Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders' LEARNS may get one-time ARPA boost
A state legislative council committee on Tuesday approved the reallocation of nearly $35 million in American Rescue Plan Act money to support parts of the LEARNS Act, per the Arkansas Advocate.
The big picture: Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders' sweeping omnibus bill that passed through both Arkansas chambers with little debate, has been critiqued for provisions that will allow taxpayer money to fund private schools.
- Opponents say rural public schools will suffer in the long term.
The other side: Supporters say the education reform will be better for students and empower parents to send their kids to schools of their choosing.
By the numbers: The Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review (PEER) subcommittee of the Arkansas Legislative Council approved the state Department of Education's request to use $6.2 million in ARPA money for literacy coaches, $8.5 million for supplemental education services and $20 million for high-impact tutoring.
Between the lines: Another objection to the bill from opponents has been its lack of specifics for funding.
- Yes, but: The Arkansas Advocate points out that state Sen. Jonathan Dismang (R-Searcy), co-chair of the state Joint Budget Committee, said in February that ARPA money would be used to support the intensive literacy coaches proposed in LEARNS.
What's next: The full Arkansas Legislative Council, which meets Friday, would need to approve the recommendation.
Go deeper: LEARNS Act faces legal challenges
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