The bold educational reform bill heralded by Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders will head to her desk early next week after House approval on Thursday.
After passing the senate 25-7 last week, SB 294, known as the LEARNS bill, was heard in the House this week with the chamber voting in favor 76-19 Thursday afternoon. The amended version must now clear the Senate, which is expected to happen early next week, before the governor can sign it.
The measure promises to raise teacher pay from $36,000 per year to $50,000, and offer $10,000 performance bonuses.
Additionally, the bill would provide Education Freedom Account, state funds that parents can use for their child’s approved education expenses, including private school tuition.
“[It] allows parents to enroll their kids in whatever school is most appropriate for their family whether it be public, private, parochial or homeschool,” the governor said previously, as reported by The Lion.
“We’re rolling out this program for our most at-risk families first, and within three years it will be available to every family in Arkansas,” she said.
Around the time of Thursday’s House vote, Gov. Sanders took to Twitter to celebrate the bill.
“No longer will we push kids through a broken system.
“No longer will we pay teachers one of the lowest salaries in the country.
“No longer will we maintain the failing status quo.
“A vote for my education plan is a vote for a quality education and path to prosperity for all,” she tweeted.
The law, once signed, would go into effect June 30.