Little Rock’s CBS affiliate reports:
On Wednesday, Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders officially signed the Arkansas LEARNS Act into law. The governor, who considers this bill to be “the boldest, most far-reaching, most conservative education reforms in the country,” wasted no time signing the bill after its advancement from the Senate just yesterday.
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.
Over the course of three years, an “education freedom account” plan to pay for private and home schooling costs equal to 90% of the state’s per-student funding for public schools. That amount is currently $7,413.
The Christian Post reports:
In addition to promoting school choice, the bill includes a provision for the Department of Education to ensure communications and materials do not “indoctrinate” students with “ideologies,” with the legislation specifically mentioning critical race theory.
The Arkansas LEARNS Act claims that CRT conflicts with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of “race, color, religion, sex or national origin.” The bill also prohibits public school teachers from providing classroom instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation to students before the fifth grade.
Critics of the bill, such as Carol Fleming, president of the Arkansas Education Association, argue that the legislation was rushed and that there was not enough time for parents and educators to ask questions about it.
People like State Senator Jane English (R-AR) will be the demise of the Republican party. Students from Little Rock Central HS show up to try and participate in the process only to be interrupted and shutdown by her. Must watch!👇#wtpBlue #DemVoice1 #Fresh pic.twitter.com/6kEwz3acVf
— Brian Cardone 🏴☠️🇺🇦 (@cardon_brian) March 8, 2023