Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders supports parents and school choice with executive order

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed her first executive order toward “bold conservative education reform.”

Sanders signed the order, called Arkansas LEARNS, after being inaugurated on Tuesday.

“Hit the ground running the next day, very aggressively focused on bold conservative education reform,” said Sanders, according to local 40/29 TV News in anticipation of the order.

Sanders expressed education is her first priority for the upcoming legislative session.

The order expands Internet access for schools, promotes safety, expands access to education choices for parents and adds incentive pay for high-performing teachers, Fox News reports.

But Sanders didn’t wait until her inauguration to get started on education reform.  

In December, she brought in Jacob Oliva, the senior chancellor at the Florida Department of Education, to take the top education job in Arkansas, signaling Sander’s willingness to model education reform on the successes of Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. 

“Governor-elect Sanders has the right vision to unleash Arkansas education, and I’m excited to get to work on day one to enact it,” Oliva said about his appointment as Arkansas Secretary of Education. 

“Education is the key to the future, creating opportunity for all, which is why I’ve spent my career implementing successful early learning programs, empowering parents with choices and investing in career readiness,” added Oliva.  

Oliva attended the event on Wednesday where the executive order on education was signed.  

Arkansas ranks 22nd overall in education, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) reports, but gets near-failing grades when it comes to school choice and charter schools.  

Florida, by contrast, ranks number two in education overall and gets an A and B grade from ALEC in school choice and charter schools.  

Gov. Sanders signed a total of eight executive orders in her first two days in office.