation writes into law an executive order Sanders signed in January that prohibits teaching critical race theory.
Governor Sanders is going to make Arkansas a place where families flock to with this kind of legislation.
Major Kudos to the Governor and the Republican legislators!